Something about staying in my house for days on end appeals to me. I have been blessed with a life where I don’t have to go out in public if I don’t want to. I write from home and attend classes online. I bring in a small income from selling on eBay.com, two of my published books are still being purchased on Amazon.com, and my wife works full-time from home. Thankfully, my house has so much of everything I ever wanted, going out seems absurd.
Last night, however, Tara and I went shopping for this week’s upcoming Thanksgiving feast. Talk about a shopping nightmare-spending-spree. Our shopping cart was bulging with vegetables, cleaning supplies, spices, fruits and meats, dinner rolls, candles, drinks – the works. When we got home and unloaded and put everything away, I looked at the fully stocked refrigerator and pantry feeling rich.
“I think both of us have anxiety issues when it comes to food,” my wife said, basically reading my mind. We have enough food to last a good while before having to go back out into the public. Having to go through the experience of not having food, not having the means to purchase food, and not knowing when your next meal will be is going to scar you. It has scarred us. Not eating for five or six days is a terrible experience. I don’t recommend it to anyone. Now, I don’t ever have to worry about that again.
Staying home – my safe zone – is becoming more and more engaging than ever. Yet, I will admit, there are days when I make a lousy hermit. Lunch dates after running errands, or simply because we don’t want to cook, is still attractive and special to me. At one time, a time not that long ago, months and months (maybe a year) went by when I did not eat in a restaurant. That time changed something in me. Eating out is an occasion I very much value and appreciate… something that is not taken for granted. This past year, I was given the opportunity – the gift – of taking my wife, sister, and niece to a nice restaurant, and it was exquisite, special, and a fond memory I cherish. There was something about telling my wonderful niece she can whatever she wanted on the menu that made my heart happy.
I still feel I have a lot of making up to do. Too much time was spent in my self-imposed exile. So, anytime I see family or close friends, I do my best to not screw anything up… and to leave a positive, memorable mark on the time spent with me. Sometimes, though, anxiety attacks happen at the most inopportune times (not that any time is a fun time to have an anxiety attack) and I feel embarrassed my mind and body have that reaction.
The famous French author and philosopher, Jean-Paul Sarte, once wrote: “Hell is other people.” Believing that bullshit for as long as I had did not have a positive outcome on my life. I do understand what the writer was conveying, and, in general, I avoid the mass, unknown public. But there is another quote that bubbles in my mind which, comically, is not from any famous scholar. It’s from a character in a television series who was speaking to a very damaged and conflicted man: “You are looking for a way to make it hurt a little less… the only thing that helps is other people. Try connecting with the living.” It all depends on what type of person one chooses to spend their time with, to share their life with.
Currently, every day, I am connected with a sublime woman I am honored to have as a wife. As difficult as I can sometimes be, she is there for me, believing in and managing me. I have no problem staying at home with her. Famous people such as Howard Hues, Axl Rose, and J. D. Salinger intrigue me with their reclusive ways. Maybe as I get older and even more set in my ways, I’ll go out less and less. Before that happens though, I must, must, must visit Key West… if ever I was invited to Owl Farm in Woody Creek, CO, I would not refuse. Yes. There are some things I want to do, and places I want to visit. On an average basis, I think I’ll stick to my home, The Locke Nest Cabin, with Tara, the dogs, and the different fish in the aquariums.