Christmas is over and the house is empty… again.
For a few sweet days my home was full of noise and laughter. It was full of popping corks, rustling paper, and the tinkling of cutlery against crockery.
The first few days after they all leave to go back to their respective lives are always the hardest. Its like I have to relearn the art of living alone all over again.
And it is an art form, living alone.
A delicate balancing act performed on a daily basis.
Or perhaps its better described as a skill, a skill you learn and hone as the years go by.
First you need to set the boundaries – I liken it to programming a computer that needs set parameters, protocols, and limits. There are rules to follow. A solitary life needs them too. In fact, you need to know those limits so well that you don’t have to think about them anymore. They’re automatic, like driving a car or doing the dishes.
There are definite must-haves. Like music. Or old movies. Always ready to be played when the silence threatens to overwhelm and deafen you.
You need to fill your space with just enough stuff – too much and you feel crowded and penned in. Restless. Too little and you feel small and lost.
Get to know yourself. Talk to yourself. Listen to yourself. Be your own best companion. Your own best friend. Ask yourself the hard questions and be honest in your answers, but most important of all; forgive yourself.
And finally, you need to throw yourself into your passions – reading, writing, art, music, embroidery, sudoku. Whatever they are you need to devote yourself to them so your time is filled.
Hopefully, then, though you may be alone, you won’t be lonely.