Solitude versus isolation

I’ve always been an odd mix of a solitary recluse and a social extrovert.  I badly need time alone to recharge my psychic batteries, but also thrive on interaction with interesting people.  Until fairly recently, my task has been to carve out the quiet alone time I craved from a schedule full of work, husband, friends, and family.

I now realize I’ve come full circle somehow.  It was gradual, but after years of desperately wanting time to read, think, write, and take up new interests, I now have it aplenty.  At first I just wallowed in it, feeling smug and totally contented in my own little world.  Lately, though, I have noticed that I need to do a course correction.

We all know about balance and talk of ying and yang, but I am discovering firsthand just how crucial these are.  Solitude can quickly become sorrow, alone can become lonely, and silence can be deafening.  I suspect I am not the only person in our general age group facing this transition, and hope to hear how some of the rest of you are handling it.

For now, I am very selectively adding more people and group activities to my days.  I am overly protective of my time by habit, so don’t think I run the risk of swinging too far in the social direction.  What is different, I think, is that now I have the incredible luxury of choosing who comes into my life and what I do in my leisure hours.  Choice is freeing but daunting, and I must be mindful of making too many commitments or leaving too much empty time in my days.   We’ll see.

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