One good thing about living alone is that I can watch bad tv when I want to and no judgment (except that now I’ve opened myself up to criticism for not doing something more productive and mind-expanding!). I was watching a CSI rerun and one of the characters, when asked if she was okay, replied, “Living alone can make you crazy!” It’s funny how statements like this suddenly resonate with me and I thought, “Yes, it does!” As I watched the inauguration festivities yesterday, I found myself talking to the television, sending emails and posting on Facebook. There were so many times when having another person around would have made it more interesting. I decided to make a list of the pros and cons of living alone. By no means is this an exclusive list — feel free to add to it — I’ll think of lots of things after I finish this I’m sure.
Here are some things that occur to me that make me nuts.
1. There’s no one to watch sports with. Cheering with the dog is just not the same, neither is texting.
2. Watching political commentary alone (probably a good thing) falls into the same category as watching sports alone.
3. Shopping and cooking for one is sometimes difficult. I have challenged myself to not throw out so much food, to ask at the produce department for packages to be broken up, and to learn to eat leftovers.
4. Spreading ice melt in response to the housekeeper who accused me practically of trying to kill her with my driveway would have been better with company. Seriously, Diane is awesome and I am so thankful that she will come here in the winter months, but my driveway wasn’t really all THAT bad.
5. Dragging wood from the outside pile to the porch to dry out, then into the house to warm up and dry out further. This requires cleaning out the fireplace, removing the ashes downstairs, loading up logs and bringing them upstairs (seven loads this morning), and then stacking them on the porch. Believe me, this is better with another person to share the task.
6. Not having someone with whom to discuss ideas and frustrations. There’s only so many emails and texts you can send to relatives and friends before they will think I really AM crazy.
7. Thinking that I could be like one of those “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” people on tv (clearly I am watching too much!). Pennsylvania has the second highest retired population in the nation I’ve heard, so there are A LOT of medical-oriented commercials, local and national — drugs mostly, lawyers to help you sue doctors, health care providers, etc.
8. Having to do every single little thing — let the dogs out, feed the dogs, clean up, take the trash to the dump, pick up the mail, change lightbulbs, etc.
9. Asking myself silly questions like, “What if I can’t get my boots off?”
Now, here are some of the good things about living alone.
1. If I wanted to I could stay in my pajamas all day long (I never do, by the way).
2. I can spread Nutella on a graham cracker and put little marshmallows on it and have that for breakfast (not that I would EVER do that!).
3. It is quiet for reading and getting work done.
4. I can read all day if I want to OR watch lots of CSI and NCIS (and any other thing with initials) reruns.
5. I don’t have to wear make-up if I don’t want to.
6. I can play Words with Friends all day long if there’s someone else doing it as well.
7. I can think about lines from old tv shows and blog about them!
8. There is an opportunity to enjoy the simple life, the quiet, the thought of writing more than the blog.
9. And, of course, there’s always trips to the diner.
It has become clear that spending too much time on my own might be a bit dangerous. The weather provides a good excuse for staying in and doing relatively little. Some days I turn around and it’s 4:00 and I couldn’t tell you what I accomplished. Perhaps that’s the beauty of living alone and one of the benefits of retirement. If nothing else, living alone makes me crazy enough to blog about living alone!!