Alone. I vaguely remember that concept. Long ago, before I had children, I used to be alone sometimes. In fact, being an introvert, I used to be alone fairly often. I liked being alone. I like being alone. I just rarely get to be alone these days.
Alone is a concept that has negative connotations for many people. Synonyms for the word “alone” are often associated with unpleasantness: lonely, sole, loner, abandoned, isolated, desolate, solitary, forsaken, friendless, hermit, detached, deserted, forlorn. Who would voluntarily experience all those things? No-one wants to be lonely or friendless or abandoned. But there are times when even the most gregarious of us needs a moment to be alone, to be solo, to be single, to be separate, to be apart. Sometimes we each need to get away from everything around us, to close off the buzz of everyday life, to separate ourselves from outside influences and seek a moment of peace and clarity away from the presence of other people. We all need to be alone every now and then.
So when I need to be alone, I find a small sanctuary wherever I can. It may be at my kitchen table in the early morning before the rest of the family gets up. It may be a few stolen moments in the car as I head off to pick the kids up from school. Occasionally, in desperation, it’s behind a locked bathroom door. But my favorite alone place is my bathtub.
I fill my tub with steaming water and scented bubbles. I turn off the lights and light a few candles. I put on some soft music. I might pour myself a glass of wine or a fancy cocktail. I’ll grab a favorite book. And then I’ll sink myself into a world of sensory pleasures, of calming scents and soothing sounds, of peace and tranquility, of distance from the sounds and stresses of life. Solitary. Isolated. Unaccompanied. Away.