I Want to be Alone

I’ve finally established a fairly good morning routine. Gentle, peaceful, quiet.

But what I’ve realized it this: I really like it because I am alone.

I wake slowly and drink my coffee. The I do my pilates exercises on the reformer while listening to a podcast. Next, I move to my chair where I journal or work on poetry, and finally I meditate. I do this in the room I transformed from my letterpress studio to a “room of my own.”

I am by myself. And it feels fine.

Here’s the science from an article by Jenn Grannemann:

introverts are more sensitive than extroverts to dopamine. As a result, introverts simply need less of it to feel its pleasant effects. Too much dopamine, and introverts get overstimulated, according to Dr. Marti Olsen Laney, in her 2002 book, The Introvert Advantage. ….. Interestingly, Laney writes, introverts may prefer to use a slightly different brain pathway, one that is activated by acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter tied to long-term memory, perceptual learning, and the ability to stay calm and alert, among other things. Introverts may enjoy spending time alone in part because of acetylcholine; according to Laney, this chemical may produce a happy feeling for introverts when they’re quietly reflecting, concentrating, or turned inward.


I am happiest when I am reflecting, either on paper or by sitting quietly and thinking. Even now as I write this blog post, I am content and filled with joy.

As we age, it’s important not to give up socializing. I do like my friends! I know my brain is also healthier when I see people. My goal is to find a good balance as we come out of this pandemic.

Greta and I could have been friends.


Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

I’ve been playing around with poetry again. Now that I have given my press and type away, I feel the call to be creative in other ways. For years I participated in a writing group, which was, in my mind, a group that focused on “writing to heal.” That’s probably because I had lots of emotional healing to do, and I found that writing my way through it all helped. That wasn’t the group’s only purpose, so we also shared poetry, short stories, even writing snippets– whatever moved us that week.

I am joining the group again (thankful they kept it going all these years), and I am back to reading and writing. This morning, I saw a book mentioned online, Writing From the Heart, and I thought, “looks great!” When I clicked to order it, my kindle notes told me I had already purchased it a few years ago. Of course, I own it. It’s my kind of book!

As I began to re-read it, I was reminded how much I love to write, and how much better I feel once I do. I’ve been journaling every morning, but I want to be more intentional about it. So I’m going to be practicing some memoir/essay type writing here–

To get started, I’ve ordered Nancy Slonim Aronie’s new book: Memoir as Medicine, which will be out at the end of March. In the meantime, I’ve watched this about it and her.

If I think about this, it seems that for my whole life, whenever I need something, the gift appears. A friend, a book, a quote, a reminder….synchronicity.

Recently, I had coffee with a friend. We share interests in health, creativity, and family issues. She arrived and handed me a small book of poems, How to Love the World, Poems of Gratitude and Hope. This was before I had decided to start writing again. Somehow she knew I would love it. (Thanks, Donna!)


It reminds me to pay attention. Ask what I need to learn. Be open to the possibilities.

Healing, Growing, Changing

To be courageous is not necessarily to go anywhere or do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences. – David Whyte

I have 5 months until I turn 70. Gasp. What is it about that number that gives me pause?

I’ve never been one to think about or worry about age. But this number is the beginning of the decline. Now, I’m not getting depressed or heading into a spiral. But if I’ve learned one thing in the past 15 years, it is to face everything– anxiety, trauma, regret, shame, conflict. Name it. Let it turn around in my brain for a while. And then let it go.

This morning, actually in the middle of the night around 2am, my dog threw up. I woke up to clean it and let her outside, and then I couldn’t go back to sleep. That’s unusual for me these days (since I started taking magnesium and glycine before bed). I felt a slight twinge in my back and I knew I was up for a while, so I headed downstairs to the couch. I first told my brain to relax, that it had nothing to fear, and then I turned on a podcast and the gas stove. The flickering lights calmed me, and I felt myself drifting back to sleep.

This morning, I’m a little tired. But there’s one thing about getting close to 70 that gives me a new perspective. At least I’m not dead yet! I really do want to appreciate waking up every morning to live a life I love, that makes me proud and satisfied.

My anxiety hit me over the head last summer, even sending me to the ER at one point. I knew I had to make some changes. So 5 months of therapy, eating well, and daily journaling has helped. (I tried Lexapro, but it wasn’t for me.)To stay healthy, I’ve become a 90% vegan (LOL), practice pilates on my new reformer, and stretch this body with Over the Hill yoga online. I’ve enjoyed my daily journaling so much, I’m writing poetry again!

I’m going to keep writing here and sending out my newsletter, even though it’s not about letterpress printing. I keep learning, and I love to share what I learn. If you want to unsubscribe, you know where the button is. But this is as much for me as anyone– a way to keep track of things that keep me healthy, both physically and mentally. And it’s also a way to stay connected to the kind and good-hearted people in my life, you!

Onward, friends.


Turn the sound on and relax….

From The New York Times: It’s OK to grieve the losses…

Releasing stuck emotions

This movie and her write up about it….

Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos has studied the science of happiness and found that many of us do the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. Love her podcast

Poetry therapy