As you saw from the Monday Meltdown, Lila and I hiked this past weekend. We hiked in a small hippy town, Yellow Springs, only about 20 minutes from where I live. The vibration is very high in Yellow Springs and I love heading out there for yoga, coffee, or a hike. After I harnessed Lila up on Saturday, we hiked for about an hour and a half around a river gorge area. The park is absolutely gorgeous right now with the trees finally blooming. Since it was a nice day, there were quite a few people in the park as we started off. Eventually we were hiking the wilderness alone with plenty of stops to take a few meditating breaths with all the beauty around us. We got a little lost but eventually made our way back to the car. Although I was taking in the spring beauty of my surroundings, I had also been thinking about an ice cold beer on the last part of my hike. It sounded delicious and I thought Yellow Springs was just the town for a girl to enjoy a beer on a patio with her dog.
I headed into town after my hike but had some difficulty finding a place to drink with my dog. Eventually I saw a patio with a back gate and headed in. I sat down, ordered a beer, and sat in enjoyment while Lila and I people watched. There was a couple sitting next to me and eventually we started chatting since they too were dog lovers. Everyone was enjoying the beauty of an afternoon spent in hippy town. The couple got up to leave and the guy said to me, "Have a nice time by yourself with your dog." Um, what the hell? Was that necessary? I pondered it for a minute and got back to my people watching and beer drinking.
During the pondering I thought about how as a widow, I often do things by myself. I often do things with other people as well but sometimes you want to do something and there isn't anyone to go with you. Or on this particular day, I didn't even want someone to go with me, I wanted to hike and enjoy nature by myself! I don't dine a ton by myself but I do occasionally particularly when I am traveling. I have no issues with it but the host will often ask, will others be joining you? About this time last year when I was in Hawaii, I wanted to bike down a volcano at sunrise. It was kind of pricey and required a pick up of 3am so there weren't a lot of people signing up. I wanted to do it though, so I did. Every single one of the people asked directly or in a roundabout way why I was on the tour by myself. Last time I checked, riding a bike did not require two people (unless tandem of course).
Me being by myself makes people uneasy and that is their problem. It has nothing to do with me. I was just fine drinking my beer chilling with my dog. But why does it make others so uncomfortable to see me by myself? I am guessing it's due to their insecurity, they would never have the guts to get out in public and enjoy a meal by themselves. I am a firm believer that you have to be okay with yourself first and foremost and if you are, enjoying a beer or whatever it is alone, should be an enjoyable event. So the next time you see someone eating by themselves, change your perspective... perhaps it's a new mother getting out for the first time for a meal by herself, perhaps it's someone who talks all day for a living, or perhaps it's a widow who is just enjoying a beer on a spring day that doesn't need to be reminded she is alone. Perhaps I would recommend, getting out and enjoying an afternoon by your lonesome.