I never had a chance to be a bachelor. I started dating Aileen when I was still a teenager, got engaged at twenty and married at twenty-one. We both lived with our parents until the day we married. We had both lived at home through our college years. Over the past years of our marriage I have only rarely spent a night apart from her. I believe we were apart for almost a week about six years ago, but since then we haven’t been apart for more than two nights, and even when she has been away, I’ve always had to keep the kids. So this week of solitude has been, well, different.
For example, I didn’t eat very much. Cooking for just myself seemed like a waste of time. I found, though, that if I timed things just right, it was possible to make do on exactly one meal per day. A large meal at about 2 PM could be made to last through the evening. If I got to work early in the morning I would forget all about breakfast. I tended to get hungry late in the morning, but I could suppress my desire to eat for a couple of hours. Saved time, saved money. I’m sure all the ladies out there will scold me, but I am impenitent.
I also found that working from the crack of dawn until 11 PM is not conducive to a good night’s sleep. My body has grown quite dependent on some evening downtime, usually spent with my nose stuck in a book. Forfeiting this time guarantees at least two or three hours of tossing and turning before I finally shut down enough to sleep.
Yesterday I picked up the family and brought them home. Aileen made a remark about being the only family who leaves the cottage on a Friday to spend a weekend in the city. She raises a good point. Anyways, having the family back with me gave me an opportunity to think about the single life versus family life. Here are a few discoveries I made. If I were single I would:
Eat less. I would eat one meal a day with a couple of snacks when I got bored.
Work more. A lot more. I’d probably work myself nearly to death. I found that beyond my family and work I do not have enough activities to keep me busy outside of work hours. This is something I may wish to further examine.
Read less (see above). I would spend more time working which would leave less time for reading. Then I’d probably lose my position over at World blog. That would be disappointing.
Be deaf. I listen to music all day long, but am sensitive to the fact that my family is right upstairs and does not want to hear bass thumping through the floor all day long. When I am home alone the music gets loud. In fact, it gets loud enough that it cannot be good for my hearing. So I’d be deaf as a post in no time.
Have more money. After all, if I work all the time and cut out most of the food bill I’d have more money than I do now.
Have no one to spend it on. That would be disappointing and probably not too fulfilling.
Be depressed. And here’s the crux of the matter. I just wasn’t cut out for this single life. Not even for a week. There are lots of people who do not need and crave family like I do. I have rarely lived a week of my life without close contact with family members. The single life just wouldn’t work for me. So this weekend I am especially thankful for the family God has seen fit to grant me. They make me who I am.