Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Not All Bad


Sorry all, that I haven't posted here for a while. Do you know, I think it's because I've actually had a life! Okay, it's only been gardening and meeting friends, and doing the odd arty course, but it has felt great. After nearly three years of living unwillingly alone, I think I am getting the hang of it.

So this article that I bumped into online, via the Daily Mail website, seemed just the thing to share - The Joys of Living Alone. Here are some of the best bits -


We are the ones who know the bliss of waking on a weekday morning to a calm and clutter-free home, with time to grind the coffee beans, bathe to the sound of Bach and perhaps do a few yoga stretches before setting off for work - pretty well impossible if you share your home with others.

Living alone allows creativity to flourish.
Author Frances Fyfield, in her 50s, believes solitude permits her to be more herself and even helps her relationships more than marriage.
"I have had fewer but more sustainable relationships since my marriage," she says. "There are all sorts of ways to live and love."

This is a new phenomenon made possible by the fact that women can now afford to do what they want - and increasingly, what they want is to live alone.

One of them is 58-year-old Lucy Austin.
"My children don't know what's wrong with me," she says.
"They really like Tom, my partner of the past few years.
"I was nervous of telling them about my new relationship, but it's a long time since their father died and they were delighted for me.
"They are anxious for us to get married or move in together.
"I know it's what Tom would like, and I think my daughters are worried that if I don't marry him, he will go off with someone else!"

But that is a risk Lucy is willing to take: "I am very happy and it is lovely to have a companion to go to the theatre or dinner with on a Saturday night.
"It's great to have someone to go on holiday with. But I am quite adamant that we live apart: I love living alone and don't want to live with anyone else again."

Donna Baxter, 50, who has lived alone happily for four years since her divorce, says, "It may be different now for women who spend decades partying and being single when they're young.

"But for those of us who spent our 20s and 30s either bringing up children or, like me, working and bringing up children, the joy I get from the extra hours I seem to have gained by living on my own just cannot be overemphasised.
"My husband would grouch if I had the bedside light on to read after he wanted to sleep.
"Now I read until four in the morning, munching digestives in bed with the World Service on the radio.
"Sometimes I laugh out loud because I'm so happy!
"I have met a kind man whose company I enjoy, but I honestly can't see myself ever giving up the freedom I now have to do exactly what I want, when I want."



I wonder what are the best bits of living alone for you? (let's not think about the bad stuff today)

For me, it would have to be:

The freedom to eat what and when I want, and ESPECIALLY, not having to cook for anyone else, after more than thirty years of it.

The calmness. No arguments, Radio 3 with my breakfast if I want it or - sheer decadence - The Rockford Files...

Dressing to please myself. I really, really don't care what anyone thinks about how I look and for the first time in my life I find I am developing my own style - Annie Oakley meets Worzel Gummidge...

Making and maintaining friendships. When I was one of the smug married brigade, we didn't need friends, we had each other. Now I find that, although obviously I need friends more than I did, I also am available for them and their problems more than I ever was before. I've strengthened some wonderful friendships in the last three years, with benefits on both sides.