Although this post isn’t specifically about doll making, I realized that I have a habit of turning down social engagements to work on some aspect of my doll making or other crafting projects in the works. I have no regrets about turning down the social engagements, however, when I've planned on spending a weekend working specifically on one of my projects and must alter my schedule, sometimes I do regret giving up my alone time to be social.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed an increase in articles focusing on the importance of social/community connections as part of overall well being and good health. The message is that being alone may be too closely identified with social isolation which is detrimental to our health and longevity.
But then I ask, what about being alone to take advantage of mindfulness, clearing space for yourself and detoxing from being around people in general, as some self-identified introverts would tell you. And what about making time to just play and be creative? Unplugging from social media, text messages and letting the creative process be all that matters in the moment is good for your peace of mind and rejuvenates the soul.
So, what is the difference between being alone and lonely or socially isolated? I found this definition as I was perusing articles on the subject, What’s the Difference Between Being Lonely and Being Alone?
According to the Macmillan Dictionary, the definition of alone is “without anyone with you.” So, it is a physical state in which you are by yourself and no one else is around.
Maybe you’re alone in your car on the way to work or alone in your office working on a project. It isn’t projected as a positive or negative, it’s just a descriptor that says you are by yourself.
Can’t argue with that. Pretty obvious when you think about it. But sometimes we pin emotional states of being onto being alone and burden it down with all sorts of negative attributes. I came across this article, Being Alone: Pros and Cons that offers a few points to consider when being alone:
As long as we know we can use our alone time in pursuit of activities that feed our soul and bring us joy, we are in that grateful place that helps us move through the rougher times. We don’t feel the pinch of loneliness so much and can be more relaxed and comfortable in our own skin when dealing with people and situations that would normally send us scurrying for the nearest exit. Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, we like our alone time and selfishly guard it against intruders who would like to impose their “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” on us. Just knowing we have a refuge away from the rat race can be the space we need to stop ourselves from diving headlong into negative self-talk and hiding from the world.
Here is additional information about creativity and isolation; Solitude is an Important Part of Being an Artist and Here's Why.