The idea for the aloneingTM website and the companion aloneingTM blog came from an experience I had in Cape Town, South Africa, one of my stops on a round-the-world trip I took in 2008.

One morning, I stopped to have a look in a craft barn that featured work by local artists.  At one of the booths in the craft barn, I struck up a conversation with a woman in her late 70s.  After some pleasantries, the woman asked me what I was doing in Cape Town.  I told her that Cape Town was one of my stops on the around-the-world trip to which I treated myself that year.  She asked me if I was traveling alone.  I acknowledged that in fact I was.  The woman jumped off of her chair and stood back, clearly flabbergasted.  Quickly, she explained that she had always admired women "like [me]" who "do things by themselves."  Over the next forty minutes, the woman asked me about various scenarios, and wanted to know if I did those things alone (like going to movies and restaurants).  When I responded in the affirmative, she wanted to know details -- "How do you stand?" -- "Where do you sit?" -- "What do you bring along?".  She had many questions about the things I do by myself -- her questions focused mostly on the details and logistics of how I do them.  She told me that she was married, and had been for all of her adult life.  She said that she did everything with her husband, and enjoyed doing things with him, but often fantasized about doing some things by herself.  In almost a whisper, she shared with me that a couple of weeks before we met, she had gone to a movie by herself one afternoon.  I asked her how it felt for her to do that.  She said that she enjoyed it very much.  She relayed that as she exited the movie theater, the full realization of what she had just done hit her, and she cried -- from joy and pride in doing something she had always wanted to do.  I reflected on my conversation with this woman a little more than a year later.  At that time, I was trying to come up with a writing project.  A writer's mantra was running through my mind like a ticker tape -- "write what you know . . . write what you know . . . write what you know."  I know about alone-ness I thought.  And I know how I trained myself to not let my alone-ness stand in the way of my experiencing what I want and need in life.  My conversation with the South African woman wasn't the first time I had been grilled about how to do this or that a-l-o-n-e by friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers -- and not just women, men have often engaged me in conversations about it too.  So, I looked up "being alone" on Google.  What I found were sites that help people escape being alone, or commiserate on how horrible it is to be alone.  I looked up solitude, and found sites focused on esoteric, spiritual aspects of being alone.  There were sites that equated alone-ness with loneliness, or some pathetic state.  I was thinking about a different experience, so I decided to make up my own word to fit a concept that brought a married woman in her 70s to tears from the sheer joy of it.  There are times when we just want to do some things on our own, by ourselves, for ourselves.  When we choose to honor that, we find that we do that thing or things in good company.  That is what I call aloneingTM.

Now aloneingTM is not just for people who are single!  I have learned some of my best aloneingTM skills from married or "coupled" people.  I would go so far as to say that people who are good at aloneingTM tend to also be good in relationships, including marriage.

Aloneing.com will soon feature ideas, resources, and inspiration for successful aloneingTM.

Click on the aloneingTM Blog link at the top of this page, and drop-in on an ongoing conversation about aloneingTM.  Being good at aloneingTM means you will always be in good company!

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