All By Myself

I grew up in a house full.

At our full capacity we were ten.

Eight kids and two parents.

I think we tried having a pet once.  That was short lived.  Not the pet.  The idea that having a pet was a good idea.  That’s what was short lived.

To this day, many years later, it is still a very odd feeling to find myself all alone in a house.  I still wonder where everyone is.  I still have an urge to comment out loud on something I’m watching or reading.  I still make sure I am covered from head to toe because you can’t make a mad dash from one room to the next if you forgot something while you’re getting ready to shower.  You never know who you might bump in to.  That could be awkward.   I still want to buy in huge quantities.  And to this day I cannot cook for one or two only.

I still find it disconcerting and a little perplexing when I have that alone time.   And a little nostalgic.  I can’t have a night alone without going back in time and remembering the house with the constant noise of multiple human beings sharing the same space.  You know what noise I’m talking about.   Breathing multiplied times ten.  Chewing multiplied by ten.  Toilets flushing.  Showers running.  Steps up.  And steps down.  Voices talking, voices crying, voices whining, voices fighting, voices laughing.

And though I miss that tremendously, I also remember….

How desperately I wished for one moment of peace.

And then I sit back.

Relax.

Smile with the memories.

And embrace this moment of silence.

Tipping my hat to the child who craved it.

Solitude.

Sigh.

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40 thoughts on “All By Myself

  1. markbialczak says:

    Wow, MBC. I never had that big a cast around me except the two years I lived in a college dorm. And I must say I … did not like THAT MANY people vying for SO FEW showers. Not to mention the jokers who thought it was funny to creep up and throw the cold water in on you in the middle of your turn. Yikes! No, these days of me, my dear wife Karen and Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle in the Little Bitty is just right. No cold water to throw on your memories, of course! ❤

    • I love my alone time. It’s more difficult, it seems, to get now then back then. So now when I’m alone I almost feel guilty for enjoying it. Until I realize it’s OKAY to enjoy it. But yeah… I forgot about how many of us needed showers. Fortunately some of us were morning showerers, some of us night time showerers and the wee little ones were tubbers. 🙂

  2. ksbeth says:

    ah, the ever elusive and much sought after solitude. such a jewel.

  3. Heartafire says:

    Such a nostalgic melancholy and beautiful text today Chatter. I didn’t have a big family, I still don’t. I like being alone more than I want to admit. Have a lovely day! ❤

    • I so appreciate solitude Heart. Though I don’t always get it, not often. When I do, I’m still surprised. Then I have to keep reminding myself it’s okay.

      I did have a lovely day, thank you!

  4. Lovey, all the memories, and continuing life with your family. ❤

  5. Seems we want what we don’t have. You were raised in a houseful of family members and wished for peace. Now that you have that peace, you wish for all the noise and commotion by having many family members. LOL! I find myself doing the same thing although we didn’t have as many family members as you.

  6. reocochran says:

    I loved your final feeling of relaxing, breathing in your solitide. Your childhood was on a post awhile ago, you mention sharing books and magazines with 7 ♡ siblings, on one of my post comments. . .

    It is hard for me, living alone. I spend busy days and some evenings are packed with grandkids activities. I may have mentioned, I joined a book club. Saw a poster at Gallant Woods park off Buttermilk Ridge Road in Delaware. Then, saw the words, “Come Join Us” . . . Today I have 500 (only 130 done) more pages to read, if possible. Club meets at the working farm, first Fall meeting. . . You would think with coming home to empty house, this goal a month ago would have been met, Colleen!! 🙂
    Skyler has a football game at 2. . . Gotta go read!
    Is it Beach Boys who sing, “In My Room,” Colleen? I liked this one while in high school. xo

    • I so miss reading books Robin. Like you, you would think without having kids in the house there would be more time. I’ve dedicated more time this week and finished one and half books.

      When we look back though, all of those games and time with family will be what we treasure most. I do now even. 🙂

  7. Well now I know where to go for dinner. I’ll show up with my plate!

  8. There’s something intriguing about big families to me. I had a friend as a child, who was 1 of 15 kids. Sleepovers at her place were like going to camp. I slept in one of many bunk beds in the basement!

    On the subject of being alone, I love this vid by Canadian poet/songwriter, Andrea Dorfman. Hope you enjoy it too Colleen. ❤
    Diana xo

  9. Val Boyko says:

    I love this awareness and hearing your perspective Colleen! I was alone a lot as a child … and enjoyed those precious times. Still do today 🙏

  10. rarasaur says:

    I remember when Dave and I were living by ourselves for the first time– no relatives on the couch or in the extra room– and he was working and I was reading, and I realized– I hadn’t heard anything at all for 15 minutes. No sound. It was so very strange.

    Solitude. It’ll always be a surprise to me, I think.

  11. I like my solitude, but not for long. If I’m outside lying in the sun with a good book, please no one around me, or if I’m writing. Otherwise I need people around me. I can imagine how you would savour your alone time though. ☺️

  12. niaaeryn says:

    I love this post for…well everything–writing, the moment captured, the profound truth of it all. Also love that song! Granted it reminds me of Bridget Jones’ Diary still love it for all it says and makes me want to sing with it…not well but attempt. 🙂
    My father is one of ten and I heard some of the stories he had. I can only imagine being of such a number. I can picture you there wishing for alone time back in the day. Funny how things work out in time. I find I love alone time more as I get older though. It is just nice to have now and then. 🙂

  13. inmycorner says:

    The child who craved silence. You evoke so many thoughts with that phrase. It is children who long for something that as adults, they are not so sure they should have wanted. As an adult, we long for the things we once had. Funny how unsettled we can be. Guess change is always tough to take. Not liking my Ben being away, either.

    • It’s funny really. When I was young there were just people every where. Maybe it was even privacy I yearned for. But yes, it is odd that where ever we are we are often thinking of being somewhere else in life. It’s why I try to pay attention to all of the ‘moment’ of a day.

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