I Want to Be Alone

We’ve all heard them, those words uttered by Greta Garbo in the 1932 movie Grand Hotel: “I want to be alone; I just want to be alone”

I’ve been busy at work; some days I’m in meetings for almost the entire day. Never mind that it’s hard to get any real work done, it also means that I’m interacting with people all day long. It means I’m “on” constantly. By the time I get home at the end of the day I’m tired. Spent. Exhausted. Done.

In addition feeling physically exhausted I’ve been anxious, stressed and overwhelmed, I haven’t been able to write, and I haven’t been able to pinpoint the reason why. Until now.

I’m reading a book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking in which author Susan Cain says “Introverts are drawn to the inner world of thought and feeling, said Jung, extroverts to the external life of people and activities. Introverts focus on the meaning they make of the events swirling around them; extroverts plunge into the events themselves. Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone; extroverts need to recharge when they don’t socialize enough.”

Ah yes. I seem to have forgotten this lesson I learned about myself many years ago, that in order to maintain a sense of balance and peace in my life I need silence and solitude on a regular basis.

So that’s what I’m doing–unapologetically and deliberately carving out the time I need to recharge on a regular basis.

I’m blessed to have a husband who understands this about me–it’s something he had to learn the hard way during the early years of our marriage when I sometimes struggled against the loss of my solitude–and he knows that giving me the gift of time works out well for both of us in the long run.

Being able to ask for, and take steps to obtain, those things I need and want in my life is one of the great gifts of growing older.

How about you? Do you recharge by being alone or do you need to have people around you in order to feel energized? Do you consider yourself to be an introvert or an extrovert?


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things.
  1. Great post, Linda!

    I am contemplating the same thing as NaNoWriMo draws near and I know I’ll be spending extra time and focus writing in the next month.

    Depending on various factors, I have found myself getting energized from either setting. In general, though, I think being alone is the most energizing.

    1. Good luck with NaNoWriMo, Denise!

  2. I so relate. I love my friends, but my energy comes from solitude.

    1. Ah…another like-minded person…. 🙂

  3. Dear Linda, my energy also comes from solitude. I often reach out and call friends and visit on the phone. But then I can choose when to gracefully end the conversation and return to quiet. Peace.

    1. I enjoy visiting in person but I’m not much of a phone person. I say that, but when I get off the phone after having had a wonderful conversation with someone I feel energized!

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