I spent last Saturday in my apartment, completely alone (not counting dog Rigby and cat Remy), sleeping on and off throughout the day, doing nothing in between the zzzz’s. It was glorious. David was visiting a prisoner in Rhode Island (he’s a defense attorney), and wasn’t returning till after 6, so I had hours to myself. The weather was damp and dreary, a bit of chill in the fall air, which made staying home even cozier. I didn’t want to see or speak to a soul, which is impossible to do when you step outside in Manhattan at any hour.
The solitude couldn’t have come at a better time, after months of non-stop planning for the September 29th FOF Beauty Bash, which involved hundreds of conversations and countless meetings. I briefly entertained going for a manicure, which I desperately needed, but quickly thought it could wait.
Choosing to be alone is different, of course, than being lonely. While loneliness is not a happy feeling, voluntary aloneness can be delightful. You’re accountable to no one. You put your concerns on hold. You don’t have to utter a word. Or think a single meaningful thought. It gives you a chance to recharge your batteries.
I’ve often thought that I’d like to go to Paris alone. I’d jump on a different Metro line every day and get off at stops I didn’t know, to explore new parts of the city I love best. I’d walk for miles and enjoy dinner at places that aren’t listed in any tour guide. I’d return to my room, ready for sleep. That scenario is the polar opposite of staying home alone for a day, but the possibility excites me.
I’m blessed. I can enjoy my alone time, taking comfort that I have loving family and friends a stone’s throw, email or call away. I know that many aren’t so fortunate. They’re alone, not out of choice. They are lonely, even when they’re in a room full of people. I am sad for those who feel this way and hope they can figure out how to accept and live with themselves. Even though our world is filled with billions of people, this is one of the secrets of leading a happy life.