This week we are asked to consider the concept of alone.
For each of us it will mean something different.
You can, for example, feel alone in a crowd in the same way you can on a deserted beach.
Thanks to Michael for giving us the theme for this week’s Tale Weaver.
I did a post on this way back when I started my blog in 2013, so I’ve cheated a bit and taken extracts from that as it was almost 1000 words long!
Apparently, 30% of the UK population live alone and there are 800,000 individuals who are lonely. My thoughts are: is this by choice, circumstance, or necessity.
When you hear of someone living alone, do you see them as frail, elderly and a potential victim or target?
Is living alone a fear of commitment, or perhaps being afraid to take on the responsibility of someone else? Is it a form of selfishness being unable to share anything of themselves, or an issue of personal safety?
You can be lonely in a crowd, the one who doesn’t drive, or have the same kind of job responsibility or background, no definite boy/girlfriend, and so can’t really join in the conversation with a ‘personal’ experience.
When my father died, I was glad my mother was living with my sister and thus didn’t have to face the emptiness left by my Dad’s passing on her own. Naturally, it affected all of us as he left a huge hole in our lives, but after 46 years of marriage, especially hers. Mum admitted she could never live alone nor would she want to, and at the time it worked for all of them.
However, when my father-in-law died, mother-in-law was happy on her own.
Her world was the TV, having one in the kitchen, lounge and bedroom, and she would not tolerate interruptions of her preferred programmes by anyone. She discouraged visits from neighbours or former friends to the extent of being rude and ungrateful to people who cared, yet still expecting them to be at her convenience.
When I worked in a High Street bank, pensioners would come to my window on a Monday to withdraw £10 only to pay £5 back in later in the week. For many, it was the only contact they had with other people, and one told me that by making the effort to get out, they felt they were still a part of society.
I have never lived alone. When my first marriage failed, I was lucky to be able to go home and get my act together with parental support.
I remarried in 1991, and cannot imagine life without Hubby in it. He says I’m the sort of person who needs someone to look after and at the moment he’s ‘It’.
The thought of having no-one to share my day, hold my hand when I’m feeling uncertain, cuddle me when I’m feeling low, or pamper me when I’m feeling unwell, isn’t very attractive. Not being able to do all those things for someone else is also not very appealing.
I appreciate some people have always lived alone, have never had a partner nor wanted to share their lives with another person. Some feel having another individual around would just get in their way and upset their routine. Others prefer the company of animals, mostly cats it would appear, but there are a few who just ‘haven’t got around to it’ or those who have never found someone who, in their opinion, is ‘worthy’ to share their life.
They are, I suppose, as lonely as they want to be.