This might come out like a very long and tiresome rant. I’ll try to reel it in and make some kind of sense and connection to Others Out There. For my two readers, you might have noticed I use this blog as therapy. How astute. You’re right. But it’s free and available whenever I need it.
Loneliness. A bit of a taboo subject as most turn their back on the topic and pretend it isn’t happening. It’s almost like pretending the weather isn’t happening or the gravitational pull that keeps us attached to the earth isn’t happening. It is there, in a dark corner, waiting for its chance to let you know it exists.
It might be as you’re waiting in the queue to pay for your groceries. Or it could be at a wedding/funeral/caleigh where you might feel like you know everyone/no one. It could find you knee deep in a relationship or free as an eagle to fly around as you like.
Mine finds me in various parent and child activities and usually with coupled up friends. Example today: Soft play. At the best of times, I hate soft play. At the worst of times: I hate soft play. L and I did have many blissful minutes going down the slide but for the most part, I run interference and try to keep L’s head from getting trampled on by boys that are too old and too big to be there. I can’t sit back and let her play with her dad whilst I enjoy hot drinks with friends, as he’s not there. Instead I abandon hot drink and friends to crawl around the ball pit, hoping to not break an ankle.
L is lovely and fun but I find these scenarios difficult. It makes it obvious that we are Other and feeling Other is not always a happy place to be in.
Example two: 30 nights that are all the same. Repeat. I’ve been breaking plans as fast as I make them. I do love our routine and I like that I can work my way through books that are engaging, fascinating, thought provoking or are a bit of chick lit frivolity. With that said, I don’t want to do this 365 nights of my life. As anyone solo parenting knows, when 5 pm strikes, that’s you not breathing fresh air until the morning.
In an attempt to shake things up a bit, I am now trying to plan one or two activities a month to a)get out of my house and b) get out of my head. Easily done, right? Not so much. After texts to friends and unable to pay a sitter, I’m scrapping plans before they are even entered in the calendar. Right now it’s not a problem as I’ve planned a mini holiday for later this month. Looking forward to that is pulling me through endless nights of crap telly. But after that it’s all a blank. And I see that on day 29 Loneliness has scribbled its intent to visit.
So. What are you supposed to do when you know how your special kind of loneliness wants to visit and rummage around in your head a bit? First, for me, it’s knowing the sacrifices I’ve willingly made to be where I am with what I have. It’s also knowing when sacrifice hurts the very nature of your person and to know when to hold on to something you shouldn’t give away.
And when you’re a single parent, sacrificing your entire person to your child is a slippery slope. How do you give her everything without depleting yourself to nothing? How do you carry on with work and earning money (without showing the worry of the lack of) but present yourself fully intact and ready to listen and engage? How can you be both parents and do all the fun creative, active, rough-housing, disciplinary, quiet, loud, cooking, tidying whirlwind of activities that you know she needs?