I ask because I feel I need quite a bit, and I am just not achieving it at the moment.
I have pretty much my entire life needed "alone" time more frequently than do most people. Some who are close to me have jokingly
referred to me as "antisocial."
(At least, I choose to believe they were joking!)
Early on, I came to realize that I needed that "aloneness" in order to function at my best.
Yet the life I chose placed me very often square in the middle of much social interaction. I joined the Marine Corps at age 17, I married and reared a family a young age, I spend twenty years going to evening classes, I became a construction superintendent, I opted to become a teacher at age 48, I have been active in the parishes to which I have belonged.
All the above activities required much interaction, often very intense, with others.
In short, I never fully participated in what I love best -- time alone in the quiet of the natural world. So I did the next best thing.
I would "steal" a few moments when I could. As a youngster, I would often spend a Saturday and Saturday night in the woods near our farm; just my dog, Rock, and I. When stationed at Camp Pendleton, I would often spend liberty in the hills, alone, rather than in Oceanside, CA with my buddies. When working construction, if the job site was near a rural area -- as new buildings often are, when the pressure of bringing a quality building in at or under estimate would become overwhelming, I would take a walk in the countryside and come back refreshed and more able to cope.
Sometimes, I would just retreat to a beloved glen in my mind. My classroom on the second floor of Piper high school had a spectacular view of the foothills along the south (Kansas) side of the Missouri and I would sometimes gaze out while conducting a five-minute keyboard time trial. Just imagining being there alone along a quietly-flowing river, with only the sounds of nature -- a cawing crow, a squirrel dashing through the leaves, the splash of a carp in the river -- temporarily restored my equilibrium. (Until the dinging of the timer brought me back from my reverie!)
And, of course, I have always been able to escape stress and get lost in a book.
Does the former always outnumber the latter, and if so, how on earth do you cope with it?!
Well, for me, it did pretty much all of my working life and was a source of never-ending frustration.
But after my kids were grown and after I retired, thanks to a wonderfully understanding and supportive wife (who's maternal grandparents fortuitously left her a quiet farm far from the rush of the city), I have been able to spend that alone
time on an "as needed" basis in a quiet glen at Fox Farm near Rock Port in the far northwest corner of Missouri (see my avatar), sixty-five miles from the nearest large metropolitan area.
My lovely wife, who is very maternal and city born and bred, doesn't share my need to spend much time alone so she usually stays home with her golden retrievers, kids and grandkids, and a circle of close friends.
But without a hint resentment, she allows me my week or two alone in the woods, prn, with Middi (aka "Black Dog"), the black lab who spent her formative months at this very farm, alone and fending for herself and came to me as an emaciated, tick infested eleven-month-old pup and decided to keep me.
She warmly welcomes us back home when our need for being alone is temporarily satiated.
And we kiss hello, go out for a meal (just Cheroni and I . . . Black Dog gets reacquainted with the goldens, Bylla and Ali) and catch up on the latest news.
Which is why, after 49 years together, I love her more now that ever!
I will consider your position if stated with firm, well-thought-out, quiet reasoning. Hateful diatribe, ad hominem attacks and shouted rhetoric don't impress.