Best laid plans

I had a great idea for tonight’s blog post, but it was, at least initially, predicated on receiving permission to use someone else’s graphic and remarks. What I neglected to consider was that the person in question is in Australia, so the question I posted late this afternoon is experiencing a bit of a delay in receiving a response.

No matter. I shall proceed without the graphic and her lovely comment for the moment. Returning to a topic, minutes, hours or even days later is a trademark of the ADD/ADHD mind.

Alone time is vital to our health, but how many people struggle to find it, or just find being alone too uncomfortable to bear?

We’ve all seen those people. The ones who have to have someone around all the time. The ones who just aren’t comfortable in their own company. I find them difficult to understand as I just can’t relate. I revel in my alone time. I clutch it to my breast like a well used security blanket. I’d happily hibernate in my house, with the cats my only company, for days on end. The trouble is, too much of a good thing isn’t healthy either. Is there a magic formula? A chart into which we can enter pertinent data such as age, gender, living arrangements, location, etc. and receive a slip of paper telling us how much alone time we need to allow? How much time we should spend socializing?

Frankly, I don’t see it happening in the foreseeable future. There are far too many variables, personal individuality being the trickiest of them all. One person sleeps eight hours a night and wakes feeling refreshed, another person, given the same amount of sleep awakens feeling exhausted from too much sleep. That alone is going to skew the answers! So how do you figure out what your personal optimum levels might be?

Many might hate this answer, but the truth is, we have to do what too many people fail to: listen to your body. “I don’t see how my body is going to tell me how much socialization and how much alone time I need!” you might tell me with your arms crossed over your chest signifying that you’re not about to listen to my prattle.

I would calmly reply, saying that your brain and mind are a part of your body. When they are feeling stressed, the smart person listens and tries to determine what to give the body and brain to lower those stress levels; to stop the stress hormones from injecting themselves into our bodies willy nilly. The obvious questions would concern diet and sleep, but what about time spent alone, even if it is simply to contemplate the lint gathering prowess of one’s navel. What about time spent with other humans which doesn’t involve work or other responsibilities?

Just as exhaustion sets in as a result of sleep deprivation (along with other nasty side effects like hallucinations), so, too, can we experience disruptions as a result of too much outside stimulus or too little fun. Now I’m going to throw the “B” word at you again.

A life well lived depends on balance. Sometimes, we have to step outside of our comfort zone to find that balance, but the truth is, if we don’t step outside of it on our own, sooner or later, we’re going to be kicked out, and at that point, the likelihood of it being an enjoyable experience is pretty low. I relate it to the room cleaning scenario when you’re a kid. Either you can clean it by the second or third time your mom asks, or you can spend the summer grounded and performing far more onerous chores than simply maintaining the cleanliness of your own room. How many teenagers have tested this theory, and suffered the consequences? Let me be the first to tell you that being forcefully ejected from your comfort zone is a great deal more unpleasant than being grounded for the summer.

So give some thought to how happy you feel in your own company. If you’re about to achieve full Hermit status, your objective should be to spend less time alone. But if you break out into a cold sweat just because you are all by yourself for a few minutes, it’s time to learn how to be alone without the requisite panic attack.

Most things are not harmful in moderation, and may even be healthy. But anything taken to excess is bound to be harmful, if not now, eventually.

We all need to clean out our emotional closet now and then. Stepping into what is uncomfortable for you right now is a great way to make that happen.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for a soft bed to lay my over used and abused muscles on.
2. I am grateful that I’m learning to temper my hermit-like tendencies with the company of others. As many of my friends are ADD/ADHD, they understand how difficult it can be for me to open up.
3. I am grateful for the exhaustion which is quickly claiming me as it means that Scrappy Doo will have a tough time keeping me awake with his shenanigans tonight.
4. I am grateful for four days of use and abuse of my body because it means that I can stay home alone tomorrow and indulge my inner Hermit to my heart’s content.
5. I am grateful for abundance: health, happiness, joy, friendship, love, harmony, peace and prosperity.