I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on my own lately. No clients to interact with, no telephone solicitors to tell to stop calling, and no delivery people coming by. J. is busy with two jobs–I do not begrudge her busyness for one second, as she is supporting our family by working her tail off–and I seem to have a lot of time on my hands. I normally don’t mind time on my own. Occasionally it can be nice not to have to be accountable to anyone and to have the freedom to do whatever I want.
But I’m wondering if I’m reaching solitary overload, as evidenced by my increasingly odd behaviours. This morning, for example, Jelly sneezed and I said: “Bless you.” Jelly is a dog. She does not appreciate my fine social graces. An observer, however, might have wondered why I was talking to my pet.
Earlier, I greeted the bunny that was munching on our lawn. (While we’re on the topic of bunnies, why do children leave out carrots for bunnies when what they’re really interested in are the carrot tops?) “Hello, little bunny!” I said chirpily. Thankfully no bystanders witnessed Annie talking to that animal either.
I don’t spend all my time at home, but I find that when I’m out among people, I don’t necessarily feel less alone. If I’m with people I don’t know, the loneliness quotient can sometimes be worse than if I’m home alone.
Case in point: I attend a few yoga classes during the week where I haven’t been able to forge a friendly relationship with any of the participants, even though many of us have been attending for years. I recognize all these people, mostly women, yet have never conversed with any of them. I’m not looking for friends, but brief social interaction before class might be nice.
One of these classes occurs the same day as my Cancer Centre appointments. If I’m not in the mood, I skip it altogether, but often I go after my appointment. I’ve realized that, as much as I like choosing who to tell I have leukemia, I feel especially lonely amongst people who don’t know, especially when cancer is the focus of my day.
But it’s not all about me, right? Perhaps some of these yogis are so overwhelmed by their own lives that they don’t have the energy to be responsive when I say hi. I can understand that since I can be that way too sometimes. Maybe they’d be chattier if I told them I was a psychologist. No, I don’t really want to do that. Strangers sometimes share a bit too freely when they find out what I do.
Recently, one of these yogis asked me about the blog after hearing about it. She’s been peppering me with witty and thoughtful comments ever since. Yesterday after yoga, my dear friend M. and I had coffee with said yogi by chance. I am slowly getting to know her now after years of classes together. Fancy that. But I must be careful: if she catches me talking to myself, the friendship could be over before it starts.