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Notes from a Crusty Seeker

Joys of Solitude 101: 10 Tips

As a person who woke with dread for the four decades I was compelled to work with other people in offices, silently thinking "if only I could work alone," I may have some wisdom for people who normally leap out of bed in anticipation of social contact—people who are now forced into a routine that requires low levels of oxytocin to enjoy. So to you, I offer the following tips, the first one of which got me through my years of mandated social agony:

 

1. It's only temporary. If you can just do this for the required time in order to stay well, know that one day you will be able to revert to your happy natural self. Anything is do-able, even life, if you remember that the only consistent thing is change, and this too shall change.

 

2. No more makeup, no more appropriate dressing of any kind. No more need for clothes! Think of the money you'll save.

 

3. You can fart with abandon.

 

4. Relax your facial muscles. I'll bet you have no idea how much time you've spent stress smiling, faking care when you really didn't want to hear about Bob's grandmother's operation, pretending you were okay with that guy/girl in the neighboring cubicle latching onto you when their very presence made you want to shower. No more pretending! Feel the relief and let it move through your now-flaccid body.

 

5. To keep that flaccid body from melting into a puddle of adipose, exercise at home—YouTube videos, Kathy Smith videos are my go-to, free weights, a treadmill, dance like nobody's watching—because nobody is. Nobody to impress. Enjoy some private endorphins. Work up a sweat. And, again, fart with abandon.

 

6. Sing! It doesn't matter how you sound. Moan, oh it feels so good. Talk out loud to no one and finally hear yourself think. Some of the thoughts may surprise you. If you get really good at it, you may turn into a Buddhist, "watching your thoughts" and laughing at the ridiculousness.

 

7. Clean if you want to. Don't if you don't. (But always wash your hands after going outside.) Your schedule is your own. No house to make presentable for the guests.

 

8. Read. How often have you said "If only I had time"? No excuses. Unless you're still on the job, you have time. But even if you are working regular hours, no commuting time! So start digging into that pile of "one of these days" books.

 

9. Talk on the phone. That's right: Speak. No texting. Call friends and see how they're doing.

 

10. And once more, fart with abandon, pee and poop like a bear in the woods, enjoy your bodily functions with complete freedom.

 

You're welcome!

 

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