I wasn’t always a fan of spending time alone… When my husband first passed away I missed his company immensely and constantly. It was such a sudden change to go from having someone there with me all the time – to talk to, to watch TV with, to add life to the house – to being completely alone in a quiet and empty house.
My children had moved out a few years earlier so it was literally just me alone in our once noisy and boisterous family home. It was so quiet all the time that I took to leaving the TV or radio on just to fill the silence and make myself feel less lonely.
My husband and I used to go out for meals or to the movies together on the weekend and suddenly I felt like all that was impossible… I’d been married for most of my life and was used to doing things together. The idea of going to a restaurant on my own or doing a ‘couples’ activity was daunting to say the least.
Like most people do, I found that things got better over time. Slowly, I became accustomed to the quiet and began to enjoy being able to come home after a long day and relax without being disturbed by anyone.
I started to appreciate how easy it was to cook for one and to only have myself to tidy up after. I began going to the movies and eating out on my own and soon enough I was enjoying my solo time and wondering why I was ever scared of being on my own.
I know how wonderful it is to have a partner and to have someone to share your life with, but to be honest, I wouldn’t give up the life I have now to be with someone new.
I have so much time to myself to enjoy doing the things I’m interested in and love the freedom of not having to answer to anyone or sacrifice my needs for theirs.
I’ve realised that, as much as I love him, my husband and I were stuck in a rut doing the same things day after day and never really branching out of our comfort zone. Now I make a point of trying new things and making time for what’s important to me.
I’ve travelled through Europe on my own, earned a degree online through correspondence learning, redesigned and planted my entire garden, and made more time for my friends and my social life.
To be completely honest, there are times when I feel pangs of loneliness; when I miss my children and having someone to talk to in the evenings, but the happiness and contentment of my solo life far outweigh these sporadic feelings.
Having the confidence to enjoy spending time on my own and going out with just me, myself and I has been the most wonderful lesson I have ever learned. I feel so much braver and more comfortable in my own skin now than I ever did when I was younger.
Living on my own and embracing my solo life has allowed me to teach my children that it’s ok to be alone; it’s not the horrible and sad scenario many people believe it to be.
I tell my friends about how wonderful it can be to be on your own, and while some agree and tell me they often envy my freedom, there are others who nod sympathetically as if I was trying to convince them and myself that I am happy with my life.
At the end of the day, I know how happy I am with the choices I have made and how I’ve lived my life since my husband’s passing. I know he would be happy for me too.