Lucky and Lonely

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-writing-on-notebook-while-sitting-on-wooden-handrail-3091193/
So, I know the title of this vignette is weird.  I don’t mean to imply that I’m lucky because I’m alone.  And, I’m certainly not lonely because of good luck.  There is no implied causality between the two words in the title.  Rather, it is just reflective of a realization I’ve had recently — that I can be both lonely and lucky at the same time. There is little doubt that I have been blessed in my life.  I have 3 amazing kids!  I have Paiton and Carmen, and my “adopted” granddaughter, Avery!  I am close to my four awesome surviving brother and sisters.  And I had (and have?) great relationships with my parents and sister Jeannette who have preceded me in death.  I have lots of great friends, an awesome job, and a great relationship with my ex-wife.  I am as healthy and active as a 61-year-old has a right to be — still ski 25-plus times a season, backpack, climb mountains, run, etc.  All in all, it is clear that I am a very lucky man!
Yet, I am also clearly lonely at times.  Not sad or depressed.  But, just wishful of additional interactions.  There is certainly a component having to do with my kids being grown and gone.  Don’t get me wrong — I have a good relationship with all three.  But, for so many years, my whole existence seemed tied to, and filled by, caring for and nurturing Ben, Ellie, and Max.  Now, they are all off learning how to be humans on their own.  And, while I see them and talk with them regularly, I still miss them. On top of that, as much as I love my dog Maggie and cat Chloe, they are not (fully? 😊) human.  I am pretty darn content with my life, on my own as it were.  But, there is still room (I think) for someone to share the increasingly quiet times during the day.  Someone to talk with, sit with, plan with.  For example, I had an amazing time on Santorini last fall — but would it have been even better if I had someone to share it with?  (Luckily for me, my brother Dave got kicked off his Greek tour due to a positive Covid test, and spent some time on that gorgeous island with me!) I live a very joyful, full, and even, at times, adventurous life.  So definitely lucky!  But, in the quiet moments, watching a sunset or sitting by a running brook in the mountains, or just enjoying a summer evening on my porch at home… There seems to be room for a bit more of a crowd!

I can appreciate my blessings, in those quiet times, but sometimes, I just wish they were less quiet.

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