The old BF, now in Minnesota, and I had a long chat on the phone last night about that and many other things. We are both certainly in transitional places in our lives - and it's a strange place to be in your 60's. He is one of those people who requires very little social interaction. He values solitude and spends a great deal of time simply pondering. As a result, he comes up with some of the most profound and astute observations.
I admire this quality in him so much, I have tried to incorporate more solitude and contemplation in my own life. You'd think that would be easy since I live alone and I work at home nearly all the time. My children are in and out, but they have busy lives and don't spend a lot of time here. My closest friends have had a summer of heavy responsibilities and we have spent less time together than we are accustomed to. And of course, J moved away in May and I have not sought out a new relationship. So I have achieved aloneness in a big way.
But though I'm alone, I've been less successful than I'd like to admit at embracing solitude and contemplation. I do spend time sitting on my patio just soaking up the beauty there. But I'm afraid I get distracted by the hummingbirds and the pots needing water and some weeds I notice. I'm not spending any time pondering the great questions of our time. I'll never make a good philosopher as I'm too easily distracted for that.
But after taking that little quiz yesterday and beginning to think about my strengths, I understand that even though I admire a certain quality in another, it is not a failure on my part if I am unable to emulate that in my own life. And the reverse is true as well.
Today my thoughts have been more about who I am now; what motivates me, what pleases me, and how do I view myself. And why the hell haven't I figured that all out before now?!
Well, never mind. Now I know this is a life-long process. We keep changing and we don't even realize it, and it becomes necessary every now and then to stop and figure whom we have become.
I've come up with a few things.
- Things make me smile unconsciously all the time - I'm paying more attention to what those things are.
- I love quiet.
- I love people - all kinds of people. I am slow to make friends, but find it easy to be friendly. It's good for me to be around people.
- I am a worker. This has been a revelation to me. As a child my mother always told me I was lazy, and I guess I have always thought she was right. But when I look at what I accomplish daily, weekly, yearly, I am even astonished myself.
- I love to be creative.
- Physically I view myself as a younger more slender person and I'm sometimes dismayed to look in the mirror.