Confessions of a Couch Cat: Make a date with yourself
Far too many women define themselves and their peers by whether or not they have ‘a man’ in their lives.
Still others, judge their ‘beauty’ or ‘womanliness’ by what kind of man they have, i.e., what job he has, if he’s fiiine lookin’, if he ‘performs’ well in bed, whether he’s tall or short, dresses well or not, etc.
There are others who seem to always want someone around them or the kids running around. They want to be in the center of everything that happens. They seem to feel lost if they have quiet time on their own. But, why is that?
Being alone rocks; quiet is euphoric. I’d rather be by myself on my own terms than spend my down time putting up with other people’s agendas.
There is a world of difference between being alone and being lonely and that needs exploring here.
I do a happy dance when I get the chance to be physically alone at home. Hurray and three cheers! Everybody out!
Me, my three Labradors and Norman-the-cat applaud as cars full of my husband and kids, visitors or BFFs that have dropped by, drive out of the gate.
Freedom is getting up when I want, eating what I want (a ham and cheese sub with avo instead of a ‘hot cooked meal’) and where I want (like in front of the TV or even in bed while reading a book.)
Home alone, I can sing loud in the shower or down the hallways and not worry about disturbing everyone else. I can experiment with recipes in the kitchen and even if I burn it, I don’t have to apologise for the smoke and smell.
I can bring work home and spend a day doing it and not worry about giving enough attention to my family; and I can cheer loudly at the TV screen for my football team (check out nfl.com). I can crochet for hours and not have to get up to prepare meals or make sure the kitchen is clean.
I can do a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle and not worry about someone bumping the table and knocking pieces on the ground.
I can play Caesar III or Sim City 4 all day if I choose, leaving the computer game on ‘pause’ while I take time out to do other things in between playing bouts. I don’t have to worry about signing off because someone else wants to get on the PC. Being lonely never enters the picture.
Those who are truly lonely suffer, even in a room full of people. Far too many of our elders are lonely and those of us who are blessed to still have our parents, old aunties and uncles and grannies need to take note of that.
Consider our neighbours and retired work colleagues who are too old to go out to many places or who may have social needs that aren’t being met. These are the breeding grounds for loneliness.
Young ladies out there, think of this: I remember my buddies from my past dating days who felt that life ended if they had nowhere to go on a Friday or Saturday night.
They would accept dodgy dates with jerks, sit through boring or extra wild/dangerous parties, and spend money they did not have on clubs/shows or other entertainment only to be ‘out.’ The very idea of having a laundry or hair/nail polish day at home, was an anathema.
The dictionary defines loneliness as “…sadness because one has no friends or company.” Online psychologists say that, “…even though they are surrounded by people, [lonely folks] don’t feel understood or cared for.”
I get that. But, for me, I feel loved by others (thank God) and I value quiet time when I can allow my mind and heart to power-down and rest.
People who always need to ‘be with someone’ need to check themselves for loneliness. The non-lonely folks out there need to be on guard for loneliness in those around us. We need to see if we are actually showing love and giving quality attention to others.
People need to be understood and feel cared for and that’s a possible remedy for loneliness. And, there are no set ‘costs’ to showing someone that they matter – listening to someone else’s story doesn’t cost a dollar.
However, ladies out there: do not accept ‘b*llsh*t’ just because you think you need a man in your bed. Being with someone because you are lonely and allowing that fool to beat you, abuse and talk down to you, take your money and eat your food, ignore his kids, or disrespect you, is self-destructive folly.
Get some champagne, put your phone on silent and resolve NOT to answer ANY text messages and even if someone knocks at your door; don’t answer it.
Pick your favourite songs and play your tunes, get that recipe you have always wanted to try and give it a shot. Break out those hobbies you never have time to do and have a go at them, identify chores that need attention in the house and get out your tool box or paint brush.
Get the kids to a sitter or a relative’s house, tell your friends/family you are off-line and out-of-bounds, pull out your most comfortable old clothes you have (go braless if you want), tie your hair up, leave the make-up on your dressing table, and designate a segment of your schedule as your ‘ME’ time. Make a date with yourself and enjoy it.