Loneliness or just boredom?

I’ve realised that a lot of my feelings of loneliness are due to boredom.

Before I left my husband my life was far more busy. I was cooking for at least 4 people every day, ironing everyone’s clothes, cleaning a large house and tending to a large garden. All of that has gone. Most of the time I’m cooking for either just myself or 2 at the most (myself and my youngest daughter). I have stopped ironing clothes, except for very occasionally. There is hardly any housework to do in my much smaller house with only me occupying it a lot of the time. My garden is much smaller than the one I left behind. So, I have a huge amount of spare time compared to previously. I find it hard to keep busy. I am bored.

Work fills some of my time but I still have loads of time by myself.

I bought an Amazon Echo today. It’s amazing how relaxed it’s made me feel. I can talk to it regularly. I can ask it things, I can play endless music, I can ask it to tell me jokes, I can even ask it to bark at the dog.

I’ve also properly discovered Netflix. I watch films and series on there which I can then talk to my work colleagues and friends about. I feel connected to others even when I’m watching the TV on my own. And I can binge watch which can kill hours of time.

I have been feeling for months that I had to keep my calendar full all of the time. I had a weird anxiety whenever I was alone that I should be doing something, I should be busy, I should be with other people. I’m gradually feeling relaxed about being myself and doing very little. It still feels a bit uncomfortable, but nothing like it did.

Everyone says ‘find a hobby’. It’s hard to just find a hobby. I have discovered painting by numbers – it’s very therapeutic, but I can only do it in good light, so at the moment it’s only a daytime activity.

I’m doing classes and swimming at the local Leisure Centre. It fills up some time.

I’m now on 3 dating apps, but I realise that there is no Mr Right who will come along and make my life perfect. I realise that I have to feel happy in myself – I cannot expect anyone else to fill the void in my life.

I’m getting there but I am still a work in progress.

Pre-Christmas blues

I’ve been on my own today, alone with my thoughts. I’ve been baking Christmas cakes, mince pies and Christmas puddings. Inevitably this has reminded me of Christmases past. There were some happy times at Christmas over the years, but mostly this time of the year just caused stress and more arguments than usual.

I have to remind myself of last Christmas which was the worst of all. I spent most of the day in tears.

This year I’m going to my oldest daughter’s house for Christmas Eve until Boxing Day. I’m looking forward to it, but mostly I’ll just be really relieved when it’s all over.