Alone Versus Lonely

I have been a writer for as long as I can remember. As early as Junior High I began filling journals with observations, thoughts and feelings – not just the standard date, weather and what my mom served for dinner. I remember sitting on a swing under a tree writing a short story about owning a unicorn – just because I wanted to, never intending for anyone to see it. I was alone with my words and I was happy with that.

Now, 30-some years on, alone-ness is a rare and precious commodity. As a stay-at-home mom, I haven’t been alone for any stretch of time for eight years. Now my youngest is in preschool three mornings a week, and those six hours are golden. I treasure them. I hoard them. I make lists of the things to invest these perishable and irreplaceable hours into. At the top of that list is never laundry. Or dishes. Or sweeping the floor. Those things can be done when the boys are running through the house – just as they have been for the  past near decade. Instead, I write. I read about writing. I market what I’ve written. And I dream about what to write next.

What I am not during those beautiful golden hours is lonely.

No, I have the company of thoughts I haven’t heard clearly for eight years. I analyze my fears for validity. I root my dreams in reality and map the steps to achieving them. I review memories of small sweet victories and painful dramatic losses that clamor for a purpose outside of my head. A proverb I’ve heard all my life motivates me – and for once it’s not from the Bible. (Apparently it’s Swedish.) “Sorrow shared is sorrow divided, joy shared is joy multiplied.” So, with the promise from my creative God that nothing I lay on his altar of service will ever go to waste, I mine the depths of my mind, imagination and memory and give it all to Him.

So, to bring you joy, I share what makes me joyful. And to ease your sorrow, I will show you I am bearing that burden with you. And above all, I write to show that even when alone none of us ever needs to feel lonely.

(This post was inspired by the fantastic and helpful Rachelle Gardner, who has no idea who I am, but lets me read her blog posts anyway!)

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