Are you ever alone and Should you be?

Today, as I suited up to go for a bike ride, Tequila (the dog on the farm we are looking after) got very excited to see me put on my jacket, and I knew I wouldn’t have the heart to leave her behind.  Thus, instead of biking, I opted for a hike.  Off we went down what’s called “The Rail Trail”, Tequila leading the way.  As we walked, I became very aware of how much of my attention was with the dog, like it would be if I were walking with a friend.  My mind would begin to drift to whatever thoughts earned priority in my sub-conscience, and then be interrupted by the rabbit that Tequila had scared out of the bush, or by wondering where she had gone, or by watching her play in the river, or by concerns that she may be thirsty etc.  Walking with a dog changed my walk experience.  It distracted me from my own thoughts and brought me out of my own head very often.  I was not alone.

I wondered how often dog owners are alone. Or have their consciousnesses adapted to include the dog

I wonder if it is better or worse to have a constant companion always in your presence. This could be a dog, a partner or a child.

And I wonder how often mothers are alone.

Like, really alone.  Where no one knows where you are, no one is expecting you, you’re not responsible for anything, you’re not concerned about the time and you’re able to think very deeply, naturally and without interruptions, forever if you felt like it.  Sounds like you’d be in a vacuum doesn’t it.

I wonder how often humans are supposed to experience time like this.  I experienced a lot of solo time before I shared my life with my current partner.  I was almost always alone, in my own head-space.  And now, there are days when I’m alone, but I always know he’s coming home for dinner.  Even if we’re apart for a day or 2, he is present in my consciousness always.  And yet there was a time when I didn’t have that constant companion.  And I think at those times I would have deeper thoughts.  My mind would contemplate life intensely, scrutinizing each step I took.  With a partner, I think I tend to let little things slide.  For example, we drive pretty often, and when I was on my own, I would bike to China and back to avoid driving.  My mind doesn’t venture as deep into itself anymore.  It’s either that I have less to prove now that I’m happy and loving, or that I forfeit responsibility when there is 2 of us and our decisions have to accommodate 2 opinions, 2 sets of needs and 2 sets of priorities.  On the flip side, at times when I didn’t have a partner, I was lonely.  There were times when I was desperate for someone to do things with.  Just someone to buy groceries with, to live with and cook with.

All of this to wonder.  What are we meant to do?  Live a conscious, independent life, or share life with each-other always, perhaps venturing into deep uninterrupted thought less often.  I realize there is a middle ground, however how often do we commit to being truly together and being truly separate?  When I hit a time in my life where I had lots of time to think alone, (which often accompanies facing some hard truths and rough patches), I had a few epiphanies in a row.  I posed all my life’s questions to my mother in one breath.  Asking her if she had thought about these things, how she felt about them, why she was living in the rat race of capitalist Toronto etc.  And my mother’s reply was that most people don’t have the time to stop and think like I did, that it was a luxury, and that she had to go because she was in the middle of filing a prospectus.

Any thoughts?  Any long, uninterrupted thoughts?


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