IT’S no big secret that being alone is a lot different than being in the company of other people.
And while being married to a long-haul flight attendant certainly does have its perks (staff travel and loads of friends who possess the uncanny ability to leap-frog long early-morning queues at nightclubs) there is a flipside. Long and lonely days, sometimes weeks, of apart-time.
I don’t know about you, but alone time makes me go a bit loopy.
For some, time with oneself (not a euphemism!) can be soul enriching: the perfect opportunity to catch up on neglected errands and get ones backyard in order, so to speak. However, this time for me has always proven as a chance to untidy said backyard, only to madly restore it to its former glory in the dying hours before her return.
Recently, I have become increasingly aware of how long stretches of alone time can adversely affect my thinking and behaviour.
Take right now, for example. She’s been gone nearly two hours and already dilemmas are starting to present themselves. From out of nowhere, problems are appearing.
Finish this column or do the dishes?
In my mind — reality, perhaps? — the saucepan and the cheese grater are mocking me: ‘You won’t clean us. We can sit filthy for days when she’s gone before you lift a finger. You’ll start on us and then find something else to do. Half-done, Crossley!’
They’re right. An all-too familiar story.
Would things be different if she were here? Probably not. I mean, of course they would! What am I thinking?! (You see, loss of focus, it’s happening already…).
There are just so many things inside my apartment that compete for my attention — and most of them get it, too.
Right now, Birmingham and Chelsea are playing in the FA Cup; there’s a pile of Year 10 exercise books that need marking (just realised how weird that’d read if I wasn’t a teacher); and there’s the bloody dishes. Oh, and this column too (but this is procrastination disguised as keeping my ‘one-day-I’ll-be-a-writer’ dream alive).
There’s a young chap on the TV show Skins who makes his decisions by rolling a die: roll a two and he’ll punch the next person who walks through the door, roll a six and he’ll streak naked across the sports field.
I’m not so bold. I’m more practical. But I’m also spontaneous. These quirks combine to manifest themselves into some amusing mannerisms and thought processes, I’ve been told. Right now: I’m thirsty and, come to think of it, a bit hungry. So, I’ll solve this by making a cup of tea. Back in two shakes.
While at the sink I glanced down at the sad-looking, neglected saucepans peering sheepishly from the sink. I half-filled the sink only to be distracted by the half-finished column (this one).
Only to realise it was now complete. Better finish those dishes!
What does alone time do to you? Comment below: