Hi - welcome back! I hope you are settling in to your new year. Lucky us in New Zealand. The whole country seems to come to a grinding halt for around two to three weeks while everyone takes their summer holidays. I've certainly been enjoying some leisurely times with family and friends. The downside in this country is that road deaths go up at this time of the year, and so do drownings.
I'm often banging on about some aspect of our inter-personal relationships on these pages. About how we can improve things with our partners or how we can better parent our kids. I guess this is because most of us have the belief, rightly or wrongly, that we are essentially "relational beings", meaning amongst other things, that our core relationships are very central to our lives, and therefore our well-being. We usually want to "get it right" if we can, so that we can relate to our "significant others" in better ways. This blog, the internet, and in fact the whole world is essentially relationship-focussed.
That's all well and good, but it does not take into account that many people are flying solo, and doing pretty well at it. Maybe it's time that successful singles had more airtime. At a basic level, I bet they often think that it is the workmate with the crappy marriage, or the neighbour with the delinquent daughter who won't move out of home, who has got the bum deal. But I'm sure too, that there are many other more substantial ways too, in which single folks are reassuring themselves that their lives are just as rewarding as anyone else's.
It seems that we just don't hear so much about the successful solo lifestyle. But the reality is that there is a huge mass of people for whom their primary relationship is with themselves, that they are productive, healthy and very satisfied with life. Yet in a world that is laden with messages about the importance of our relationships with our intimate others, and how to improve these (which is somewhat ironic in itself) the successful solo seems pretty much invisible at times.
I can imagine it might be very easy for single folks to feel that they are somehow second class beings - that as humans they have maybe failed because they don't have a partner or kids. And if they don't have a partner, or kids, or both, they wouldn't actually be in that position by choice, that it's surely not a consciously chosen lifestyle, and they are only biding time until "The One" comes along, so that they can finally look the rest of the "successful" human race in the eye.
The reality is that single folks probably have a lot to teach the rest of us. If we can't feel OK just being in our own company, being in our own skin, without always needing someone else in close physical proximity, well then that's not so good. Because the reality is, at some stage of our lives, we are likely to wind up by ourselves anyway, so it makes sense to think most of us could do that OK, and even find it a rewarding way of being.
It's important to keep in mind too, that the life of the solo flyer is usually just as successful as anyone else's, and that 'alone' does not necessarily equate to 'loneliness'. Singles are likely to be just as sociable as anyone, and they are often way more focused (ie., less distracted), and therefore more successful in their chosen fields, than the rest of us who are often more at the mercy of the ebb and flow of our relationships with kids and partners.
"Some occasional thoughts about families, relationships, and other things that distract us...."