While meaningful relationships are a wonderful benefit of living with less, don’t forget to spend time alone. We often define ourselves in terms of our relationships to others.
- her mom
- his wife
- her daughter
- his boss
- her friend
Who are you when you are alone? Who are you when no one gives you anything or takes anything from you? When you are quiet with your thoughts, you can better identify what you need, what you want and what is most important to you … both in the moment you are alone and when you re-join society.
When you are alone, your take away all of the time and energy you spend reacting to other people. A few months ago I ate lunch alone outside on a cool, sunny day in New Orleans.
While I didn’t have a lunch companion, I did have the clarity and attention to enjoy…
- the sun warming my chilled body
- the bubbles of champagne tickling the roof of my mouth
- the reflection of greenery in my silverware
- the chill of the wind on the exposed skin between my scarf and my shirt
- when I felt full
I may have overlooked these things if I was engaged in conversation.
This is not to say it’s not wonderful and amazing to spend time with people you love, but spending time alone will help you better engage in meaningful relationships. If you don’t have the luxury of a few hours alone, even 10 minutes sitting in silence will give you a chance to think about how you feel and who you are.
For more experiments to simplify your life, read Mini-missions for Simplicity. It’s available on the Amazon Kindle store, but you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Kindle books can also be read using the Free Kindle Reader App for your Web Browser, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android.