Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pros and Cons

I receive e-mail prompts for suggestions of topics to write on and most of the time I'm finding they aren't very applicable.  But today's got me thinking.  The prompt was "What's tougher: living with someone messy or someone noisy?"  I'll leave you to answer this for yourself if you are so inclined, but it got me thinking, since I live alone (well as far as another human is concerned), which is tougher, living with someone or living alone.

Obviously if you are living with someone, the answer would depend greatly on who the someone is.  In my youth I was in a marriage for 20 years which I knew was a mistake by the end of the first year.  But I'd made a commitment and I was also scared of being on my own.  Of course it wasn't all bad, and I have two beautiful children as a result, but the marriage broke up when my answer to the question was it would be better to be alone.

Now 23 years later, having lived alone for longer than I lived with another, at least as an adult, I ask the question again.  There are definite advantages to living alone.  I can rebuild my home exactly as I want it and have the colors of paint, furniture, fixtures, etc. ordered to my tastes.  I can set up my day as I wish and have meals when I want, etc.  I have no one to answer to if I decide to quilt all day long or write a novel in a month.  Of course, as I listen to Thackeray complaining because I haven't tended to him as he thinks I should, there are family members who put in their opinions, but for the most part, I order my life as I wish.  And that is a very strong positive, for sure.  I'm not honestly sure, at this point in my life, having been alone for so long, if I could even change.

But there is also a flip side and at this time of year that flip side seems stronger.  It is lonelier and scarier living alone.  Things happen and I have to be aware that if I fall, or as happened a short while ago, if I wake up in the night with my back out and unable to move, I'm on my own.  And even without accidents, there isn't the sharing either.  Now it is true that probably no one else would watch Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas as many times as I am this holiday season!  But it would be nice to share it with someone.  It would be nice to go to the movies with someone, or talk about the book I'm reading, etc.

However, if I am honest, at the moment my health limitations are such that I just don't have the energy for being with people, at least the energy required to begin a relationship or a deep friendship and so I suspect I am, as is true for most of us I hope, exactly where I need to be.  My therapist is constantly pointing out that everything has a blessing and a curse attached to it, and being single is no different from other situations in that it has its bonuses and it has its drawbacks.  But overall it works for me, thanks in large measure to my furry companions who have no problem with my singing "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" at top volume!  I hope this finds you well and happy in whatever situation you find yourself.


  1. That is a great writing prompt!

    I've lived with both and noise wins hands down. As much as I dislike dust and clutter, it's much more difficult to function after being woken up multiple times each night because of noisy people than it is to live with a few messes. (Sleep deprivation gives me severe, migraine-like headaches that last for 2-4 days :( )

    The only time living with a messy person would be more difficult would be, say, if the mess was a health hazard - e.g. rotting food, toxic mould or stuff piled so high that you couldn't exit the house quickly in an emergency.

    There is definitely a trade-off for either living alone or living with others. I think it's so easy to focus on the negatives of your own life and gloss over what people who do (or do not!) live with others deal with.

    It would be wonderful if there were more ways to have the best of both worlds- maybe share a kitchen, front/back yard and laundry room with roommates or family but have ones own private bedroom, living room and bathroom?

    That sort of arrangement would be my dream living situation. If you felt like being social you'd have plenty of opportunities to do so but If you needed alone time there'd be a lot of space for that, too! :)

  2. Thanks, Lydia, and I'd agree overall that I too would have more problems living with a noisy person than a messy, within reason. I also like your suggestion for a dream living situation--having the best of both. And actually, overall, I'm much happier alone than I ever was living with others, so I'm well content with what I have. There are moments, though, but that would be true with any situation. Love having you stop by for a read! Have a lovely day!

  3. HI there

    I think all of us question our life and relationships, both home and outside of home from time to time.
    This time of year is without question hard on many of us.prehaps most of us, if we were honset with ourselves. My home is full of people, and yet at times I feel very very alone. I yearn for someone to talk to.A deep abiding friendship that really, really interacts, talks, spends time.... To share that book, that movie, that view of the world and more. The aches, the pains, the thoughts, the good, the fun, the beauty of life. Often we are alone, even when we live with folks. I am thankful for my world, for the people in it. However I think it is a complicated issue, like much of life is.And while I couldn't and wouldn't change things, the ache and the yearning is there at times. Sometimes to the level of overwhelming.
    I am the one who shapes my world. I am the one who chooses to live as I do. And at times, I question...why..And maybe the questioning is good, it makes us look at life, to say thanks for the good parts, to be thankful for the pets, the good things, and to see we have to make choices, that all things come at a price, that for each blessing, for each thing we want or do there is another side. And hopefully we are happy. Hopefully the good, outweighs the bad. And most days it does....just sometimes...the questions, the uncirtenness, the wishful, the what ifs, creep in. Unbalance us. Make us want more. or different..or at the very least get us to look at where we are, and try to sort it out a bit. I think that is healthy.
    thanks for asking the question? to having us think. And to listening to my rambling thoughts...

  4. Thanks, Kathy, and yes, there are benefits and drawbacks to just about everything and some days the benefits shine brighter and some days the drawbacks seem stronger, but as you say that's life, and yes we do shape our worlds by the choices we make and the beliefs we hold. Thanks for your thoughts and I love your rambling thoughts--anytime!