Solitude

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I have a difficult time insisting on giving myself the the solitude I need.  My commute to work each day has become my refuge.  I have a beautiful drive to work, down the curving mountain road.  Often the sun is just rising.  Sometimes the cloud level is low, and the valley is blanketed.  As I approach the top of the cloud layer, I see the fog broiling and wisping up and away.  Sometimes I pull over in a turn out just to enjoy the beautiful place I live.

I do have my own space in the house, which is an old table I found by the side of the road.  It is made of oak, with thick carved legs.  I found it when I was pregnant, and I had to have it, even though it meant putting it in the back of a convertible Camero by myself.  The top has become stained with paint, warped.  It is big enough to be cluttered, but it always has room for me to work.  I tried to share it once.  I had to reclaim it for myself.

If I don't ask for solitude, I get it in an unhealthy passive way, often by getting a migraine.  I used to label myself an introvert and highly sensitive, but I'm not sure there is much truth to it.  I do know that I need time to hear my own thoughts, and I prefer to do that by pacing around and sometimes talking to myself.  It looks crazy, and it is not something I can do when others are around.  In fact, honestly, I am only able to do this about once a year.

Solitude has become so infrequent that I don't know what to do with it when I get it, and often I waste it by being indulgent. I eat bad food and watch bad TV, luxuriating in the feeling of not being judged. But really, I am scared to be alone, to do my work making art, or moving, or singing.  My life is so full of doing for other people, it is hard to just be.

What do you do when you need solitude?  What is like asking for what you need? Share your thoughts and experience below...