Wow — we had a whirlwind trip to the Lake of the Ozarks this week which dominated our time but was very profitable. (For those reading this who have registered for the Lake of the Ozarks, you will be getting an e-mail from me very soon about housing, which should be good news.) It really does look as though it will be a fantastic Feast of Tabernacles site this year, and being there to check things out and solidify some plans was very exciting for us — almost like experiencing a tiny bit of the Feast a little early in your head.
And with that trip, my e-mail Inbox is backed up like nobody’s business — that and my task list which has stacked up a bit, too. So this blog post today will be very brief, but I amid all of the actually important news (and, no, we did not feel the earthquake in Missouri) I came across an interesting little article today that has gotten me to thinking.
It was in the New York Times: “One Is the Quirkiest Number: The Freedom, and Perils, of Living Alone” (2/22/2012).
The article points out that those who live completely alone tend to manifest behaviors that they otherwise never would with, say, a wife, child, or roommate and which can be rather odd.
According to the article: “What emerges over time, for those who live alone, is an at-home self that is markedly different — in ways big and small — from the self they present to the world. We all have private selves, of course, but people who live alone spend a good deal more time exploring them.”
I found it interesting, because my family and I have had many an occasion to spend time apart, such as marathon 1-2 week study sessions for my actuarial exams while she and the kids visited her family in Waco. What I found about myself is that there was an easing of various self-imposed restrictions — particular in my eating habits. Not necessarily so much in what I ate — though I definitely ate out more — but in how I ate. (Think: fewer plates, more eating-over-the-sink.) But, still, nothing like the “Day of Chad” time mentioned in the article. But as the years have gone by, the “all alone” me is becoming more like the “with the rest of the family” me, which I see as a very good sign. Still, those days always reminded me of Genesis 2:18, “It is not good that [this] man should be alone,” and I always felt that I was a better me when she was home — the me I preferred to be. That has always been something I liked about our marriage; I did not find someone around whom I could “be myself” but, rather, someone who inspired me to be my better self (and, I note, the self I wouldn’t have been smart enough to decide to be without her presence and influence in the first place).
Hopefully over the years in our marriage (coming up on twenty in July!) more of that me has become the permanent, not-dependent-on-the-presence-of-others me. I think so, though I also know that there is still a good ways to go, yet. Still, I haven’t eaten over the sink in a while. 🙂
Of course, some of you out there live alone and have for some time, while some of you have been on both sides of the fence. If you read the article in the New York Times, feel free to come back and comment below on your own experience or thoughts.