Aloneness · humor · musings · Youth

Can You Stay Young Alone?

“Can you stay young alone?”

This question was asked in a fellow blogger’s post, and it struck a chord that I felt moved to consider. And it raised more questions.

Can I stay young, no matter my age?

Can I stay young with or without having an intimate partner?

Do I even want to stay young?

Is youth all it’s cracked up to be?

At 74, I don’t think of myself as old, but I am aware that I am not young in years. I am, however, young in mind and spirit, meaning I feel energetic, creative, hopeful, and enthusiastic.

For the past 12 years I have lived alone, and I thoroughly enjoy the aloneness. I like the freedom of having no one else to consider in my daily planning. I can get up when I want, I can go to bed when I want. I can eat what and when I want (dictated only by the hours local restaurants are open).

I don’t have that constant, underlying, awareness of another’s needs or desires. I am surprisingly content to consider only myself. Selfish, you say? Scary? Lonely? Perhaps all of those, but nonetheless, I love it.

Would I welcome my husband back with his great sense of humor and his unshakable love for me? Of course. Since that’s not possible in this lifetime, I’ve embraced the aloneness, and have found it satisfying and extremely comfortable.

But my aloneness does not exclude people. I share my time with folks I like. I tackle new projects, and explore places not seen before.  Those things keep me young.  I am with people, sharing ideas, accomplishing things, staying as busy as I want to be, deciding on the number of people I’m around, and for how long. Even as I write about my aloneness, I am sharing my ideas with you: readers and other bloggers.

People add a new perspective to my thinking, they offer insights, opinions, slants, alternatives that bring new solutions. They also can drive me silly. They can be difficult, cranky, bothersome, which makes me difficult, cranky, and bothersome.  Thinking back to when I was young in age nothing has changed. I found people fascinating and irritating then, as I do today. That must mean I am young in my reactions even if I live alone.

My conclusion? It takes both aloneness and togetherness for me to remain youthful: a time to share and a time to reflect.

And to deal with those times when I overdo aloneness or togetherness, a daily dose of Zoloft helps.

19 thoughts on “Can You Stay Young Alone?

  1. I tried to comment but couldn¹t pull it off. Anyway, I like your article. Thanks for sharing it.

    From: that little voice Reply-To: that little voice Date: Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 1:38 PM To: Paula James Subject: [New post] Can You Stay Young Alone? Little Voice posted: “”Can you stay young alone?” This question was asked in a fellow blogger’s post, and it struck a chord that I felt moved to consider. And it raised more questions. Can I stay young, no matter my age? Can I stay young with or without having an inti”


  2. Thank you for the ping back. When I wrote that piece my thoughts were this – my dear friend since I was 20 years old has brain cancer, when she is gone one of the people in my life who remembers the youthful Bernadette will be gone. Yet, I still remember the youthful Bernadette and the youthful Maggi (her). I was mulling over the idea of losing the identity of us as youthfull women because we can’t share our memories.


  3. Oh. So it is the memories of being young rather than being young today or tomorrow? I get it. I will probably feel the same way if my sister dies before I do. We share so many memories, as siblings do, and there will no one to share those with…except those people who follow y blog. I pity them!


  4. Well-said. I lived alone for a number of years after a divorce, and am fortunate now to again be living with someone I love. You can never take companionship for granted, and so have to do the best to ensure that you enjoy your own company. Sounds as though you have done just that.


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