Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Table for one please…

Laura and I have this discussion all the time. “How can you want to go and sit at a movie theater by yourself?” she says. Sometimes I like sitting at the movie theater alone, or being in the woods alone or going out and doing pretty much anything alone. I feel like it gives me time to be comfortable in my own skin. Similar to how I talked a few weeks ago about my love of quiet time, which could be alone or with Laura sitting next to me reading her book or the kids running around like mad, I like taking time on occasion to go out and do something completely by myself. Whether that be my latest version of it where I went and shot my bow for a while, or going to a movie as mentioned, or even going to a sit down restaurant and having a meal by myself. Being alone has a lot of advantages. You get to sit there and people watch and just enjoy the whole fact that the world goes on, you get to order the weird appetizer that only you like and enjoy the hell out of it, and probably most importantly you get to see that you just sitting there by yourself, can have a perfectly good time. That sounds weird to say, but the way I look at it is if I can have a good time sitting by myself, that really takes the pressure off in most social circles. The sense of needing to be around people is much different than wanting to. I find that I enjoy myself more when I’m feeling like the later. Another advantage is the discussions that sitting there by yourself opens you up to. Last night Laura was working, and I went to the bar with her to keep her company. As she got busier dealing with customers I was left to sit by myself not really knowing a lot of people all that well. I ended up getting into the greatest conversations. One was with a retired Chicago cop who enjoyed talking politics, and more fascinatingly the idea of accomplishing big things. We talked about Stephen Hawking and team’s plans for space exploration, and the power of big ideas. It was great, I got to talk to a man that listened as JFK talked about putting a man on the moon, and then within 10 years making it a reality. Then I also got to have a great conversation with a retired Microsoft guy that was equally as fascinating. None of this would have happened if I was there with people I already knew. This ended up being a great night of conversations, simply because I was alone(ish) and open to it. The more I sit here and think about this, the more I think this is a call to be selfish every once in a while. This isn’t a call to become some isolationist and start working on your manifesto or anything like that. This is a call to take some time for you as a person and enjoy your own company. It’s a powerful thing to be comfortable in your own skin. Again this isn’t me stating that I’m going to become some hermit that only comes out on holidays to interact, but taking some time once in a while to go out and get a table for one really seems to do the spirit and soul some good.


  1. This brings to mind a definition offered by a friend long ago. We were talking about introvert vs extrovert. Friend said "introverts are not necessarily shy people. The difference lies in how one recharges. Introverts spend time alone to recharge. Extroverts spend time with others to recharge. Made sense to me!

  2. I like that. I've wondered if I'm an extroverted introvert or how I'd describe it, but I like the idea of how you recharge. I definitely recharge by myself or with those very close to me. Thanks for the comments! and keep em coming!