I love a table for one, now more than ever.
Not just because it is more covid safe (2021, new language!) but because I can push my London Fog to the edge, dig into my bag, write/knit/read undisturbed, ask for more hot water, repeat. The perfect combination of alone-time in a crowd; being social without overdoing it.
My father once commented I had his ability to physically disassociate with what was happening around me and not hear the world. “Not a criticism,” he went on to say, smiling,”I admire that tactic and use it frequently.” Until he mentioned this I had not noticed, only knew I could read anywhere, anytime. Also noted many times that he didn’t look up when reading a book and the phone rang. We are not claiming any special powers here, just know how to sink. And lose track of time.
Recently, it feels like socializing is in hyper-speed, a sense of making up for lost time. For the record, I did not “lose time” in 2020 — I stretched it, listened to it, found more room in the endlessness of quarantine. I do not seem to be on board with the frenzy, struggling to find my former ability to small talk (maybe I was never good at that anyways), often standing in corners, watching more than mingling. Far from feeling badly, I feel healthy, self aware and quite ok with this view of the crowds.
A table for one, in a busy café on a rainy Seattle afternoon, is just the right immersion back.
I also do not feel badly for going to bed at 9PM. Or bowing out of invitations. I feel rested, and scheduled time with others have become more thoughtful and sincere.
As the holidays approach (fast), I hope we can all think about where to find the quality, not quantity. I hope to be in a pig pile with grand dogs, my grown children sleeping in their beds until noon.
Cheers to my friends and readers and supporters. Love to you wherever you are and be well.