Living alone means…

Margaret Mead, American cultural anthropologist

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Was searching for the source of a quote about how sharing with someone doubles our joys and halves our sorrows (there are so many different sources mentioned that I can’t determine where it actually originated) when I came across this one:

“Having someone wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night is a very old human need.” – Margaret Mead

Reminds me of a wonderful reflection on living alone that appeared in this blog a few years ago. And my comment on it: “As author Alice Walker so aptly puts it, when you have a live-in, that’s at least one side of you that’s covered. When you live alone, you’re vulnerable on all sides.”

So let’s see. What does she mean when she says “sides,” and which one is supposed to be uncovered when you live alone?

Financial is one side. Though it may also be true for a single partner in a percentage of married or cohabiting couples, we singles mostly bear the full costs of everything we do and are solely responsible for maintaining our home, clothes, etc. We don’t generally have people  volunteering to throw in a percentage of their salary to help.

Social. We may, and if we’re lucky, do have enough pals or friends we can go places and do things with. To have company out in the world is usually a blessing; to have company at home can be a mixed blessing when you’re not in the mood! But in any case it can take extra courage to pursue life’s little adventures when you have to do it alone.

Physical. When you live with someone, you have another person to share a hug with when you need one. In romantic relationships you’ve got regular opportunities for sex. Singles must work to find hugs among friends or relatives, and/or we can get and give physical affection with a pet.

What else? Spirituality is something we all choose and experience alone.

Emotionally could be where she’s suggesting the “uncovered” side occurs when you live alone. You may have one or more close friends you can turn to for support, but you always have to find them first. They’re not there to see and hear your pain when you get the devastating phone call about a lost job or the death of a close friend. They’re not wondering where you are when you’re late, and they’re not there to be glad when you get home (another thing pets can help with!).

Do you feel vulnerable on all sides? If you believe that life is a series of lessons, then it’s easy to see that living alone can be the larger context for the kinds of lessons you never have to face when you always live with someone. Just as living with someone gives you lessons you can’t get any other way.

There are joys and freedoms to being coupled just as there are unique joys and freedoms to being single. When the day comes that society values both equally, there will be no need for organizations like SWWAN.

Cropped screenshot of Rosalind Russell from th...

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Ever notice how the most interesting and exciting stories (in books and movies) usually involve an independent woman, generally unmarried? think about it–even in the day of Rosalind Russell. Read my review of her movie, Sister Kenney.

[Many thanks to Wendy and Rosemary for helping me sort through the issues for this post. And check out their website: www.mysinglespace.org]

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Learn how mapping your life can change everything

A parking lot in Manhattan, United States with...
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Do you feel like you’re in a rut?

Last year we were privileged to have Monika Moss visit us on the SWWAN Dive radio show. Here’s a link to her session on Life Mapping—her own specially developed technique for breaking through the dailiness and getting to where you really want to go.

She’s doing a public seminar during the upcoming holiday made just for SWWANs, Single Working Women’s Week. If you’re anywhere near Cleveland and you want to change your life, here’s the info:

Life Mapping: A Journey of Self-Discovery and Path Finding
Retreat Seminar
with Monika K. Moss

August 7, 2010 10 am – 5 pm
Register here

If you feel stuck.  If you feel like you need support making this transition.
If you have forgotten what you dreamed of being when you grew up.  If you just can’t seem to figure out what is holding you back.  Come spend the day mapping your life with Monika K. Moss.

For over 20 years, Master Mapper, successful business consultant and life coach, Monika K. Moss has been making her dreams come true through this process called Life Mapping.  She has dedicated her talents to helping people transform themselves and move toward a more peaceful and enlightened way of being. Monika shares her Life Mapping process which has helped hundreds of individuals chart a map to their ideal lifestyle, enrich their lives and bring added value to their family, organizations and community.   The exercises in the book allow anyone to map a route from vision to reality. Life Mapping has guided Monika in overcoming life’s obstacles and creating a road to success, happiness and joy.  Spend the day with Monika and create a road map to your ideal life style.

This one-day retreat will guide you through the process so you leave with a clear vision, new awareness about what is getting in the way and an action plan for the next 90 days to guide you and keep you focused.

Upcoming Retreat:
The Mandala Center for the Healing Arts
114 East Park Street (Chardon Square, 44024, two doors from the library in the brown building, parking lot in front)

August 7, 2010 10 am – 5 pm
Register here

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Women were always somewhere in the workplace–war made it common

Watched an old classic movie last night, Bridge over the River Kwai. Amazing–all males in the movie. Not a single female. Of course. Women weren’t drafted back then. But they were busy keeping the US running! Check out these facts:

“Rosie the Riveter” became the symbol for women workers in the American defense industries after the US joined WWII. With so many men from the labor pool conscripted into the military–and the need for increased production to support the war effort–the federal War Manpower Commission and the Office of War Information began recruiting women from all over the country into the labor force.

From 1940 to 1945, the number of female workers rose by 50 percent, from 12 million to 18 million. In 1940, women constituted 8 percent of total workers employed in the production of durable goods. By 1945, this number increased to 25 percent. [the US government’s website]

All through the war, women worked as streetcar conductors, taxicab drivers, business managers, commercial airline checkers, aerodynamic engineers, and railroad workers. Women operated machinery, streetcars, buses, cranes, and tractors. They unloaded freight, built dirigibles and gliders, worked in lumber mills and steel mills, and made munitions. In short, women accepted the call and worked in almost every aspect of industry.

How ironic what then happened in the 50s. Women were expected to stay home and support the men (those who came back anyway) and raise the children and get their minds off the idea of significant employment outside the home. For women in the 21st century, the world’s a different place. Options and expectations are different. Possibilities are far less constrained–though the old boys network is still in full operation and “having it all” is still mainly a myth.

But as SWWANs, we identify strongly with those women who were home alone having to do it all by themselves. That’s why we like Rosie’s tagline: “We can do it!” Changing the idea of “me by myself” into “we, together.”

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