Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Singleness, Selfishness, and Solitude

I truly do love playing “hostess” and having too many people in my home, however I am also very comfortable being by myself and am perfectly ok going for a couple of days without actually seeing another human being.

When we live by ourselves it’s quite easy to get into the trap of becoming selfish with our money and time. After all, the only person we have to take care of is ourselves. It makes sense to buy the large screen TV, the ridiculously expensive lamp, or the custom art for the hallway if we can afford it because we have no children to feed. If we want to spend all day doing whatever we want to do – there is no one else to voice complaint.

I get into the trap of thinking that my singleness is meant to benefit me alone. As a teacher my work-year thoughts tend to be along the lines of “I am so busy, I don’t have time to do anything other than come home and veg.” During the summer I switch to “I work like crazy all year; I’m taking some time for a break!”

If I sat down and thought about it I’d realize that the people who work and come home to kids or the people who take care of a house and kids are much busier than I am - - but that’s why the word “selfishness” is included in the title of this post.

I’m working on ways on making sure I don’t lock myself away behind my pretty curtains and simply enjoy my single life in solitude. I am seeking ways to invest my money in worthy causes rather than spend it on nice things just because I have the “extra” money. I had a rather involved argument with myself the other day on the benefits of an upgraded Netflix membership but eventually decided to stick with what I have. The few extra dollars a month there wouldn’t hurt me – but I have to ask myself who it could help as well. The other day a neighbor boy came to my door to show off his puppy – I talked to him a bit but I was a bit annoyed at being bothered when all I wanted to do was enjoy some alone time. I know that I missed an opportunity to make friends with a family and to show a child love - even if he wasn’t my child. I’ve been watching for him so I could ask about his puppy and maybe reclaim that opportunity. In a few weeks I’ll have a group of ladies meeting at my house once a week. These are some of the reasons I like the idea of living in a community rather than an isolated house – it forces me to look at the people literally feet from my front door. I’m much too comfortable with alone-ness to seek out my neighbors in a secluded area. I’ll have to come back and update once I’ve forced myself to not let my singleness run my life – but instead be a blessing in the freedom it gives me.

With plans now for guests every week I’m going to have to work on being a bit more vigilant in my housework. My home is clean and neat – but it is not up to “guest standards” and sometimes the dishes sit for a couple of days. When I lived with roommates or family I could go on “dish strike” and someone else would eventually do them – but here it is always my turn for the dishes. That’s a subject for another post though.

What about you? Do you see yourself falling into selfish or solitude tendencies as a single person? How do you make sure that you’re still an active part of the world around you and that you are using your singleness for the good of your community and not just for selfish reasons?


  1. A lot of what you said resonated with me. I'd explain more, but I'm too sleepy at the moment :)

  2. Hey. You've been tagged.

    You can do this at bloop, instead, if you want. :-P

  3. Ha ha ha, I do the dish strike thing too! *blushes*

  4. Hello Becky - I don't think I know you - unless you're a becky I know and I just don't know it. Welcome!

    Lauren - is that the religious survey thing?

    April - dish strikes are great! I've got one going on at the moment and Wilbur is so not cooperating!

  5. You know... great blog up until the very end where you had all the questions. It was almost like you switched into "teacher mode" and started giving essay and response questions for the essay we just read. What is this? A sermon? Is this the invitation? ha ha

    Ayour brother, I think I could have told you most of this.... but I've written multiple blogs like this before about my own selfishness. It's good to see if for ourselves, sometimes.

  6. I don't feel at all bad about spending my money (what little I have) and time how I want. That's my personality and that's my choice. I don't think it's fair to paint someone as selfish as if it's bad to do that. If you want to be more involved, then do. I don't, so I won't, and I'm not going to feel bad about that.