Thursday, March 24, 2016

By Cathy

Being by myself
Being alone
Those words don’t bring fear.
They don’t cause my heart to race.
In fact, solitary activities bring me pleasure.

When I was about two, my sister and I spent a few days with my grandmother. The story goes that she was extremely worried and told my mother that “Something is wrong with Cathy. She just sits in the corner and plays all by herself? That is not normal!” I was told this story and for a long time I believed it. Well, Nanny, there is nothing wrong with me. It is just who I am. I am a quiet person. I am a loner. I am part of the group of individuals who prefer solitude. We are content to have very limited social interaction and do not feel lonely when we are alone.

Life does not allow me to be by myself and I really wouldn’t want it that way. I have responsibilities. I have family and friends. Neglecting them would be a terrible mistake. There are times though, when life rushes madly around me and the company of others brings stress and even panic, that I know it is time for solitude.  I have a favorite place to escape life’s chatter; a quiet park with a beautiful lake and trails meandering through flower gardens and woods.

As soon as I get out of the car I feel the peacefulness beginning to restores me. I walk slowly along the water’s edge headed to my favorite spot, the gazebo. There is a bench facing the lake, but I would rather sit on the steps of the gazebo as close to the water as I can get.

I close my eyes and listen to the gentle flow of water, a woodpecker looking for his noon meal, various song birds, and a frog jumping in the water with a splash. Then, with my eyes still closed I begin to feel. I feel the breeze as it caresses my face and the sunlight on my shoulders. Peace just seems to flood right through me.

When I open my eyes I see small waves sparkling with sunlight, two graceful swans, trees beginning to bud, and the most glorious blue sky. I see moss covered rocks and yellow daffodils dancing in the wind. I see a large back moth and a buzzing bee.

I smile. I am happy. I am content. I am grateful. I am blessed.

Do you take the time to nourish yourself, to rest, to relax? When life has been overwhelming do you read, have a cup of tea, take a walk, listen to music, take a long hot bath or just sit quietly?  One of the most important things we can do is to take time for ourselves. It is not selfish, it is necessary!  I hope you’ll carve a little time into your schedule each week for yourself and do something that makes you happy. Because happiness brings smiles and smiles are contagious!


Anonymous said...

Cathy, you just described myself to a T! Ive always been a loner, or as some call me (an introvert) but thats ok. Im fine with just the company of myself. Sure, I love my family, and enjoy our times together, but when all the chaos starts, its time for me to go find my happy place, with me, myself and I lol! Nothing gives me more peace than a walk on the beach, taking my dog for a walk and last but not least...taking photos of any and everything that I find speaks to my heart! Thanks for sharing your story, and the photos are gorgeous!

Carol said...

I truly identify! This is why I was drawn to contemplative photography. I am laughing because, intovert that you are, you have just described one of their primary exercises! You close your eyes , open and see! You could be a guru..... but I am with you -rather practice it than teach it! I just finished reading "Quiet" - you might enjoy it. It describes we people who get energy from quiet.

Lisa Comperry said...

I love being around my friends and family too, but count me in as another loner..I have to have some alone time...I use it to nap, read, spin yarn, hike and take pictures...If I don't have any or enough time to myself, I become irritated and cranky..

AFishGirl said...

The woods, I need to be in the woods near the river. I'm in dire need of it now, as winter draws to a close. Once I'm in the woods, all my angst leaves and I am restored. Introvert here as well, dyed in the wool. A non-shy introvert, so the tests tell me. That gazebo looks like a slice of paradise.

Dotti said...

Me five! I think many who are drawn to photography are introverts. Except when you're photographing a group of people, photography is basically you and your camera - what your eyes see and your heart feels. And then it expresses itself when you snap the shutter. I'm not anti-social, I'm just comfortable in my own company, or as the young people say, comfortable in my own skin. I not only crave, I require, a certain amount of quiet and solitude each day, which will usually find me with my Kindle in my hands. But there does come a point where I know I need to seek out company and have found that I must include others in some part of my day. There is a balance - although it leans heavily on the solitary time. Thanks for expressing what so many of us feel and know about ourselves, Cathy!

Lisa Gordon said...

My goodness, how I identify with what you've said here.
As much as I love being with family and friends, my alone time is a definite requirement.

Sarah Huizenga said...

Finding time to be alone is always a challenge. I am finding that the more confident I become in myself that more I want to get out and meet new people and be a part of the world. But I do need that alone time to be creative.

terriporter said...

In this crazy world that we all live in, I think some solitude is absolutely essential! I know when all my time is spoken for and there is no time to "just be", I long to get away from it all. That's usually when I pick up my camera and head to a favorite spot for some alone time. Your gazebo is such a gorgeous place and I can imagine you sitting on those steps and enjoying the sounds and sights around you and the solitude and peace. I think I need to make some time to do just that!

JUDITH said...

I am glad you like adventures. Your photo shots are wonderful.

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