We all have days alone. Some might throw in a lazy day, some might have a to-do list saved for their rare free time, some might head out to enjoy the outdoors. When your days alone are limited – those days becomes precious. That choice to do whatever you choose to do is sacred. When your days alone are unlimited – and you can only use one arm, it’s really not that great. Trust me. But as always, time alone is time to think.
So. Here are 5 things I’ve come to learn in my torturous time being alone day-to-day.
1. My ambition still exists
Time away from others, and time away from work, has given me that ambition, that drive, that I had before I found my career. I remember the endless googling, reading, volunteering. I did anything I could to boost my chances and get to where I wanted to be. So, I got to where I wanted to be. Great. Life goes on.
I, like so many others, get dragged into the daily grind. You live for a paycheck, you live for the next vacation, you live for the weekend or day off. You forget the big picture, what you really want, and what really pushes you forward.
My time off has rebuilt that drive. I’m suddenly motivated. I have completely reevaluated where I want to be in my career. I’ve made more decisions in the past few weeks than I have in the last 2 years, and I’m confident in those choices.
2. Appreciation of others
This one dawned on me within almost immediately – the strength of others suffering from disability, those in a constant struggle with both body and mind. I consider myself incredibly lucky that my issue is only temporary.
On a personal level, I can see the sacrifices being made for me. My partner taking time out of work to ferry me to appointments, coming home to see how I’m doing. I’m so lucky to be cared for, and even more appreciative of what she and others do. You can really see true colours from the back bench.
3. The importance of organisation
This is something lots of us are guilty of. We get so behind in where things are, where things go, what to keep, what to throw away. Where do we find the time? I am guilty of that recurring ‘I know I have it somewhere’, yet it is never to be seen again. Having some free time has allowed me to get things in order. I can’t help but think how many issues I could have solved just by knowing where to look. I feel like a new man.
4. The importance of a social life
Let’s be honest. It’s easy to get lonely when you are physically alone. There is so much you don’t get from other means. I couldn’t imagine my position should I have had no one to talk to. Those 5 minute chats, that small talk, it all helps you stay sane. It’s easy to feel detached from reality without others to keep you on track and remind you of what is important.
5. Hold on a minute, I’m domesticated?
I’ll admit, I never saw this one coming. Keeping things clean and tidy is suddenly at the top of my list of priorities. It is truly a mystery to me.