Being Alone in New Hampshire

Picture Jack Nicholas in The Shining. Wicked grin. Hallucinations. Insanity.

That’s NOT what I’m experiencing during my stay in the frozen Northland.

I’m perfectly fine, thank you. No cabin fever. Not stir crazy. Not bored. I’ve been somewhere every day, talked with somebody, even if it’s chatting with the waitress at a takeout counter. My accent usually gets a smile, maybe even a conversation. Not always. Sometimes they just don’t understand me. But, hey, my family doesn’t always understand me.

Being alone isn’t a choice for everyone. Widows and widowers didn’t ask for their partners to die. Some people who are single want to be married. People who are divorced would have preferred for a better outcome for their marriage.

Still, some people do better being alone than others.

Going out does not require two people. Fixing French toast does not require two people. Going to the theater does not require two people. I’ve heard people say they’re embarrassed to eat alone at a restaurant. I’m not. If I’m all I’ve got today, then I’m all I’ve got. Should I sit home alone because I don’t have a companion? I don’t think so.

Being alone and loneliness aren’t the same. Nor is the issue extroversion versus introversion. I am a people person, but my excessive extroversion, over the years, nudged me in the direction of also enjoying time alone. When part of your job description is to love unlovable people, you can get tired. So I’ve tried to find a balance between people time and alone time.

What have I been doing in New Hampshire?

  • Reading, of course.


  • Walking outdoors, even in 15-degree weather. Dress warmly and there’s no problem. I did not walk when it was 17 below.


  • Also, I am part of four groups already—a church, a writers’ workshop, a twelve-step weekly meeting, and an association with other clergy. I’m a big believer in showing up!


  • New Hampshire, like any other place in the world, is full of interesting sites. I won’t find them sitting in front of a television set. One of my self-imposed rules is “No daytime television during the week.”


  • Antique stores, libraries, museums, old churches—it’s a lovely and fascinating world. If only a few turn out to be interesting, then I am way ahead in life experiences. I went into a country store yesterday that took me about 17 seconds to walk through. My life was not diminished, and it could have been enriched. Who knows what I might have found there?


  • I ask questions. If a person is rude, or ignorant, I move on. That’s not a life crisis. That doesn’t mean I should stop being curious. I went to a Farmers Market yesterday held in a small town’s welcome center and the lady in charge of welcoming was negligent at her job. That doesn’t quite cover it—she was awful. But other people gathered around and they were helpful. I bought some raspberry jam I put on some toast this morning.

God is good. Life is good. I’m okay, even when I’m alone with my toast and raspberry jam.

Categories: Faith/Spirituality, Health, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Being Alone in New Hampshire

  1. Betsy George

    Good for you, Marion! I’m glad you’re enjoying your NH adventure. I need to take a cue from you and be better about getting out and doing things on my own.

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks Marion. Glad to see you are doing ok. We miss you at work shop.

  3. Anne Walker

    Always enjoy your writings! Take care.

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. JEarl

    There seems to be that inward “drive” for alone time. For me it doesn’t have to be without people but can occur whenever my response is not needed….when I become a quiet observer at meetings or shopping.

  5. Bill Bruster

    Be sure and take in the Shaker Village.

  6. Anonymous

    Marion————————-what else can be said. Keep us posted. reece

  7. Mac McMillin

    Marion, You have discovered what I discovered years ago………you have to find the balance between being alone and being with others. My wife Karen and I do plenty of activities together but we also do many activities with others and without each other. That’s been very healthy for us over the last 47 years together. Being the introvert that I am I can easily be comfortable being alone and uncomfortable among people I don’t know. Making small talk has never been one of my strong points, especially now that my hearing is diminishing. That doesn’t mean I don’t like being around other people, I just like silence and observing. When seated next to an incessant talker on an airplane, going to “sleep” usually brings their silence. Stay warm in the frozen north.

    • Mac, I actually thought about you as I read this post. You had once mentioned that on business trips, you are more likely to people-watch at the airport than read. I lead in the reading direction, but people-watching is fun too. An airport’s not the place to engage people, but small towns and small stores just beg for interaction. So I interact. I give out my card and sometimes people contact me.

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