I have always liked being alone, and I am good at it. The one aspect of being a parent that was tough on me was all those years with so little alone time. These last few weeks, recuperating from surgery, with nowhere to go and nothing required of me except laying around, I have had more alone time than I have had in decades. I went through a bad patch at the start of the second week – OMG this is interminable – but then I settled in. I’m reading a lot, writing a lot, and just — hanging out: petting the cats, patting the dog, pondering the hummingbirds in the garden, walking at sunrise and sunset. Now it’s jarring when the phone rings or a text arrives or a friend visits, as I spiral ever deeper into solitude.
Somehow I’ve managed to avoid most of my usual worrying and planning, which has allowed me to feel downright peaceful. I probably have to credit post-op lassitude for much of this accomplishment (and initially, heavy meds), although I have occasionally practiced some of the techniques I’ve recently learned at Al-Anon.
Having no required thoughts or agenda has been fertile as well as productive for my new novel. The ideas are flowing from all directions, at all times. I’d forgotten what that was like!
All in all, my post-op phase has been the ultimate in staycations. Tune in next week, when I phase back into work, set the alarm clock, and resume driving, to see how long the peace lasts.