Attitude Of Being Alone – Aging Alone

by Sherry Riter in Aging,Self-Development  

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Being alone and being lonely are two TOTALLY different things. Just because someone is alone, it doesn’t always mean they are lonely. When you are in a crowd of people are you always happy? So the number of people in a location or home doesn’t determine loneliness or happiness.

In the United States, there are about 29% (11.3 million) of older persons living alone (8.1 million women, 3.2 million men). Almost half of older women (47%) age 75+ live alone.

Did that surprise you?

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Loneliness is more an attitude and feeling while being alone is a physical condition. Today I was alone. I knew Alyssa wouldn’t be home for dinner, so my first inclination was to just make a turkey sandwich. That seems to be my favorite “alone” meal. But as I went into the kitchen, I started thinking that I needed to change my attitude about eating alone.

When Alyssa moves and I am alone, does that mean I will eat a turkey sandwich every day for dinner? No way! So instead of making a turkey sandwich, I set out to cook a healthy and delicious meal for me, myself and I.

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“I restore myself when I’m alone.”
~ Marilyn Monroe ~

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Getting Things Done Alone

Everything that couples and families do, people who live alone have to do too. So let’s break it down a bit for a few biggies.

  • Eating – Obviously, everyone has to eat in order to stay alive. Man cannot live by bread alone and woman cannot live by a turkey sandwich alone. I love eating as much as I love cooking. Where am I going to find anyone as appreciative of every dish I cook than me? People who are alone need to treat themselves as they would their best guest. Take the time to savor the food. There aren’t many things as enjoyable as eating, so don’t let the opportunity for enjoyment pass you by just because you are alone.
  • Sleeping – Once again, an activity that everyone has to do. Sleeping alone is much easier if you get smack dab in the middle of the bed. When you first start sleeping alone, you’ll fall asleep faster if you wear yourself completely to exhaustion before you go to bed. It may sound ridiculous, but it is true! I’m really lucky when it comes to sleeping. Not only do I fall asleep in less than ten seconds, I sleep like a rock. I also sleep soundly and I don’t move, so fixing the bed in the morning is quite easy. As good as all that sounds, I miss snuggling with someone that loves me. But, believe me, it is better sleeping alone than having someone who doesn’t love me snoring on the pillow next to mine.
  • Activities Away From Home – Last weekend I went to see “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” with Alyssa. We had a great time, but having someone with me isn’t always required. I remember the first movie I went to alone. I kept turning to my right to say something, but no one was there. That was just a habit! Eventually, I went to the movies alone enough that I stopped doing that talking-to-nobody thing. So shopping, movies, dining out, walking on the beach, watching the sunrise and a thousand other things can still be enjoyed alone.

People who live alone get lonely, but so do people who are married. The happiness a person feels is not solely based on companionship. Solitude has many advantages and being without a companion should not inhibit enjoying life. By having caring friends and extended family, constant loneliness doesn’t have to be a part of being alone.

Loneliness causes a person to feel insecure, anxious and depressed. However, if you always have to be doing something with lots of people, then you’re allowing those insecurities to rule your life. When that feeling of isolation and emptiness causes fear to rear it’s ugly head, a little self-talk will go a long way at controlling these emotions. The fear of being alone is often so strong that people stay in relationships that are unsuitable and unhealthy. Until a person can enjoy being alone with themselves, they will stay in unhappy relationships or roll in and out of them constantly. Don’t let your fear cause you to settle for unhappiness. Life is short and we are aging, so there’s no time to waste.

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11 Things To Do Alone

Some things are easier or necessary to do alone because you can concentrate better. Being able to focus totally on the task at hand is just easier alone because there are no distractions. Here’s a list of 11 things that can be thoroughly enjoyed while doing them completely alone.

  1. Write a book/Keep a journal.
  2. Learn a new skill – carpentry, crocheting, cooking, playing the piano, etc.
  3. Genealogy. Trace your family tree.
  4. Read a book.
  5. Meditate.
  6. Organize/Scrapbook your photos.
  7. Exercise.
  8. Garden. Grow things inside and outside.
  9. Pamper yourself with a luxurious bath.
  10. Blog. You knew I had to add that one.
  11. Nap in the sunshine.

I have to add an unofficial number 12 to the list for me and it may not be applicable to you. When I’m alone, I can sing loud and dance like a superstar. My singing voice sounds equally as beautiful as Andrea Bocelli, Karen Carpenter, Barbra Streisand, Reba McEntire or Carrie Underwood. I also can put the moves on just as good and maybe better than Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, John Travolta, Patrick Swayze, Shakira and Michael Jackson. Yeah, I think I’m stretching it a bit. The good thing is that when I’m alone, singing and dancing, I FEEL like a superstar singer and dancer. THAT feeling goes a long way in helping me to feel happy.

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We are born alone.

We will die alone.

Most of us will at some point in our lives live alone.

I hope that I have at least helped you to see that being alone should not be feared and loneliness is not synonymous with being alone.  

“I love to be alone.
I never found the companion that
was so companionable as solitude.”
~ Henry David Thoreau ~


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Skip_D August 20, 2012 at 4:32 am

I live alone, & have for years. I’m never lonely. There are so many advantages. I cook what I like. I can keep strange hours without disturbing anyone.

I like your list of 11 things to do while alone. I even admit to your number 12 😉 …& I love that salad – it looks wonderful!


2 The Redhead Riter August 21, 2012 at 11:41 am

The salad was yummmmmmmmmy. LOL 🙂


3 Susanne August 20, 2012 at 8:36 am

I have surprised myself because I am totally okay with being alone. I am very comfortable being with myself. However, I didn’t know that until my late 40’s, because I had never had the opportunity to live alone, until then. I’ve always known that I enjoyed being in “my room” without interruption, but living byself was a novelty for a long time. I don’t live alone any longer, but I can say without a doubt that I enjoy my time alone. In fact, I cherish it even more now. Initially I couldn’t “wrap my had” around this notion, because I don’t really like myself for various reasons. So this alone thing is very contradictory. That’s just me, once anyone thinks they have me pegged, well they are in for a treat….lol.

I completely agree that there is a huge difference between being lonely and alone. When I lived alone, if I found myself lonely, I did something about it. It was up to me to make that happen. It was a choice. That’s a nice thing in its self. The freedom to make that choice. When living with others, same thing. Living with one or more people is not a a cure for lonliness, nor is it a guarantee that you will never feel lonely again. Choice comes into play, again.

When I lived alone there was another benefit. When I cleaned, and I do that often, there was no one behind me making a mess. The way I left it, was exactly the same as when I returned. To me that’s a biggie. I know I’m so articulate…lol.

I do have to add one little note, that I hate to admit, but being financially secure does make living alone easier. Actually, it makes life easier, but that’s a whole different topic.

I was wondering where the comment section was yesterday. After reading this, I’m sure you are so glad that you gave us the freedom to comment…lol. Bye for now


4 The Redhead Riter August 21, 2012 at 11:50 am

“Financially secure” is definitely a key factor in living alone unless you want to live under a bridge. That is why I’m happy about Alyssa going to school. I know that she will be able to support herself with a good career and will be self-reliant. THAT is priceless.


5 Teresha August 20, 2012 at 9:51 am

I have always liked being alone, now I never get any alone time and I miss it frankly.


6 The Redhead Riter August 21, 2012 at 11:53 am

LOL Teresha! Your answer didn’t surprise me at all. {{{{{{{hugsssssssssssss}}}}}}} Before you know it, the next 18 years will be over!


7 Kristi August 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm

LOL! I was going to leave a comment yesterday but saw you didn’t have comments enabled. Now I don’t remember what I was going to say. Oh, now I remember. I’m alone a lot. A whole lot. But, I’m never really alone. I’ve had some really lonely moments over the past few months, but it’s those moments that God wants me to reach out to him to help fill that loneliness. I used to try and fill that alone time with noise and television. I still tend to choose things like internet and books first, but I always know He’s there too. I gain a lot of comfort from that.


8 The Redhead Riter August 21, 2012 at 11:56 am

You’re so funny, Kristi!

I have watched so little television in the last couple years. It is so much nicer with the quiet even if I’m lonely.


9 katlupe August 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I am not alone now, but if I was, I would be quite content. I have never had a problem with being alone. My problem is more with having to go somewhere or do something, when I really want to be home. Time flies when I am alone. I know when I am alone, because I have outlived everyone else, I will probably regret saying that! But the truth is, being comfortable being alone has nothing to do with the love I have for the people who live with me right now. My son will leave soon. My husband and I are both on the same level about alone time, so it won’t hurt him to know I said that. He understands.


10 The Redhead Riter September 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Hmmm…I really like being “a wife” and just feel lost without the sharing and doting part of it all.


11 @OldTrackStar / John Perriero September 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm

As a fellow with very few friends, more like acquaintances, cried reading Attitude Of Being Alone – Aging Alone. I guess I’m too sensitive. Since my wife’s passing, my feelings are more acute. It seems that everything that was done as a couple, now saddens me. I have days that are mixed with highs and lows. I enjoyed being coupled.


12 The Redhead Riter September 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss and sadness. I like being a “wife” and always feel like there is something missing when I’m alone. The loss of your love has forever changed you in ways that aren’t even apparent now. The sensitivity is normal as stupid as that may sound, but it doesn’t make it any easier to get through the day. {{{BIG hugssss}}}


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