At a time when my oldest son is just discovering how to do things “all by myself,” I have been contemplating how much I have learned to appreciate doing things all by myself. I have arrived at that juncture in my life where I can actually do things on my own. It wasn’t too long ago when I required a veritable entourage in order to leave the house. In my previous life I required my girlfriends when I went out drinking mainly to be sure I got home at the end of the evening rather than going home with ‘late night hook up’. Hell, we even liked to go to the bathroom together for a variety of reasons. Today I need my wife to be my other half and make up for my social ineptitude and basic awkwardness at everything from cocktail parties to school fundraisers. But, I am aware that I have somehow developed this ability to be alone, to take long walks with the dogs in the woods, to work at my Panera office, to go see a movie, to go to the gym. I am at an age where I just don’t need the constant influx of conversation and companionship throughout my days and nights. Though I will admit that my days and nights are full of constant conversation and companionship. I mean I have a wife and two very small children, a nanny who is in our home everyday and my mother who comes to visit every other week. It’s hard to ever be completely alone, so when it happens, I almost miss the fact that it’s happening. It’s almost like thrill-seeking. I used to jump off bridges and take belly button shots on tables, but now it’s mega exciting to look up from my popcorn at a showing of the Hunger Games and realize I’m totally by myself, sneaking off to a movie in the middle of the day. Small celebration on the inside!
Same goes for walking in the woods…looking down trying not to trip over rocks or be tripped by dogs. Wait, what’s that? I can hear birds, leaves in the wind, trees squeaking as they bend, frogs, and my own feet quietly crunching along…hey, wait a minute, I’m all by myself. In fact on our recent ski trip with the girls when faced with lunch time decisions, I proudly announced that I didn’t want to stay at the wine bar (What? You might say.). No, I wanted a damn cheeseburger, and so off I shushed down down down the mountain in search of apres ski grease and shooters…by myself. Hooray! I’m sure lots of other moms feel this way. I’m sure I’m not the only one, but for me, someone who has always found ways to surround herself with other people (including not leaving the office until 7:00 and going straight to the bar), this is new. This is another phase in my life, I can savor doing things alone, just like my son who can now successfully undress (seemingly anywhere) ALL BY HIMSELF. Fabulous.