Spending time alone, really alone, is a rarity in today’s world. Owning a business, traveling around the U.S.A. for business (and sometimes, pleasure), working for demanding clients, supervising employees, overseeing the work of vendors and other helpers, managing the household, and all of life’s other challenges require considerable interaction with people from all walks of life. For most of what we do as people, interacting with other people is a necessary part of both our personal and business lives. When one works and, of course, lives with one’s spouse/business partner, having time by oneself can be a luxury that may be taken for granted. Too much time with other people can place a toll on an individual, due to the social expectations that must be met when people other than oneself must be considered. It is perfectly okay to say, “I need to be alone” once in a while, in order to think, relax, or doing nothing at all, in ways that can only be accomplished without anyone else around. Being in the presence of others is, of course, part of what makes us human, but so is getting to know oneself as an individual, regardless of what anyone else says or does.
It is sometimes difficult to remember the need to have some personal, alone, time. Working with one’s significant other really creates a need to have some personal time. We know some husband/wife teams who share offices, or even desks, but that is too much for us. So finding a balance that works for each person or couple is important. It is not just that too much togetherness is a good or bad thing, it is a need for individuals to be individuals. Alone time doesn’t have to be solitary or quiet. It can involve playing rock and roll bass guitar (for Melissa) or skeet shooting for me – sometimes with friends. The point is that individuals working and living together are, by choice, together more than most “normal” working couples. Finding some personal time helps keep the balance and harmony in the relationship and helps with work productivity as well.