There is an old saying that “character is what you do when there is no one else around”, and I find that to be more and more true as I grow older. Due to the schedules that Hal and I have, weekends are times of solitude for me. Every Saturday and Sunday, Hal works during the day and comes home tired. This means that we never venture into town and that we rarely socialize on the weekends. Personally, it means that I have hours alone on the weekends. It is how I deal with these times that defines me to a great degree.
When I was younger, I lived for the weekend. I would stay out late and have all the fun that I could. Because I was single, I had no obligations to anyone else about how I spent my time. I cannot always say that I made the wisest decisions back then, but it was a learning experience that I was not aware of at the time. There are regrets simply because in hindsight we can always find things that we either wish we wouldn’t have done, or things that we wish we would have done instead. Now, I take those lessons and learn from them.
I am going to take time today and cook. I love to cook because it gives me a sense of creativity and I enjoy it. I spend the weekends with The Stooges, and I know that I am better off doing so because both Hal and I are responsible for them, we love them, and each moment we spend with them is a treasure even if they sleep most of the day.
I enjoy listening to music of all types, except C&W, while I have this time to myself. I read as much as I can to keep my brain engaged. I will make a trip for necessities, but I am usually here. The time alone is actually good for me in many ways. I believe that it makes me and Hal closer because we have to make the effort to remain connected when we are together after these times apart. Even a holiday weekend doesn’t change the routine, and this might be considered a downer, but when I balance it against the time that we do have together, it is a small sacrifice to make. I realize that if I were to hold onto the grudge that we don’t have the weekends together that it would poison our relationship, and I don’t want that.
Solitude is best when it is not constant, like all things. Having it on a schedule makes it a time that is beneficial rather than yearning for it and not finding it. Solitude is the time when we look inwards and begin to understand ourselves better.
Hal came home from work to find dinner waiting for him. After an hour or so discussing the day, he has gone to take a nap. Life goes on and so does the solitude. Knowing how to deal with it is a sign of maturity.