Frank Bruni published an excellent column today on the importance of solitude — and its virtual absence from public life in the modern era.
His piece was a great reminder for me. Even though I generally reflect, contemplate and meditate for at least 15 minutes a day — and even though I spend the vast majority of my waking hours working alone — I often do so with a vague, uneasy feeling that I’m somehow wasting my time. I’ve never been one for meetings; people who worked with me Back in the Day when I ran companies and managed departments will tell you that. I was in fact notoriously anti-meeting. But I do enjoy discourse, the dynamic of bouncing ideas off others who are smarter, more insightful or have more experience than I. Some of the most exhilarating and enjoyable times of my life have come in conversations with people with whom I surrounded myself.
But solitude has become more and more my lot and much of the time I’m not only grateful for it, I revel in it.
So, thanks, Mr. Bruni, for the reminder. When I can find time for myself, away from the social intercourse that can occupy too much of one’s share of mind, I will remember to be grateful for it rather than question whether I’m doing the right thing.
(And thanks to my good friend Tony Seton for sharing that Bruni piece and for being one of the people with whom I enjoy sharing ideas.)