I don’t like being alone with myself much anymore. There was a time I thrived on it, that I got all my thinking done, and was just able to be me.
Lately being me – and only me, with no distractions – is too painful. I guess that’s part of ageing, experiencing, growing what ‘they’ call wiser.
The problem is that when I’m alone now, I’m not really alone. I’m surrounded my thoughts and crowded by the memories, worries, and obsessing that I’ve successfully managed to block out during the day. In the midst of three children five and under, trying to be everything to everyone, I don’t have the time to slow down and wonder, “how am I feeling today?”. Plus knowing the answer isn’t much use when I haven’t got time to do anything about how I feel anyways.
Evenings are another matter entirely, and evenings like tonight – a weekend evening with two of the three children at a sleepover, and the hubby passed out early from pure exhaustion – are particularly bad for it. I’ve already caught up on my recorded TV from during the week. I’ve knit enough in the day it no longer feels like I’m stealing time for myself. I have plenty of time and space to get a good workout going, but the centrifugal force of sitting on my bum is too pervasive and I can’t muster the energy.
So I sit still and think.
I browse the web and think.
I read a book but am distracted by the thinking.
I clear my throat and realise it sounds like my mother when she cleared hers. I play a time-wasting game on my phone and realise a portion of the fun has gone out of it now that it’s no longer a weekly battle against her for a high score. I let my laptop screen saver – an endless slide show of photos of my girls – take over and find it hard to look at the ones from our trips to visit Grandma. For the most part it’s happy memories, and they will undoubtedly stay happy memories, but right now it’s just raw pain. When the baby wakes up momentarily it’s not the usual annoyance, it’s relief. It gives me something to do.
“They” say time heals all wounds. In reality, time heals nothing. It’s just that as time goes on, we learn to live with another hole in our heart.