10 October 2013

Moments of Hermitude

What exactly is hermitude? According to me, hermitude is the act of or need to withdraw oneself from their surroundings and circumstances in order to sort of hide or regroup - like a hermit crab.

If you Google hermitude, you will find that there is actually a hip hop group out there that goes by that name. For today's purposes, let's go with the Kate definition. 

So, why would anyone want to enter hermitude? Beats me. But basically, I have these moments on occasion. I want nothing more than to be in my own home, surrounded by only my immediate family, doing absolutely nothing I do not want, with junk food close within reach. This includes an ice cold Coke. 

The primary attraction of withdrawing into this invisible shell is that there aren't any demands upon your time - you simply utilize the moment to purely exist. 

As women, we lead a ton of different roles in this life, and we are expected to play them simultaneously and interchange them effortlessly. It can be exhausting. No matter how organized I may be or how together I may seem, I occassionally need to pull away. I need just a few moments to be anti-social - to withdraw within my shell and take deep breaths and regroup. I need only a few minutes, at times maybe a few hours, to put down all of my roles and just be me. 

In my sort of nerd view, look at it like this: My brain needs a restart. It's been running for days, weeks, maybe months without a true chance to reboot and reload. So, akin to a computer, it needs to be turned off for a little while and started up again. The computer works better and faster after a reboot and so does my brain. 

Hermitude provides rejuvenation, clarity, and fresh motivation. After a stint of hermitude, I can prioritize better. I'm able to juggle the different roles a little more effortlessly. I can see things more clearly. And most importantly, I emerge with the realization that everything does not have to be perfect and it does not have to be done right now. It's a reminder for me to not forget to enjoy life's precious moments. 

Yes, the To-Do Lists are still there. The work did not go away nor did the problems and pressures of life. However, having that brief moment of hermitude reminds me of what's truly important and that God is always with me, holding my hand and even carrying me at times. He is my refuge. He is there for me despite the fact that I've forgotten Him while I've focused solely on balancing each of my roles. 

So, for me, a moment of hermitude is a reality check, a time of selfishness to examine my life, pull it together, regroup, reboot and start fresh. They are rare, usually involve a brief pity party, and can be fairly emotional, but they serve as a cleansing in a way. It's like a good cry. Sometimes, a woman just needs to let the floodgates open - for no reason. And afterwards, it's all better. Circumstances haven't changed, but your attitude has. 

And that is key - a successful hermitude results in a renewed attitude.

I'm incredibly curious to know whether anyone else experiences hermitude. I'd love to not be the only one. :) 

As always, thanks for reading. 


October 9, 2013


Nancy said...

I totally get this...you're definitely not the only one! I'm a super introvert so I NEED down time (regularly) either by myself or with just my husband and daughter to recharge. I wouldn't say it's selfish at all...it's the way we're wired. There is great value in retreat, solitude and silence that is often neglected and forgotten in our crazy busy world...I think all of us (even extroverts!) would benefit from regularly setting aside time for silence and solitude, or at the very least, just slowing down and "unplugging" for a while.

Stephanie @ Life, Unexpectedly said...

I totally agree! There are just weekends when I don't want to do a single thing, except cooking, cuddling, baking, more cuddling, reading, watching a movie, etc. I like to call it cocooning ;-)

Angela said...

I totally get where you are coming from. I love this post because it speaks to my soul in so many different ways. I love finding great posts that I feel "get it"
Angela @ Time with A & N

mail4rosey said...

I could use some hermitude, but even when I'm doing what I want, it's still work. I'd like to just curl up w/a book and read one night soon. That would be a most excellent form of hermitude. :)

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