Is Solitude Loneliness?

I was recently listening to an a public radio segment regarding loneliness in American culture.  It was fascinating to me.

I consider myself a loner.  I’m not someone who is lonely, but rather someone who enjoys being alone.  I feel empowered by solitude. I feel in control of my surroundings and more capable of completing my to do list.

The segment delved deeper into the differences between feeling lonely and just being alone.  There are thousands upon thousands of lonely people in our country.  This can be attributed to many things, but most often we are connecting it to our mobile phones.  The more we are connected electronically the less we feel connected in real life.

That is certainly a compelling hypothesis but what I want to think more about are the people who actually want and enjoy being alone.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t want to hide in a closet and just sit there all by myself.  I do however feel comfortable cutting my lawn with no interaction except me and my mind.  I find it a healthy way to process my own thoughts and emotions.

We all like a little time to wind down after a long days work, and for me that would mean doing something completely by myself.  Reading a book, playing a video game, doing the dishes or even writing a blog post.

Do you find therapy in solitude?  Do you feel shamed for being anti-social or appearing depressed?  I’m with you.

Caprese Bruschetta – Impress Someone

So I thought I’d try something elegant for a snack.   It tastes great, is fairly inexpensive and super easy to make.  It’s called Caprese Bruschetta.

caprese
adjective
prepared with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil leaves and drizzled with olive oil

Dictionary.com
I started with the bread.  I found a small french bread loaf at Target and sliced it.  Then sprayed a cookie sheet with nonstick and toasted it in the oven for about 6 minutes.  I had the oven at 350 degrees.
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Next I cut up the fresh block of mozzarella in thick slices.  Chopped the Basil leaves (mine was already getting a little soggy and wilted).  And sliced the tomatoes.
20181011_172426At this point it’s just a matter of assembling the parts onto the bread and plating it.  You can take it to the next level with a little balsamic vinegar glaze.  Just reduce some of the vinegar in a sauce pan for a few minutes on low heat until it gets a little thicker.  Or you can buy a pre-made glaze too. Feel free to drizzle that on top once assembled.   I didn’t get a picture with the glaze.   This can be served immediately for best results.

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I bought the bread at Target.   The rest of the items should be available at most grocery stores.  Make sure the basil is FRESH!  Leave out the balsamic glaze if that’s not your thing.  Feel free to try a little olive oil drizzled across the top instead!

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I found my inspiration from this post on House of Yumm website.  Check it out!

Stressed? Start a New Hobby

I’ve found myself overwhelmed by fatherhood more than once.  I found that having a hobby is a great outlet during the little bit of free time us Dad’s might have.

Indulging in something that eases your mind is not only healthy, but smart.  I too often find myself sitting around during my little bits of free time thinking about all the things I wish I had more time to do.  Why not take some of those ideas and take action?

You don’t have to really begin hobbying to relax.  Maybe you just take everyday activities or tasks and find a way to make them relaxing or therapeutic.

Below is a list of things you may want to try:

  • Reading (Hardcover, Paperback, ebook, magazine)
  • Gaming
    • PC/Computer

      game cartridges
      Photo by Kevin Bidwell on Pexels.com
    • Mobile
    • Console
  • Writing / Journaling / Blogging
  • Follow a team or sport
  • TV Series
  • Create and watch a list of movies
  • Paint / Draw
  • Craft / Etsy
  • Comic Books
  • Wood Working
  • Gardening / Yardwork
  • Detail your Car
  • Exercise
    • Run / Jog
    • Weight Lift
    • Train for an event
  • Fold the laundry with music or tv on
  • Mow the lawn with music
  • Try knitting

    brown wooden rod and purple yarn ball beside white braided cloth
    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  • Take up fishing
  • Try Yoga Stretches and Poses
  • Jigsaw Puzzles
  • Start a collection (cards, coins, stamps, etc)
  • Try photography
  • Take up cooking / baking / try new recipes
  • Try learning an instrument

I’ve tried about 90% of what you see here and found some favorites that I stick to.  When something becomes boring or no longer beneficial I dismiss it from my list of relaxing activities and try something else.

Personally, my free time comes after my children are asleep.  Giving me about an hour or two to dedicate to something relaxing.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew.  Pick a couple things, rotate them through the week and allow yourself to feel good about the accomplishments you make with these tasks.

Am I missing anything?  Suggestions?  Comment to share more with me.