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03 December 2010 @ 11:48 am
the pleasures of solitude  
In the past few months, I've found myself returning to introversion after several years of roughly even introversion and extroversion.

It's funny, because I always thought this was one of those things that wouldn't change, but I was quite introverted in my teens and early 20s, enjoying a lot of time alone and requiring quiet down-time to recharge after social events (even while greatly enjoying social events). So it was surprising to discover myself feeling much more extroverted late in my 20s! Not to the point of never wanting or needing time to myself, but certainly far less than I had previously.

And, somehow, despite having adjusted to the notion that introversion and extroversion are not a fixed characteristic, I'm surprised anew now that it's changing again. I'm hugely enjoying returning to finding a deep pleasure in my own company, and in quiet, solitary activities, from reading (not on the computer!!) to cooking to walking to crafting.

This got me to thinking about all the things I love doing by myself that are often seen as things that people "usually" do with company: going out, for example, whether to eat or for a movie.

What do you love doing by yourself?
I'm feeling: thoughtfulthoughtful
sol3sol3 on December 3rd, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
a short list:
* going to concerts
* going to a movie
* going to to a museum
* listening to new music
* trying a new restaurant
* going clubbing
* playing pool
ruthless compassion: pouncearoraborealis on December 3rd, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
Playing pool! I used to do that all the time!
funner'n a sack a weaselsmoominmolly on December 3rd, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
It never would have occurred to me to do that alone! Awesome.
sol3sol3 on December 3rd, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
I've done both 9-ball on my own (which lends itself nicely to solo play) and 8-ball (which takes a bit of mental attention to remember "am i stripes or solid?". Sometimes I swap which hand i'm dominating with based on the color :)
funner'n a sack a weaselsmoominmolly on December 3rd, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC)
It's a tossup whether I'm better rightie or leftie on any given day - I should totally try that. :)
kinesthetic chutzpahdilletante on December 3rd, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC)
i used to do it while waiting for you to arrive at diesel for us to play together, sometimes. :)
metagnatmetagnat on December 3rd, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC)
There aren't many typically crowd-based things that I like to do alone. I do like to go to museums alone - being able to explore at my own pace is very pleasant.

I also get an irrational jolt of joy, sometimes, alone in my room at night, doing exactly what I want (which is usually just reading, watching something, playing guitar or crafting). Sometimes it just gives me a warm sense of happiness and security to feel like my time and my decisions are my own and I am exactly where I want to be.
Rowan: Fallmzrowan on December 3rd, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC)
Wandering around an unfamiliar place; going to museums. Although, hm, I so rarely get to do that with company that this response may not count.
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on December 3rd, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
If you love doing them alone, they count! Comparison to doing them with company is tangential.
Chance: sushi paintsmiss_chance on December 4th, 2010 05:32 am (UTC)
I mostly like museums alone, mostly because I have strange pacing when it comes to looking at art. But if its a small exhibit, like pretty much any show at the ICA, or a collection I'm familiar with, (like most of the MFA and all of the ISGM) then I like to see it with other people.
Deloresdebsquared on December 5th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
I enjoy wandering around a new city. No schedule and no one minds if I get lost!
Jasonjd_trouble on December 3rd, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
-Shopping at a mall
-playing pinball
-playing with rope
-cooking food to my taste
blkblk on December 3rd, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)
After I divorced and moved out on my own, I found myself delighting in all this new alone time I had. While I still have quite a bit of extroversion, I became fiercely protective of my newly-found introvert side, and how much energy it gave me.

Some things I love doing by myself include reading, cooking, working out (swimming, weightlifting, running), and thrift store shopping.
Hawk Handsawhawkhandsaw on December 3rd, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC)
Movie theaters and shopping malls are places I like visiting alone.
Jadiajadia on December 3rd, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
Things I like to do alone that other people have found weird:
* Going dancing
* Going to Maine and hanging out on the beach
* Eating dinner at a restaurant (me and my book)

There are a lot more things I like to do alone, that other people seem to not find as weird, but this was what your post inspired me to write.
Meaghansatyrgrl on December 3rd, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC)
When I am alone, I love to sit somewhere comfy and plug into an audio book or podcast and do something craftsy (lately cross-stitch) with my hands. This creates a kind of perfect zen no-mind for which there is no substitute.

I really enjoy eating in restaurants alone, wandering around in a new city, and going to the theater. Unfortunately, I rarely get the opportunity to do any of those things.
B.K. DeLong: drwho laidbackbkdelong on December 3rd, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
* Driving and listening to books on CD or NPR
* Going to the/watching Movies
* Reading
* Listening to Music (Pandora has opened up whole new horizons of my already eclectic tastes)
* Exploring nature
DancingWolfGrrldancingwolfgrrl on December 3rd, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
I love driving and walking by myself.

I also love traveling by myself, especially to new cities. I do things I wouldn't get around to in company, like wander aimlessly and take a hundred photos a day.

veek on December 3rd, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
Oh goodness, what don't I love doing by myself? I'm pretty introverted. In no particular order

- long walks: in the city, on the beach, in the woods
- singing and/or listening to music
- sex
- coloring mandalas
- reading
- watching tv
- cleaning my house (by myself is MUCH more pleasurable than with others)
- watching the world and making notes, mental or otherwise
- making food
- cross-stitch, when I did it [a lot], which hasn't been for a while now
- sitting (meditation practice, of which I don't do enough)
- yoga (which I pretty much do only when alone)
- spiritual whatevers not covered above

And on.
sol3sol3 on December 3rd, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC)
cleaning my house (by myself is MUCH more pleasurable than with others)

I far prefer cleaning when the house is empty.
David Policardpolicar on December 3rd, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
While I very much need and value alone-time, there aren't very many things that I prefer doing alone. Long walks and reading, mostly.

That said, there are lots of things that turn out to be easier to do alone... run lines, for example (well, unless someone actually wants to run lines with me, which is great but rare).
Mizarchivist: Bookworm hidesmizarchivist on December 3rd, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC)
Bike rides
Most crafting (although sometimes nice if someone quietly keeps me company)
Reading in bed
Eating breakfast (includes going through morning online reading)
Stunt Double for the Patriarchystarphire on December 3rd, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
*I love solo travel and traveling with people I know and like about equally; my ideal travel vacations have included both at different points of the trip.

*Going for walks in nature by myself is the closest thing I have to a church or temple 'place' for spiritual reflection. It still counts if I have a dog or two along, but another person is an entirely different outing (though also enjoyable).

*when I am designing or building something. A well-equipped shop with just me in it, creating something that I'm making up as I go along, is ideal.


*accompanying myself on the guitar.

born from jets!!!: bicyclecatness on December 3rd, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
I've always enjoyed doing most everything alone. I am finding, however, as I get older, I prefer seeing/hearing music and eating at restaurants with others. But I love love LOVE going to the beach alone, and I love doing urban exploration on my mountain bike by myself. So fun! And window shopping, I like doing that alone, too! Coffee shops, reading, just hangin' out. Being at home in a clean house alone is pretty great. Also, a thing I *must* do alone is practice music things.

There is nothing in this world quite like road tripping alone (which I had forgotten how much I like because it's been awhile since I did that). Thousands of miles, just you and your van or your motorcycle (or your motorcycle in your van), and bad radio. It's weird, and sometimes scary, and sometimes lonely, and always... really damned cool.

I dunno. Alone is pretty awesome.
whynotkaywhynotkay on December 3rd, 2010 10:02 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I think of myself as extroverted, but I have trouble thinking of things I like to do on my own more than with other people. Does that make me an extrovert or just pathetic?

Sometimes I like going to restaurants on my own (so I can order whatever I want, and pick the restaurant nobody else wants), but rarely would I prefer not to have a companion with me at the restaurant.

I do like living alone though (having my own space)... most of the time. Being able to put things wherever, and not worry about offending anyone else.
kinesthetic chutzpahdilletante on December 3rd, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC)
What do you love doing by yourself?

kinesthetic chutzpahdilletante on December 3rd, 2010 10:33 pm (UTC)
i probably enjoy doing most things alone, including things i also enjoy doing in company. and i tend to have pretty high alone-time needs, i think.

juggling to music is one thing i like to do alone.
(Deleted comment)
kimcobkimcob on December 5th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
I do not like doing much of anything by myself.