Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Pros and Cons of Solitude

Up until last August, I had never lived alone. I shared a room with my sister growing up. At the ripe old age of 18, I traded her for a smaller room and a different roommate at WCU. Two weeks after my college graduation, I signed up for what I thought was a life long roommate when I got married. A bit over a year later, I became a mommy and the rest was as they say...history. I was one of those moms who always stayed involved and volunteered for everything. Our house was the local hang-out. I had a constant stream of companions. Alone time was a welcome and much coveted event.

Four years after divorce and with my youngest heading off to school last August, life as I had always known it came to a screeching halt! Gone were the teenagers who invariably found their way through my revolving door. Gone were the after school activities. Gone were the connections with the other "involved" moms. I was suddenly, utterly and completely alone. The just-me-time that had always been beyond my grasp was staring me right in the ol' eye! I had absolutely no idea what to do with myself.

It has been a trip, I tell ya. They always say be careful what you wish for, and that could not be more true than in this case. While I can say with all-out certainty, it isn't all bad, I have to admit it isn't always grand. The life of living singularly has led me to a few revelations. Thought I would share in case any of you are thinking the grass might be greener...

Pro - Peace and quiet. No loud noises. No one yelling for you just as you are planting yourself on the porcelain throne. No one blasting their music while demanding to know where they put........ Fill in the blank with absolutely anything and you will be on the mark! No bickering. No need to be peace-maker.

Con - Absolute silence. No one to talk to. You talk to yourself. No one to answer back. You answer yourself. You talk to the dog. The dog just stares with cocked head. You answer for the dog. The dog starts to think you may be crazy!

Pro - Evenings are your own. No more ball games. No more meetings. No more late night projects. No more study sessions.

Con - An empty social calendar. Get up. Go to work. Come home. Eat. Go to bed. Repeat.

Pro - No cooking required! Need I say more.

Con - Your diet consists of frozen dinners, macaroni and cheese...the Easy Mac variety...and soup. When nuking your food gets to be too much of a hassle, you switch to Doritos and Pop Tarts. And you don't even think about toasting the tasty little pastries. You eat them straight out of the foil packaging. You convince yourself you are getting a balanced diet...Doritos fill the need for a colorful diet and Pop Tarts do have that fruit filling!

Pro - Two measly loads of laundry a week vs. 14 hefty loads.

Con - Several weeks pass and you realize you have worn the same pair of sweats every night and every weekend...without washing them. Not that bad until the clothes start talking back to you. Of course, this solves problem number one.

Pro - No kid's clutter and no one to pick up after. You never have to make your bed. Heck, you all but live in your bed. No need to wash dishes. Trash cans can overflow and dirty clothes need never reach the hamper. Oh yeah, you just keep wearing your dirty clothes so no hamper needed.

Con - The clutter is worse than before and it is all your's.  Chores belong to you and only you. You never realized how handy a teenager's helping hand can be.

Pro - No more setting an example, there's really no need to be your own teacher. Farting and burping at will is allowed and welcomed.

Con - Not really a con here as I see it. Of course, you must be able to control yourself should the need arise. Otherwise things could get embarrassing.

Pro - You can run around in your underwear or naked if you feel the urge.

Con - Can't fully appreciate this one yet. Got to keep working on my "lovin' myself" attitude to be able to do that. Ain't nothing pretty about pasty white cellulite bounding around the house even if you are alone.

Pro - There is no one to tell you what to do.

Con - There is no one to do anything with.

So what do you think? I think if you are lucky enough to still be experiencing the madness of mommy-hood you should embrace it and cherish it despite the fact it is an all-consuming-suck-the-life-out-of-you-never-let-you-get-a-moments-peace way of life. But what a life it is! Take it from the girl on the other side of the fence.


  1. Lisa, thank you for this post. It was so honest and truthful. I do truly appreciate every day of picking up laundry and toys and driving my girls all over town. But thank you for the reminder of how blessed we are. If you ever need someone to chat, I am here for you.


  2. Ohmyheck! I can't even imagine. I love the revolving door. I love having the kids here all the time. I even love their arguing sometimes. I feel for you sista. You always have me here in blogland!! :)

  3. Hi Lisa, thanks for visiting my blog! That is so cool you live in Asheville, about 3 hours from me (I'm in Asheboro) I absolutely LOVE your post, it is so true! I don't have any kids but I do have a boyfriend of over 8 years, I guess you can call him my "big kid".
    Love your scrapbook pages, they are beautiful!
    I'll definitely be back to visit your blog.

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    What a great post... no kids in my house, but the hubby and friends keep me busy. I actually kind of like the quiet time when I get it.
    I posted a giveaway over on my blog, so come by and enter if you like the color pink!
    And good luck with the purging! It's always hard to start.

  5. oh you made me laugh with this post! i wonder if this is how my parents feel...both their kids are moved out now...but they still have each other and a cat lol so maybe not the same =P

    girl you need to get out there and make friends! lol make your own social calendar, pick up hobbies, go to crops at your LSS, go out dancing! have some fun! and throw out the sweats please, they don't do anyone justice!! =)

  6. Lisa, I wish you lived closer, I'd come hang out at your quiet house and eat pop tarts from the package with you! The noise around here is deafening...

    But it is a good reminder to appreciate it while it is here. :-)

  7. Get a pet. I'm neither divorced, nor an empty nester, both kids still live at home, one is working, or with his girlfriend, the other is in school, but I am home alone all day. I blog, I talk to dogs, I scrapbook. I'm lucky that I don't have to work outside the house but sometimes interacting with real people would be nice.
    AND you aren't really alone, you have blog readers!

  8. I had short periods of time all by myself and Joe travels so much that I am here half the time with just me!!! What you said is sooooo true. I had such a tough time after Danielle got married and I mourned her leaving, then I got into scrapbooking and card making!!!! So true about the dinner time, I always nuke something when Joe is not here, but it is sooo tough to do this all of the time.... It's a new you and a new time to explore. When you are lonely, I am only a phone call away!!!! I love the post, you are something else!!!! Love ya, sweet friend!!

  9. Thanks for reminding me how lucky I am, sometimes I wonder if I will ever get time alone, but then again I don't want to be alone all the time. I hope your social calendar fills up with some fun things that YOU want to do, like taking dance classes or coffee with long lost friends. Okay, now go wash those sweats before they start posting on your blog ;)

  10. Wow...you did have one full life...right from mommy and daddy's house to being mommy and daddy. It is a transition and a big one you are going through. And I just have to give you all the credit in the world for doing it in a sane manner. And thanks for finding my blog...I'm glad you did because I like your blog too! :)

  11. PS...I'm in the middle...sometimes I get that lonely feeling during the week when my fiance's at work and then when my stepchildren are down on the weekend I just love hanging out with them and doing projects and activities. We tried having cats....but Im allergic!

  12. You really have a way with writing your posts that we never get bored!! I have 2 girls to keep me very busy (14 and the other turns 19 next month)and it's true - busy with softball, busy with school, busy with their friends, errands, etc.....and I say to my dh sometimes - someday it will just be you and me. But I know we will miss the "noise" of having our girls at home.

    Your post is funny and entertaining but I also feel for you being alone so much.....too bad your boyfriend lives so far away. :-(

    Take Care girl and eat better!! ;-)

  13. Hi Lisa, what a thought provoking post. I don't have kids yet but I'm sort of dreading the noise, clutter and loss of down time if and when I do! You certainly made me think about both sides of the coin... Thanks for stopping by my blog (the kitties were sternly talked to - but then I had to apologise for locking them into the scrapbook room for 9 hours in the first place!!)

  14. man, i don't know what to say. are you dating? lol, now i know why my parents started fighting when we all moved out. they had to talk to each other. i think you should this EVERYDAY -----> run around in your underwear or naked if you feel the urge-- !!! lol!!!

  15. HI Lisa Love this post. I am always wondering what it will be like when it comes to the time that the kids are grown and go their own ways. THnak goodness they are still young and we have a ways to go.
    THanks for stopping by my blog your so sweet!

  16. I think the only way I keep my purse organized is by having those little zippy pouches in there, although I can never find my keys, they never stay where I put them. haha. hope you got yourself some pizza and thanks for coming by and reading the old blog! Happy Thursday!

  17. I so appreciate your honesty and openness. I understand a portion of what you are feeling as I went through a divorce about 12 years ago (no children) and needed to live alone and figure it all out! I promise that you will!

  18. hi Lisa
    you had me laughing or shaking my head in acknowledgment while reading this. i can relate somewhat. my hubby and i are empty-nesters (my daughter and my grandson have been here while she is taking a semester of college, but will be leaving again at the end of the semester)and my hubby is away from home a lot for work. the solitude is good for a bit, but it can get pretty quiet around here. i also talk to myself AND answer myself.

    i love the scrap pages you made with the limited supplies. i really like those stamps.
    i'm hoping i get to scrap some this weekend with paper and glue. did you get a chance to check out Scrapblog. just a little warning. it can be addicting.

    one more day til the weekend. have a good one!

  19. Lisa, I just can't imagine...I have to admit there are days when I do get frustrated at the LACK of alone time, but really I do love and appreciate my life 99% of the time and know I wouldn't want it any other way...I'll be doing lots of volunteer work when my time comes to be an empty nester, I'm sure...Big hugs to you...

  20. You and I have alot in common. I'm divorced after 20 years of marriage. My kids left home soom after and then I had empty nest. After awhile I started going out with my friends and "finding myself" I really had fun because I'd never been alone. But now my son is married and I have two grandbabies!!! It is so much better!!!

  21. Thank you for stopping by my blog :D I took your advice and put out a post in english, sometimes you need a reason to do what you have been thinking about for oh SO long ;) And for me it was the hint you gave me about writing in english... I finally did it! So thank you!

    About your post, I'm not a mommy yet but reading what you wrote made me think about my mom and how she must have been going crazy with us kids growing up ;) But you must know that we love you moms for all that you have done for us! I think that is wonderful that you share this and I wish you all the best with your frozen dinners (I love those too ;)) and ofcourse finding yourself!

    Take care! Johanna

  22. wow, thank you for stopping by my blog, I
    'm glad I found you. I luv your honesty and I'm sorry for you pain. I'm here to tell you there's life after Divorce and the life you will be creating will be completely different but more satisfying, cause you are wiser and have been down that road before..

    I encourage you to experiment with food and try new dishes you would not have done so before cause you had to please others..

    Start with steps like that and go in an adventure...
    Have fun Keep me posted :)
    God Bless

  23. I loved your post! What a humorous way to look at the changes in your life. Right now I am at the stage of a mom with a young child and sometimes a little solitude sounds like heaven. ;)


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