Monday, 24 July 2017
It Feels Like Starting Over
In my mind, in my private dialogues where I amuse and entertain myself, I am calling this sharing a life thing 'weeness'. (Jim, yes my partner is now getting a name publicly, being from Scotland would have an entirely different interpretation of this word 'weeness'.) This weeness is mostly a pleasant thing, the sharing of both the mundane and the delightful, but it is still something I notice because I have been accustomed to solitary functioning for so long.
Often he asks me, 'What are we doing today?' I understand it's an attempt to gather information about his upcoming day. Apparently I am in charge and I might not have any complaints about that. Or perhaps he wishes to give me the illusion of control. Quite likely he is asking as a form of consideration for me, not wishing to impose anything on me because he knows I will have some sort of plan or rough idea of how the day should unfold. I have noticed that he likes to ask me what I want before stating what he wants.
When asked "What are we doing today?" My thoughts begin like this....
1. I don't know what you are doing but I would like to write/read/paint/waste time on Pinterest or Facebook and drink coffee.
2. Awww it's so amazing to be half of a 'we'
3. OMG I am never alone anymore; how strange. Even stranger...I don't mind.
4. Wait a minute...I am alone sometimes. Phew. Now, let's do something together.
Thought number one sounds a bit bitchy but it isn't meant to be. It's mainly that unless my plans include some cooking or laundry, my plans for every day are always that I am intending to do some reading/writing/painting and I will probably also waste time on the internet.
While I love and enjoy the company of other people, or at least some people some of the time, I will inevitably retreat to my lair to be alone again after a bit of social interaction and stay there with much relief. I don't have social anxiety and am quite capable of going out and doing the shopping or going for a walk and encountering people with whom I will make friendly small talk but it's tiring. Exhausting sometimes. I like being alone in crowds and not talking to anyone, just observing. I like doing things my way, on my own time, in my own space, and I've had that for several years. Now I am choosing to give it up.
Or am I? Not fully. Not really. I chose a partner who is similar to me. He likes to be alone, he likes to stay home, he likes to experience brief social encounters and then retreat. He has solitary hobbies. We are like toddlers in that we happily engage in parallel play. At this moment we are each sitting at the table a few feet across from each other. I am writing, he is uploading photos, making a slide show, uploading music for a playlist to use on our next road trip. We make tea or coffee for each other periodically. One of the greatest compliments we can give each other is to say 'being with you is as good as being alone.'
Of course there are exceptions, moments when the togetherness is too much for both of us. Recently I was informed that my hovering was impeding his ability to enjoy shopping at Canadian Tire in the gadgets department. I scarpered off to the bookstore. Today we ventured out into the land of shops again and this time the plan was that he would happily wait in the car while I went to the second hand book shop and then I would wait in the next door cafe while he poked around in Home Depot. It was a morning of popping into different shops and then meeting up in the car again. There was a torrential downpour which we sat through, wondering if we needed to alter our plans and then realising that we have plenty of time, that we could sit and enjoy each other's company and wait it out. So we did. I got some books, Jim got his tools and electrical bits, we picked up some groceries and did a bit of banking, then happily returned home to our nest, the one we each share with another who is just as good as being alone.