Thoughts on Solitude Sundays Vol. 2

24 01 2018

Being Alone Doesn’t Mean You’re Lonely…

and other likeminded cliches on Solitude

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January 21st marked my third Solitude Sunday of the year. Inspired by The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Tale of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel I’ve been attempting alone-time at least once a week since finishing the book.

The main point of the exercise in solitude is to turn off my phone and computer for an entire day and try to turn inward instead.

In other words, I am Krystal, unplugged.

I have yet to experience a true day of solitude though as I live with roommates and also have woken up to another person in my bed on more than one Sunday morning.

So, I’ve had to redefine these Sundays of Solitude since I am not be able to be truly alone unless some rich person asked me to house-sit for them while they’re away for a weekend or I went out and camped in the middle of nowhere by myself (which I won’t do until the spring due to the fact that I enjoy feeling warmth in my fingers and toes).

What I’ve learned though is that the addiction is real.

Separating myself from my phone has been painful.

I can’t count the times I have looked for it while in one room or the other only to remember I had shut it off and hid it in a drawer.

I haven’t lost track of time during any of these Sundays of Solitude, but instead I often have had no idea what time it was at all.  It turns out that most homes, including ours, have a lot less working clocks in them these days.

I tell time by looking out my window. It gets dark and I think “finally I can go to bed,” then I walk into the kitchen and the one working clock that’s on our oven informs me it’s only 5.30 p.m. Could this be right? I have often found myself saying outloud to no one. This oven clock was accurate yesterday, so why wouldn’t it be today? It’s at that moment that I experience the crushing realization that I have an entire night ahead of entertaining myself.

I believe that was the biggest revelation this last Sunday.

When you disconnect from the outside world and have to focus instead of what’s around you, it feels as though you gain time.

Of course that’s not necessarily how time works; we don’t gain or lose it, time just is. Though I will say that without constantly scrolling through newsfeeds or texting friends all day, it often feels like I’m getting time back; I can recognize it moving at a pace that seems reasonable, seems like it used to seem back in the days of my youth when I lived out in the country in the middle of nowhere Kansas, prior to having access to the internet (it still barely works out there to this day).

Of course, this can feel boring at the same time that it feels refreshing. It can feel lonely at the same time as it feels liberating. It’s not for everyone. I’m not sure if I’d even recommend it.

What it’s done for me though is force me to slow down.

It’s allowed me to catch up.

Solitude Sunday has reminded me that interesting things are happening within just as much as they’re happening without. It’s made my return to technology feel less important. That scrolling through Instagram and Facebook aren’t necessarily wastes of time, but that I could do it less and it still mean just as much.

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I’d like to explore something that could be equally interesting in the future, that is, I’d like to unplug with another person. I know that there’s still plenty to understand and dive into deeper with my own internal landscape, but I also am liking the idea of two people disconnecting from everyone else and instead taking the time to get to know each other without the distraction of our individual networks–because there is more to us than who we follow.

If you’re down to unplug with me some upcoming Sunday (and in Denver), send me a message (I get the humor in using technology to disconnect from technology in the future, but sometimes it’s the best way to get where we need to be).

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5 Randoms: No Time on My Hands.

29 05 2012

1. ) Last night I was at a bar and these two women that my friend and I had been talking to for awhile said, “we just got engaged 4 days ago!” I just stared at them. Then, one of them said, “what do you think?” And I was like, “Personally, I don’t believe anyone should get married.” It was their turn to stare at me. So, I replied, “Well, my parents have been married forever and my grandparents have been married forever so it’s obvious it can last. As long as you’re doing it because it will make you both happiest.” They looked at each other, whispered something, and then left. I seriously don’t care if people want to get married but it doesn’t mean that I’m going to pretend to be ecstatic over something that I don’t give a shit about. Especially when I have never met you before and have no idea what kind of relationship dynamic you have.

2.) I was walking home this afternoon and along the way this guy steps sideways at me and points at his wrist asking the time. I looked him in the eyes and said, “no.” Is that how people get robbed? Even in broad daylight right by the bus stop. Alright, fine. Maybe I’m just an asshole, but who the fuck wears a watch anymore?

3.) Every time I go hiking I think, “I really need to do this more often.” Every time I go running I think, “I really need to start running longer.” Really I need to. I want to be one of those super fit people that I’m currently jealous of. I’d prefer people to be jealous of me than the other way around.

4.) And in a similar regard, I need to get a new hobby. A hobby unlike the solitary pursuit of writing. Perhaps I should join a running group. Or go to a yoga class–love hot yoga guys. The biggest issue with a new hobby is that my work schedule changes every week so if I start taking a class or something it could all get complicated.

5.) I’ve realized I’ve never done anything difficult in my life. Like every thing I’ve chosen has been the easy route. Sure I went to school for an exceptionally long time, but it was something I was familiar with. I need a challenge. Like a BIG one. Something with little goals along the way, but also something with a huge reward/payoff in the end. I need time to contemplate this one.