I knew that "The Guilt Trip" was going to tickle my funny bone when the opening scene had absolutely no dialogue. Barbra Streisand woke up with with an abandoned book on the undisturbed spot on her bed and an empty M & M package (and a stray M & M) beside (and underneath) her.
Oh ... the parallel scenes that quietly played through my mind as not a word was spoken. The unwritten rules and benefits of sleeping alone. You do whatever makes your little heart happy to fill the quiet void in your life.
I appreciate and revel in the freedoms of being single. I do revel in being the master of my domain when it comes to my sleep habits.
Have I woken up with a stray Skittle under my pillow? Yes. Have I gone through a phase where Fruit Roll-ups & Granola dip bars were hidden in my night stand? Been there. Done that. How many times have I eaten chips in bed? Far too many to count.
I have developed some terrible sleep habits that infringe upon no one. I set the sleep timer on the TV and I have convinced myself that I cannot fall asleep without that crutch. I sleep with the remote control at arms length so if I wake during the night, I can lull myself back to sleep by replacing the thoughts racing through my mind with some inane TV chatter.
I fall asleep, sleeping parallel across the top of my bed. As a single person, I too have an undisturbed half of the bed. The bottom half. The half where my remote control sleeps at night.
There is an unspoken loneliness in that scene. The scene in one's life where they happily substitute guilty pleasures for that-which-is-missing.
Ninety nine percent of the time I don't miss that-which-I-do-not-have in my life. The motto I adopted over Christmas this year has remained with me. "I already have everything that I want. I just want everything that I have ... to work". When I spoke these words, I was referring to material possessions. As I rethink them this morning, I realize that it applies just as much (if not more) to the people and relationships in my life.
I have the perfect family. For me. My three boys - each entered the world in their own chosen time. At the time did I realize how perfect the timing was? No. In retrospect? I couldn't have planned it any better.
I am the second youngest in a family of four. I have two sisters (nine & eleven years older than me) and one brother (five years younger). We could so easily be a family distanced by the years and miles that separate us. But we aren't. We are close in every way that matters despite that which could have placed a wedge in our relationships.
I have developed relationships among cousins, aunts and uncles that have grounded me and provided me with a sense of belonging in this world. I have discovered my roots and I am so grateful to feel like a part of something bigger than me - my family.
I have friend for every reason and season in my life. I have tested those friendships. They are tried, true and solid. They are mutual. They work.
I have all that I want in my life. And all that I have ... works.
Yet lately, there has been a quiet yearning for something more. Someone to have and to hold. A relationship that works.
In the absence of finding that which works ... I would choose to continue living the life that I have. I am not lonely. But I have been in relationships where I have felt alone.
Barbra Streisand's character explained to her son that she never chose to look for another husband after his father died. His father never let her eat M & M's in bed. In the absence that that whom she loved, she chose to indulge herself in something that she always enjoyed.
M & M's in lieu of a man? A life that you know and enjoy verses the unknown?
I know many people that are content and happy in their life-without-a-partner. Marriage and relationships are a lot of work. I sit back and quietly watch the yin and the yang of various relationships. It isn't easy to make a life of 'forever' work with another person. In my experience ... there is nothing that feels more lonely than feeling alone when you are in a relationship.
I suppose until I meet the man that I 'wouldn't throw out of bed for eating Pringles' ... I will revel in the freedoms I know and enjoy in this single-life-as-I-know-it.