A Period of Solitude: Why We Sometimes Need One

I haven’t posted for a while as sometimes life necessitates taking a step back, pulling up the drawbridge and keeping yourself and family safe in the Ivory Tower. Protected, for a while, from the devastating whirlwinds of sadness, loss, fear, pain and anxiety that rage and scour through life from time to time. We need a time of calm and quiet solitude to recharge and regroup emotionally, reconnect with those we love whose presence in our lives each day is the core of our being.

Perhaps it’s because of what’s happening in the lives of families close to us right now that we are so aware of the suffering going on around the world, irrespective of culture, creed or geographical location. From famine to abuse; lives crippled by circumstances which, in many cases, cannot be controlled by the individual. Check out Adventuresinexpatland‘s take on Somalia this morning.

We all know Death sits among us, walks with us always, but usually we’re not aware of him; the blinding sunlight of regular life reducing him to a hazy mirage on the periphery of our awareness, only thought about at times of crisis when he takes centre stage. His arrival in the spotlight shakes our foundations, reminds us just how fragile and limited our mortality. How unimportant so much of our lives are in the real scheme of things. He makes us take stock; re-evaluate our priorities. Hold our loved ones close while we can.

What we do at times of withdrawal is find acceptance, build emotional resilience and move forward. (Linda at Adventuresinexpatland has also been writing a series on this too, you really need to check her out, this is one smart, insightful lady.) Without it we become useless, paralysed emotionally, unable to pick up the pieces and carry on.

Which is what we have to do because there is no alternative.

Because life is the greatest and sweetest gift we have been given, that despite the awful things around us there is joy in the smallest of things. Life owes us nothing but can give us so much if only we let her in. I’m not talking religion here, just the wonder of our existing at all.

Taking time out is not about feeling sorry for yourself or having a (self) pity-party, it’s time to appreciate and give thanks for the best things in life, things we take for granted in the hustle and bustle of everyday living. It’s for getting emotionally, mentally and physically strong; balanced.

It’s only when we’re balanced we’re able to stretch out our hands and help others; take their weight on our shoulders for a while, fight their battles, make our voices heard on their behalf, because humanity is at it’s best when it’s giving to others without thinking or for personal gain. It is pure. It’s what we’re here for. Isn’t it?

So my apologies for not being my normal upbeat, positive, witty and amusing self of late. Normal service will be resumed soon – I’m thinking tomorrow all being well.

Today the drawbridge is going down and I’m off dip my toe in the water of ‘normal life’ although the inevitable trip to Albert Hein could be enough to make me pull it back up again . . .

About wordgeyser

Our anglo/american family used to live in four countries (USA, Canada, UK and the Netherlands) on two continents, separated by distance, time zones, circumstance and cultures. It has been a scary, enriching, challenging place to be. The only things guaranteed to get us through were a sense of humour and the amazing people met along the way. . . This year everything changed with a move for us from the Netherlands, – and a move along with us for our son and his wife from the UK – to Houston, Texas, the same city as our daughter. With our youngest in Vancouver, Canada, we are now all living on the same continent. How this happened, and more importantly why, will be the subject of this ongoing blog...
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7 Responses to A Period of Solitude: Why We Sometimes Need One

  1. Jane says:

    Most thoughtful and eloquent…. I will come back and read this again when faced with challenges.
    ” … just the wonder of our existing at all” hit home perfectly.
    Thank you for writing ….

  2. Kat says:

    A very though provoking post. Thanks!

  3. Sarah Koblow says:

    Well done for taking time to care, for yourself as well. That way you can give more for longer and easier to tell others than to do for ourselves, usually.

    • wordgeyser says:

      Thanks Sarah – this was a light bulb moment for me. Assumed I’d gone into withdrawal mode because I wasn’t coping, now I realise it was coping skills that made me do it!

  4. Such a thoughtful post that reminds us that in the bigger scheme of things, we don’t call the shots. As you so eloquently wrote, it’s necessary to remember what is truly important in life, and hold it close. All the little things we worry about just fall by the wayside. I’m honored and humbled to be mentioned (twice!?). Thank you so much.

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