"Do you prefer being alone? Would you rather be around other people?"
Most days, the answer is that I prefer to be around other people. Not that I can't be alone, it's just nice to share experiences with others. Whether they're old friends or new acquaintances, I live for the opportunity to interact with my fellow human beans. :) I think I'm even more social due in large part to the fact that I spent too many years being hoarded away from the rest of the world by controlling men who tried to keep me under lock & key like some kind of pet. (Which, by the way, makes absolutely no sense. Why would anyone treat someone as though they hate their guts, but do everything in their power to keep them?!) It took awhile, but I got out of those situations and it made me far more appreciative of human interaction.
Today, however, my answer would be unequivocally "ALONE"! I'm not foolish enough to think I'm the only woman who feels overwhelmed, overworked, and undervalued. There are never enough hours & everyone is after their pound of flesh. Most days my energy is spent on the needs of others and when I try to steal a moment for my own needs, it's as if the sky is falling. I'm not a femi-nazi, nor am I a '50s throwback wifey type.
If we don't stop and take time to recharge ourselves, the length of time we can keep up the frantic pace grows shorter & shorter. I am currently in the phase of my life where the to-dos are getting longer, but the days aren't. There are not nearly enough hours in a day. It has nothing to do with how much I love my family or friends or how much my job means to me. It's just that at a certain point, I can't keep going. I start to get tired. And then I get bitter. Resentful of the time I spent on others compared to the amount of time they've spent on me. Frustrated at how heavily I'm relied on when I cannot rely on others in turn. Only after I've pushed myself too hard do I feel this way. The rest of the time I can fly through my responsibilities like Superwoman.
When I reach my breaking point, I require a little alone time. It is imperative that I retreat inward. It's not always possible to be physically separated from others, so I do what I can to adapt to my situation. Tonight I'm doing that by putting on headphones & playing music so loud that I can't hear what's going on in the house around me. If I can hear what's going on, I won't be able to resist jumping in & getting involved in something else when what I really need is to focus on myself. Even if it's just taking a few minutes to post a blog, I have to do whatever I can to find my center. I can't listen to that little voice that says I'm being selfish. I can't give in to what I perceive as guilt from my family for blocking them out. Maybe they don't understand what it's like to have the kind of pressure that I have on my shoulders day in and day out. Maybe they do know, but they can't do anything to lighten the load. Whatever the case, there are those instances when a girl just needs to stop being everything to everyone else and take care of herself. Otherwise, shit's gonna get U-G-L-Y!!