Saturday, September 2, 2017

Staying in my happy place

I just read an FB posting by my friend, K, who shared that her comfort zone is in the recording booth where she works as a voiceover artist. I can understand how she feels, having been in recording sessions with her. All alone in a soundproof booth where you can communicate with the sound engineer or the outside world through headphones, it’s a nice, safe place for talent like K who do good work in pretty much isolation. Me? I’m also happiest when I’m alone, although, ironically,  I work in the communication business.

I know people who have to be surrounded by people. Or noise. Another friend turns on the TV the moment she reaches home where she lives alone, because she says she feels comforted by the sound of voices, even though it’s coming from the idiot tube. I, on the other hand, am perfectly happy in a quiet, even silent environment.

When I was working full-time in the advertising industry, there was a lot of noise. And chatter. Sometimes heated arguments. And always, talk, talk, talk. Perhaps in reaction to all that noise, I crave silence when I’m home. I don’t even want music sometimes. Perhaps I’m used to the quiet also because I grew up pretty much the only child in the house, coming along ten years after my siblings.

Whatever the reason, I’m generally a quiet person, not liking to talk very much. After being out and about with people, I look forward to heading home and being by myself. Lately, my happy place is in front of the TV indulging in my newfound passion for crochet. I’ve become one of the crocheters who aren’t even sure what the stars of TV shows look like anymore because my eyes are always on the crochet stitches!

I have to admit that sometimes I don’t even feel like going out and have been tempted to beg off a dinner date because I’d rather stay home to finish a row of crocheting or even unravel tangled up yarn. I know, that sounds pathetic, but people who are completely engrossed in a hobby or past time will understand what I’m talking about. You can spend hours on your craft, or researching your craft, or checking out what other people into the same craft are up to. I tune out the rest of the world and reach a zen-like state that’s totally addictive.

I’m sure crocheting can be a fun group activity where you can get together with like-minded individuals to trade designs and patterns. There are even crochet and knitting cruises that people go on to make new friends, but that would be my idea of holiday hell!

I enjoy driving. By myself. I don’t need anyone else in the car to keep me company or engage in conversation. I generally have some music on but sometimes, I prefer just driving in total silence. Driving along the highway for long distances don’t faze me, and in fact I quite enjoy it. I’m happiest when driving along country roads, where you have the chance to look around at the surroundings a bit. I always find myself imagining what kind of lives people lead in the small towns I pass, and look out for quaint little houses or interesting foliage.

When I head to the gym, again I’m not one of those who need a companion to work out with. While I do enjoy a group session or exercise class with others, I work out by myself. Putting myself through my paces on the treadmill or bicycle, lifting weights and pilates. I zone out the others in the gym, even the bright lights and loud music. I’m happiest working out by myself.

I know people whose happy place is being out for meals with friends. Or shopping. While I enjoy those activities on occasion, I guess what I’m really getting at is that I’m not a people person. While I do enjoy a good chat with friends, and spending some time catching up with my son, B, when I haven’t seen him in a while, I’m very content to be by myself. I was out for dinner with family last night. I was at a wedding lunch today and have to head out again this evening for dinner. To be honest, I'd rather be home along. I can be puttering about with my plants. or crocheting. Or reading. All pretty much solo activities which don’t require company.

I’ve lived long enough to know that I don’t need to feel bad or apologize for the way I am. My happy place is somewhere where I can let down my guard, and not feel the need to be sociable. I may be alone, but with all these things to do, solo, I don’t feel lonely at all!