Every so often I get a reminder of why I live alone. I have become remarkably segregated and set in my ways since I moved into my own place just nine months ago. I am not sure if this is a good thing or not, but I am certainly cranky when it comes to dealing with other people. Of course, that’s always been the case. It’s just that every so often I got a social interaction exercise class in the form of work colleagues.
When I am in a situation that reminds me why I prefer to live alone, the reasons are clear and reinforce to me that there is no reason to change the way I live. I made a list whilst I was away for Christmas and in lock down with my family for 14 whole days. I don’t think this is their fault. I am the problem here. I lack tolerance. That said, life here is very different to my own and sometimes a bit weird, chaotic, and often makes no sense at all, so these are my observations based entirely on my experiences of staying here for extended periods.
Equally my Dad is as bad as me. He is quick tempered, very judgemental of anyone who doesn’t fit in with his ethos and talks a lot of shit. As both my parents do. They are air space fillers and will talk about anything rather than enjoy the silence. For me that’s like a form of torture and means I often have to endure the same conversation 5 or 6 times in a day, because it’s better than silence.
Reading through this list makes me sound like a bit of a monster and a social hater. Maybe I am. I am definitely going to end up as that stereotyped crazy old lady who noone wants to talk to (maybe The Lady In The Van). Which wouldn’t surprise me. But I have refined my life to something that works for me. And that’s what many of us are doing:
- When I watch TV there is no one talking through the programme.
- Not being told I’m wrong when I do things in a way that works for me.
- Not being interrupted when I’m working, for something that could have waited 5 minutes.
- I eat meals when I want.
- I get up when I want.
- Noone wakes me up early.
- My brain doesn’t have to engage for the first hour after I have got up (I am not a morning person).
- Things are where I left them.
- I don’t have to schedule bathroom time.
- I don’t have to tell anyone when I am going out, or where I am going.
- I don’t have to deal with ‘space filling’ conversation.
- I can control household spending.
- I recycle.
- I can switch off the news.
- I can mute tv adverts.
Tomorrow I am going home. I have done my time and I’m looking forward to some normality. Amen.