I think there’s been a paradigm shift over here.
As evidenced in these pages, I’ve been struggling with the idea of being alone, romantically speaking. I’ve sworn off men like you might swear off coffee. But like all diets, that doesn’t really work. Living in the negative only makes you want that thing you’re craving.
Here’s what’s struck me: What if being alone was my first choice? Because, I’m discovering, it’s rad. Long walks, crossword puzzles, novels, movies, sewing, the company of my kids and my little kitty, occasionally friends. At this point all that is much preferred to man-vetting, anxious first dates, unsatisfactory rollings-around, do-I-like-him/does-he-like-me, will-he-call/I-wish-he-would-leave-me-alone. But, again, even more than the negatives of dating, it’s the positives of my own company that are wooing me. I’m terrific company – I really appreciate my taste in film.
I’ve taken on a month of self-care. Racheted down my expectations of myself as much as possible. My house is bought and habitable, my business is successful, my kids, for the most part, are well. Maybe I can take a little breather. And so I’ve been getting extra sleep. On the mornings I don’t have kids and don’t have to teach (admittedly a rare coincidence), I lay in bed for a half an hour, kitty purring on my chest, watching the sunlight creep across the ceiling.
I’ve taken to asking myself, “Is what I’m about to consume or engage in nourishing?” I’ve cut out the alcohol, at least for now. I’ve edited the junk food. I tried to kick my daily cup of coffee but after one sleepy day decided it’s feeding something in me. Again, though, I’m trying to stay in the positive. I’m trying to see my existence not as limited but as expansive. I’m saying yes to a clear mind instead of no to a glass of wine.
I’ve said here before that maybe I should forget about love for awhile. That has seemed a herculean task. Now I’m thinking, what if I love this life of mine so much that I don’t want to invite some man into it? What if I cruise this way for awhile until someone truly special has to talk me out of it? What if I choose me?
Yesterday Mae and I were talking about our new kitty. Mae had pushed for the acquisition of a cat, I had resisted. Waking up with a rat in my hair had won me over to the idea. Her name is Ponya, which means rat in Swahili. She’s incredibly sweet. I was congratulating Mae on her idea, telling her how much I adore this cat. I said, “She keeps me from being lonely”, which, after a pause, sent us into whoops of laughter. Such a pathetic statement (though true). Mae predicted that once all the kids were grown and out of the house, I’d have twenty cats, happily chat to them and only them. And I said, “You know what? I could do worse.”