Sunday, October 10, 2010

#79 - Thoughts on Solitude and Loneliness

Over the last three days, I've had the chance to spend some time alone. Teresa and Christopher flew to Alabama to visit Teresa's family, and I took the dog, hitched up the fifth wheel, and headed to Anderson Ranch Reservoir, about a two-hour drive from Boise.

I parked the trailer roughly 50-feet from the water's edge. Thursday, I had the beach to myself. The sun was out, and I was able to enjoy the quiet. I pulled out a chair and sat by the water, reading. Oliver and I also got in a nice long walk along the shoreline. All in all, a very nice day spent relaxing and contemplating.

Friday, I gained some neighbors, who parked their rigs about 50-yards away. Without knowing it, I had apparently parked in the spot where the best fishing from the shore was to be had.

With their arrival also came a change in the weather. It got cloudier, breezier, and cooler. And the solitude became a little lonely. I started thinking about Teresa and Christopher and wishing they were with me. I actually began to think about cutting my stay short. Instead, I fired up the generator and watched a movie.

Saturday was even cooler and windier and more overcast than Friday, and I was seriously considering whether to pack up and head home. It felt a little like being stuck inside on a rainy day except there was no one to do anything with. Just as I was about to decide to head home, the skies cleared and with them, my mood. I decided to stay another night.

Sunday morning, I was still trying to decide whether to pull out or stay another night (since I also have Monday off). I started to do dishes and then realized I was actually packing stuff away. My decision was made.

It was a beautiful day for the drive - sunny but not too warm. Part of me considered staying, as I would have had my section of the beach all to myself again, but more practical concerns (waste water storage among them) convinced me I made the right decision.

Two years ago I would not have risked making this trip alone. I'm glad I did. Having Oliver along certainly helped, but I learned I am able to enjoy time alone.

I also learned how important weather can be to one's mood, especially when you are out on your own. When the sun was shining, I was able to enjoy the solitude, but when it was cloudy and windy or even raining and I had to stay inside, I felt isolated, which is, I suppose, the negative side of solitude.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I learned how much having Teresa and Christopher along means to me. Even when I crave some solitude or alone time, knowing they are there and available gives me an incredible security blanket and the knowledge that I am not alone, at least not in the sense of being lonely.