Being Alone

Being alone isn’t so bad as long as you like your own company,” claims Byron Pulsifer. Easy for him to say.

Sometimes I think I spend too much time alone. Yet there’s nothing I can do about it.

My work week begins Wednesday evening and ends Sunday morning. In that short time frame I am by myself roughly 100 hours out of a possible 168 .

While work hours account for some of that time, my wife’s work draws her away from home for hours and hours. Furthermore, she and I have schedules so opposite we’re like “ships in the night.”

“Ships that pass in the night,” wrote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; so on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.”

It leaves me with a lot of time to while-away. About ten years ago I couldn’t deal with it at all and I’d go do stupid stuff like drinking too much or slutting around.

Today though, I no longer misbehave like that. Instead I find myself either reading, researching, writing or watching television when left alone.

Finally, I’ve come to understand what the hell Paul Newman meant when he said, “You only grow when you’re alone.”

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