Being Alone Can be a Good Experience

by Linda

I have been reading stories on this website for a few months and I have noticed a common factor among many retirees.

Retirement, whether voluntary or involuntary, seems to bring about feelings of loneliness or the fear of losing touch with people in the workforce.

I recently read a book, "Celebrating Time Alone -Stories of Splendid Solitude", written by Lionel Fisher. This book is a collection of stories about people of all age groups, gender, and stages of life who give their commentary about how being alone has effected their lives.

Being alone has a negative connotation but these stories, in this book, will give you a new perspective on how living alone can bring a time of peace and self-rejuvenation into your retirement.

Our society is not conducive to embracing a lifestyle where a person does not want marriage, children or multiple members in a household. This book gives equal time to everyone who does or does not enjoy solitude.

After reading the book, I felt vindicated about my choices in life. I believe I can now accept retirement with less resentment and more encouragement about my remaining days on earth.

Living a life of solitude is all about loving your self and accepting who you are no matter what has happened in your life.

You should always be your best friend.

Comments for Being Alone Can be a Good Experience

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by: Sherry/Wilmington, NC

Hi, The prof. has a good soul!!

You can live in a city with a million people and still feel alone.

Whereever you go just connect with people! I do; even at Costco!!

People are interesting and enjoy having contact. Smile a lot that one thing draws people to me!!

Doing things on your own!
by: Ken San Diego

Great to hear what you are doing... solo wise! I like the part where you said these years are a gift! I have to remember that!

Thanks for sharing!

Enjoying my solitude
by: Anonymous

The first 25 years I spent living in my parent's home, the next 20 years living as a married woman with a child who is now grown and on his own. The past 16 years since my divorce have been spent living by myself. Sold my home of 25 years and moved into a condo. I can honestly say that I love living alone.

I have traveled solo after traveling with others for years. Love it. I enjoy movies, theater, concerts, eating out, reading and trying new activities. No need for company unless I am asked by someone or interested in someone joining me. I get together with friends for lunch or dinner dates. Facebook keeps me in touch with many who I lost contact with for various reasons.

I am now taking a drawing class and I am enjoying the challenges. I volunteer as a tutor for a literacy program in the inner city near me working with a young student each week in hopes that her reading skills will improve. I also volunteer at a state park's nature center as a greeter welcoming the many visitors from near and far. There are still other interests that I am thinking becoming a volunteer.

Life marches on and I consider these years left as a gift and intend to use them wisely. Once I got over the initial stage of first retiring, things started to feel like a new normal and I am very grateful that I still can enjoy the things that bring value and pleasure into my life.

I hope all on this thread find that too.

Living alone etc.
by: Ken San Diego

I can honestly say, that I have MORE fun and MEMORABLE trips when I go solo! Nothing like having a friend show up late and it is me frantically driving to the train station etc.

When I go solo, I KNOW I will get to the airport 2 - 3 hours earlier so any delays will not get me into a panic mode.

Nothing as irritating as my boss banging on the airline door because he got there late! I was hoping the plane would leave him behind! ;-)

Going to dinner solo (some people feel awkward, but who cares if the other diners see could be like me ON BUSINESS having dinner) plus, I don't have to be the one to add more to the tip because my dinner guest is too cheap! ;-)

SO enjoy your freedom....

Solitary Refinement
by: JoAnn/Corpus Christi

A few years ago I concentrated my efforts to develop skills to enjoy solitude. I made a poster and entitled it "Solitary Refinement." It reminds me that enjoying solitude is a skill that can be developed.

Loners Unite!
by: Wendy

I am quite the loner, a.k.a. introvert -- many here wouldn't imagine that as I am chatty online, hidden behind my screen!

Love this discussion!

I've often said I could live a full life, as a hermit on a hilltop, IF ONLY I had a great internet connection! GRIN!



by: LOYCE, Auburn, CA

When we live by ourselves, it is prob a good plan to have peeps (positive ones) visit and if one is mobile, to go out and use errands as a time to talk with others because most of us need camaraderie/ companionship.

Since it has been raining and I'm INSIDE more than usu, I try to have pleasant surroundings and recently had some light improvements (paint) and clutter removal so as to open up space.

We should pat ourselves on our backs for all we have accomplished and survived. Yes, we need self/appreciation and we need to try to remain strong as we are our own caretakers.

I have little talks with myself to elevate my moods; I visit my mini parrots in their aviary; take the dog for a walk and work out almost daily at the local health club where I often converse with other members and staffers.

I call neighbors and friends to check in with them. I've recently taken up pool and took a lesson and am helping to start a bowling league and hope to resume playing with my fellow uke players.

Constantly, I seek out new up/beat endeavors/peeps to dimensionalize my world in a small town.

Loneliness Can Be Wonderful
by: Alice in DC

Thank you for seeing the difference between being alone and loneliness. That pushes the gratitude factor of being alone sky high.

Loving my Loneliness
by: Retd. Prof. Durgeshkumar Srivastava, C-3 Janakpuri, New Delohi-58, India

I thank Wendy Fisher (also my facebook friend) and retirement-online for this article on the Good Experience of Being Alone and all the comments on this article.

The articles and the comments are written beautifully and fill my heart with joy and self-satisfaction. The joys of being alone have nothing to do with your surroundings and the people around you. These joys come from within you and from your life attitudes. You can feel alone in a crowd and your can feel crowded even if you are alone.

I experience perfect joy and peace being alone while living in the midst of family (my wife, sons, daughters in law and grand children+ and a large circle of friends. I spend my time enjoying the things I love .... a little reading, a lot of writing, being on the social media and having twice daily gossip sessions with fellow retiree friends in the nearby park, where I also spend some time alone watching wild birds, squirrels and stray dogs.

Retd. Prof. Durgeshkumar Srivastava, C3, Janakpuri, New Delhi, India, 11 Feb.,2017

Being Alone
by: Nancy

I have always been an introvert and enjoyed alone time. I got married for the first time when I was 46 and it was the most wonderful thing that every happened to me.

However, having said that, I loved living alone and being single before I got married. I never felt like I was living alone because I always had pets. That's not the same as being alone.

I agree with what you said about celebrating your circumstances whatever they are. I think about all the good friends I've had over the years that I met through work who I don't see now, and that's okay.

Thanks to social media, we still keep in contact online. This is just a different way of living.

Thanks for your post.

Being Alone Can Be A Good Experience
by: Jacqueline - Canada

I totally agree! It is only at this late stage in my life that I really appreciate being alone, feeling at peace, and comfortable in my own skin.

I am happier than I have been in a very long time. When everyone else is too busy, I do not get freaked out that I am all by myself. I go for long walks, read, write, see a movie, etc.

by: Noelle

I read your story and felt like I was reading something written just for me. It was wonderful to know that I am not the only one that doesn't mind the solitude of retirement. I worked my entire life, raised my children to the best of my ability, it's now time for just me.

I feel no shame whatsoever...and I like being me.

Thank you so much for writing your story and thoughts. I loved it !

Living alone
by: Carolyn

I have always yearned to live alone and now at age 65 I have lived alone all my adult life except for 7 years in the 80's when I was in a common law relationship partly due to feeling obligated to do what others do - it was not a bad 7 years and I adapted but ultimately I had to return to having my own space.

I have lots of retired friends, interests, volunteer work and hobbies so I am not a recluse but I love my home and spending time there with no one telling me what to do or monopolizing the remote - I read a lot so I cherish the quiet and put on Vivaldi or the Rolling Stones when I am in whatever mood with no one to complain. I eat when I want and go to bed when I want. I like my own company and I guess that helps but living alone can be such a calm, profound and self fulfilling way to live.

I have a cat and she is wonderful - she doesn't argue with me, monopolize the remote or put on country and Western music - Ha ha. But the book you mention sounds interesting and I will look for it.

Good luck!

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