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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dreaming of Vegetables

I am exhausted and I am craving vegetables. The new job seems to have an endless supply of free candy, soda and coffee which means that my entire diet last week consisted to those three items. Yesterday I crashed hard. Today I feel a little bit better.

Today, the only thing missing in my life is healthy food (and a shower and a clean house). But in my dream last night I dreamed that I was married. My in-laws had this duplex which was really kinda a duplex shack with all sorts of strange walls, etc. I thought we had our own place but when we went to go to bed it turned out that that there was another couple in the same room in another bed. I wasn't really bothered by all this closeness. What I was bothered by was the fact that I like to have sex. I drew the other female aside and tried to work out a deal with her (a la college dorm room style) that we each vacate the room for certain alternate periods to allow the other couple to have sex or we "do it super quiet". 

Ah. My waking life is so different. I woke up in my twin bed by myself. And my first thought was "gosh, I would feel a whole lot better if I ate some vegetables". 

Interestingly enough, my first thought was NOT "I am alone" or "I wish I had a husband" or "I want sex". That wasn't even my 2nd or 3rd thought or ANY thought yet this morning.

Yesterday, an IM suitor (you know, the ones who like to IM you when they get bored at work) left over from the match.com days inquired as to the reasons for my "sex hiatus". He seemed to think that I just hadn't met the right guy lately and all I needed was a dose of his manpowers and I'd give up on my sex hiatus forever. 

Its not that I don't have a sex drive. It IS that I don't want to intimately engage with anyone right now. I am still busy getting to know myself. So engaging with others is incredibly draining. I'd rather spend my energies (and limited free time) cooking or working on the house or swimming. I need to take care of myself and nurture myself right now and do activities which replenish my store of enthusiasm, charge up my passion batteries. And for some reason anytime I get involved with a new person (sexually or not) I end up giving a lot of myself to that new relationship. I think that this is just the nature of any new relationship. 

There will come a time when I am ready to re-engage with others and to enjoy new friendships and spend some time polishing the old ones. But that time hasn't come for me yet. I know this because every time I have tried to "get out there" and make new friends, I come home exhausted at my very core.

I have come to understand that as humans we have our own unique seasons. There are social seasons and then there are seasons of solitude. I suspect that in the past when we didn't have electric lighting and climate control, our internal seasons lined up more with the natural seasons. Winter was a time for solitude and reflection and summer was a time for socializing and connection and sharing. Obviously my seasons are all jacked up because its summer and I just want to be a hermit.

Although I am thriving at the new job which requires constantly meeting and connecting (in a professional manner) with new people. Maybe that is my big relationship for this summer. Who knows what next summer will bring.

Or maybe I am just simply a winter socializer with all the fruitcake and mulled wine and hot chocolate. 

Who knows. But I know enough by now to respect my own internal seasons and not to push myself in exhausting directions when I could be enjoying the comfort that solitude provides. 

And now, for the Cheesy Essay Questions Section:
What about you? What do you think about this concept of internal seasons? What kinds of things make solitude wonderful? What aspects of the social season do you most enjoy? 


The Peach Tart said...

Solitude is wonderful. I have spent many many months in solitude. I heard a good quote years ago "if you don't enjoy spending time with yourself....why would somebody else?"

The Singlutionary said...

Thanks Peach Tart! Knowing that someone like you (a very social, funny and multiplied married woman) also enjoys solitude further confirms my suspicion that my times of solitude only pave the way for times of sharing boisterous laughter over some fundies* at a divorce party*.

*these two items are in reference to The Peach Tarts hilarious blog--go read it!

Clever Elsie said...

Before I get into internal seasons, I just have to say that re. your Match leftover's comments, I think that's reflective of the contemporary American mentality that sex is the be-all-end-all of human existence. I mean, life just isn't worth living without sex, right? LOL.

This is the first time I've heard of the idea of a seasonal social clock, and I think it's intriguing. As an introvert, I'm very familiar with that feeling of exhaustion you describe after a social event. Occasionally I feel energized after hanging out with others, but usually, even if I had a good time, I'm also relieved to be by myself again. I think I feel "on" in social settings, no matter how well I know the people I'm with, so I need to have a two-to-one ratio of time "off" to recharge.

I'm not sure this is seasonal for me, but I do notice that there seem to be more opportunities for socializing in the spring/summer just because it's warmer. Also, I find myself coming out of seclusion to catch up with everyone every few weeks to a month, then retreating to immerse myself in my own work.

iol. singal said...

Singl'y .... (I haven't known you for long so I don't know if this is relevant)..... but if you had gotten "used" to not being in an office environment and with a lot of people, then maybe you are getting enough "connection" with others through work, so when you get home you just want to NOT be with others.... you're happy to be alone.

Just a thought ....:-)

Stevi said...

I agree with the internal seasons concept. And I think if you embrace solitude and use it as a time to reflect and get to know yourself and just be OK with being alone it is awesome. You can just hang out and you get to like yourself better and know that you don't have to have someone else to make you "whole".

Some people will NEVER be alone or do anything alone and I feel sorry for them. I like to be social most the time but I will also go to a movie by myself once in a while. It's liberating. :)

Kahnee said...

I am definitely a summer socialite. I want to be out having fun in the day and cuddling with someone at night. Espeically since my kids are gone most nights.

The Singlutionary said...

Clever Elsie: Yes, there is a mentality that everyone is craving sex and that is the end-all-be-all of life. I do crave sex but at the same time I crave my own solitude and sanity and this precious hiatus from the whole male/female dynamic more.

You seem to have a monthly social clock. I think mine goes by years maybe. I am social for a few years and then seek solitude for a few years. Of course, I think this past year was unique for me because there was a lot of trauma and that has led to a lot of personal reflection.

Singal: You are so right! I do get enough social interaction at work that I don't crave it at home. But someday I would like to have some social energy left after work so that I can enjoy non-work relationships again. I am sure that time will come . . . in time.

Stevi: I am so glad you like going to movies by yourself! I always go alone! I love going to movies by myself because I find it very relaxing. It IS liberating! You can see whatever you want whenever you want and sit through the exact amount of credits you want and get there just as early/late as you want. And you can sit in the exact row that you want. Plus, I really love movies and sometimes I don't want to have to share the experience with someone who doesn't appreciate them as much as I do. My next post is actually going to be about movies (and my non-utah-ish behavior).

Kahnee: I do enjoy the late summer nights and staying up late in the summer. I enjoyed it more though when I lived in Northern CA and a nice chill would roll in after sunset. That chill made snuggles oh so much sweeter! Honestly, snuggling has a lot to do with weather. Maybe I should only snuggle in the winter. In the summer here I just get too hot and irritated. Its dangerous!

Bananas Rosa said...

I live with my dog in small house in a hill, where there are few houses. I enjoying taking long walks, just see cows and occasionally a few cars driving by. Your post really got to me because I felt very identified by your conclusion of personal seasons: social and solitude.

I refer to my solitude season as "hibernating". I enjoy hibernating in the silence and warmth of my home. I am way past feeling desperate for companionship on vulnerable dates like the cliché Friday and Saturday nights, when a single person is supposed to want to go out and socialize in a bar, club, rest. Luckily I don´t feel that need anymore. Those nights I stay home by myself, cooking and watching flicks. I even turn down plans to go out with my friends because I just see no point in getting all dolled up, the makeup, the hair, the clothes!!! Socializing can be so exhausting. I specially dislike holidays where there's pressure upon you to be a happy, shinny person. I have skipped going to the past social "mandatory" celebrations in my family because I don't want to be there against my wish, making it sour for everybody else and myself. Ej, a baby shower (I sent the gift though), Father's day (I called my dad to greet him and he got mad at me for excusing myself for not attending). Sure, sometimes I feel the need to socialize and I do, and its fun! Specially while traveling, I get into my socializing, travel mood.

@ Stevi, I totally agree with you in that there are people that never do stuff alone, not even go to the movies! My opinion is that these people can't deal with solitude because they are afraid to be by themselves with their own thoughts.

The Singlutionary said...

Bananas: There are moments of every day when I would rather NOT be alone with my own thoughts. But those tiny moments pass and if I were to spend all day around people just to avoid those moments I wouldn't be listening to my own internal voice and I wouldn't be me.

I agree that some people have a hard time being alone because their thoughts are really painful or their own internal voice is something they don't really want to hear yet. For some people, the social season is ALWAYS on.

I think that naturally, as I've gotten older, my desire for solitude has increased. Lately, I have been experiencing less solitude than before and interacting with the world more and I see why I sometimes find it so difficult.

Anyways, I enjoyed your observations and hearing about your solitary walks with your dog. Ahhhhh. I love my city but I often long for lush green wilderness.

Susan Walsh said...

I can totally relate to the idea of a season for solitude. Showing my age here, but it's the old Byrds song (and of course from the Bible): Turn, Turn, Turn. To everything there is a season.

I don't get to have a whole season--I have a husband and family who get a little testy when I don't deliver Katie Couric-style perkiness. It's become a joke that I "just want to be left alone." Seriously, going out with others on the weekend often feels like so much more trouble than it is worth!

My idea of at least one kind of perfect day is working alone in my garden, followed by curling up with a good book, and then not preparing dinner for anyone.