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6 Comments 06 May 2010

I  mentioned on my About Jorja page that my youngest daughter is mentally handicapped.  She is quite a character and she can come up with some very clever little statements.  She has these little odd rituals that she goes through each day and one of them, when she gets home from school is to “do projects.”  Translation, destroy my dining room.

Another member of my family is a Goldendoodle named Sully, whom we brought into our family to be this particular child’s companion dog.  Well, let’s just say that I have dropped the ball on training Sully, because, of course, all of the freaking balls in my family are juggled by me, therefore, I am the one who has dropped it.

Sully likes to “help” my daughter with her “projects” by irritating the hell out of her and one day she says to me, “Mom, I need to be lonely.”  Now, her speech is fairly limited, although she talks non-stop, but she blurts this phrase out like it is as common as “have a nice day.”  I asked her to repeat it and she did and has continued to since then whenever she wants everyone to leave her alone.

I have begun using the phrase myself when my husband or my children are driving me crazy, but it never seems to work for me the same way that it works for my daughter.  My people don’t seem to yield to me the privacy that I so long for, especially while I stay within the walls of my own home.  But I am learning to practice the discipline of being lonely.

This brings me to my point, because you will soon learn that I generally will have a point.  We all need TO BE LONELY sometimes, or at least I know I do!  I need to be able to say to my people, go away, do not talk to me, do not ask me anything, do not touch me, do not take from me right now.

Being lonely may mean going out and getting a glass (or in my case, a bottle) of good wine with friends, going to the library to sit and read, going shopping alone, going to get a cup of coffee, going for a run, or any number of things, but it means we walk away from the things and the people that take from us and we give ourselves time and opportunity to breath – in a world apart from our roles and responsibilities.

I don’t run from my people and my responsibilities because I don’t love them, but because I do.  I know that if I take time to be lonely, to live a little outside, I will be fuller and richer for those on the inside.

Here are a few ideas that can help you take some time to be lonley?

  • Start by setting aside time for yourself once a week and tell your family or whomever that “you need to be lonely.”
  • Think through what really rejuvenates you and do it during this time.
  • Jot down the things that keep you from actually following through with your lonely time.
  • Try to journal about how you feel after you have had some time to yourself.

Now…go be lonely people!

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6 Comments so far

  1. Cris Buckley says:


    “I need to be lonely.” What a wise little one! This hits home for me.

    I homeschooled my kids and “ran away from home” on a regular basis. Seriously, after a while, I just scheduled some preventive maintenance and was gone all day once a month. Once a week would have been even better!

    Sometimes I just needed time to be a real girl–not someone’s wife, mother or friend. Just me.

    It always refreshes me to take in beauty–in nature or an art show. Some sort of creative outlet.

    Good post!

    • Jorja says:

      cris, thanks for stopping by. women rarely care for themselves as they should. i think they find it difficult to leave their roles because they have so much of their significance tied up in those roles. who they are outside of those roles is a mystery. being lonely can give them an opportunity to really develop themselves. i look forward to reading your blog.

  2. Becky says:

    My favorite post so far – felt my body relax a bit just thinking about the moments I steal on the sun porch of. . .McDonalds. Free refills, sunshine, 80s tunes, and ME. I love my lonely times.

  3. kate says:

    love this.
    sometimes i can’t even be lonely in the bathroom, when i should be.

    i’ve traveled alone three times this year… those trips have been liberating for me… made feel like a person apart from “my people.”

  4. Lori Hendrix says:

    This is exactly why I allow my three to stay up until….oh…..midnight or so in the summer. My time to be lonely comes in the morning. Then as they trickle down the stairs….with a spacing of about 30 minutes each….I am ready to not be lonely, but the cuddle, talk, laugh and of course, be a short order cook, maid, cruise director, chauffeur and referee for the remainder of the day.

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things to make you wonder~

“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them...” Annie Dillard

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