No Pity Party Please

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I’m a solitary person. I spend a lot of time at home. Primarily because all of my stuff is there. And, because I am a solitary person, and don’t really have any friends right now that I can hook up with at the café, I like to go out and at least appear in public.

It’s fun.

I like sitting around at a nice café and sipping some really good, rich, dark roast from a ceramic cup. I could never understand how people could drink coffee from a paper or plastic cup.

I’m pretty old-fashioned when it comes to coffee. I like it simple. I don’t take sugar and I use less than a thimble-full of cream. What I am saying is I like to taste the coffee.

So, I am a solitary person and becoming more so. I don’t have kids, pets, (other than a few, well-honed pet peeves) goldfish, or plants. I don’t even offer to water the neighbors’ plants when they are out-of-town.

I figured out a really great way to get out of said obligation. When I was asked previously by a neighbor if I would water her lush green plants while she went away for a few weeks, I pulled out a dead ficus, did a sheepish shoulder shrug, and told her I really didn’t have a Green thumb.

I always keep a spare dead ficus for just such an emergency.

In fact, I am so averse to being responsible for anything other than myself, that a few years ago I had sleepless nights worrying that I was going to kill my Pet rock.

As far as holidays like Christmas, it has taken me literally decades to extricate myself from having to attend mind-numbing gatherings with family and or friends on holidays.

In fact, I think this is the first Christmas season that I received only one invitation to attend a Christmas dinner. I politely turned it down and I do have to say unequivocally that this is one of the happiest holidays of my life.

I noticed over time that people I know have moved past their need for me to be at their house at holidays. After a few years of turning down invitations they figured out that I wasn’t going to break with my tradition. I think they were disappointed because they saw me as a nice buffer between them and their annoying family members.

Sorry guys…you’re on your own.

Some of the invitations came from people who were feeling pity for a woman who they saw as virtually alone in the world.

I guess people can’t imagine that a woman could be happy without having family and friends surrounding them at holidays or birthdays.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against celebrating if it feels right. But for most of my adult life, it just felt like another obligation to nurture everybody around me.

I find it interesting that people are afraid to live alone, and to even be without a significant other. They seem to think that they will inevitably need the other in their time of loneliness, of sickness and old age.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your perspective, men tend to croak before women. So that leaves the female in a good or bad position, again, dependent on your perspective. Not sure where I was going with that.

But it’s all good. There is room in this world for all preferences. It’s just that mine is unique. And often misunderstood. And by some, secretly envied.

© Copyright 2017 Maria Chambers, all rights reserved. P!ease feel free to share this content within others but maintain the article’s integrity by copying it unaltered and by including the author and source website link: Maria Chambers,


24 thoughts on “No Pity Party Please

  1. Eliza Ayres

    Maria – this is the first Christmas in nearly 20 years when I haven’t been alone. I cherish ALL time spent in solitude. Enjoy your holiday as you want to, never mind what other people think. Downtime is good for recharging the batteries and calming the heart. ❤

    1. Thanks Eliza……agreed….I feel a deep calm and nurturance and I think it’s because I have slowly been letting go of worrying about what others think. 💕💕 you’re right, it’s to enjoy as we see fit.

  2. Barbara

    Dear Maria, you are on a roll and I love it! Thank you for your heart, your humor, your independence, and now I’ve got to get myself one of those dead ficus plants. I do have a little Burmese cat who is the only local being in my life who gets me, but I can’t take him to the coffee shop. He would want the cream that is not being used and he might not ask politely! Love, B.

  3. LOL Barbara….cats are really the best….usually pretty independent and don’t need to be walked twice a day. Oh, and if you can’t find a ficus, get a hold of a cactus that hasn’t been watered in a while….if your neighbor sees that you can’t even keep a cactus alive, you’re home free.
    💕 Love to you .

  4. Kat

    Maria, I spent this Christmas completely on my own as well and I LOVED it! Especially when I heard some of my friends’ ranting about their annoying family members at their Christmas gathering. ❤

    1. Mmmmmm…..mmmmmmm……mmmmmm…..that’s me laughing, Kat, with a mouthful of chocolate!!!

      Wasn’t it great??? No pressure, no awkward, obligatory conversations…and even beyond that, we have come to a point where we are celebrating life every day. Or finding that peace without having to confine it to one day a year.

      And I enjoyed aspects of it on my own terms…like the Christmas music and the light displays.

      1. Kat

        “Mmmmmm…..mmmmmmm……mmmmmm…..that’s me laughing, Kat, with a mouthful of chocolate!!!”

        hahahaha funny! I was literally seeing you laughing with a mouthful of chocolate. And yes, we celebrate life everyday. There is no big difference to Xmas, although it felt a bit more peaceful here on Christmas day. That could have been though because shops are closed on Christmas here and there are less people on the streets. I did enjoy it though. Happy new Year by the way ❤

        1. Here too in Tampa, Kat. Very quiet on Christmas…virtually no traffic, which I love. It also feels like the consciousness itself is quiet…that people are sighing to themselves that it’s over and now they can relax for a bit.

          And the week post Christmas schools were out so again, quieter on the roads -no school buses.

          Happy New Year to you too my dear Kat and to all here 🥂💕

  5. X

    Well…as you said (and I’ll paraphrase this)…”it takes all kinds (to make the world go ‘round).”

    I took the Meyers-Briggs personality test about three times through out the last three decades. I’m a solid INFJ each time (and now in my 50s…I get it). Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-judging. Rarest personality type (about 1-2% of the population). Am I special?

    I lick windows. No one wants to see that, and I don’t want people to see it (sardonic analogy: I’m “Different” and have a process few…VERY few understand). It is painful to be different…including my empowered differences…my strengths…my perspective….(hard hard won perspective).

    I once starred down the eye of human circumstance (with its many headed writhing breathers and sisters). This one’s name was “OBLIGATION.” SHIVER!

    As I read your piece, dear Soul Soothin’ Sound, revery hit, and the odyssey replayed in my mind. I relived many a failed obligation; those that I would be obligated to, and those from whom I would have obligation. As to the afore mentioned eye of circumstance in whose eye I starred, I would slay it. And so…on my life long hero’s journey, I did face human circumstance; I did wield my sword to cut off obligation. And of its brothers and sisters – pain, fear…anxiety; kinship, mother, father, friend and foe, I did, too, aim my blows…I did cut them down…only to discover that life’s many circumstances is a hydra. Circumstance is a monster that will grow two heads to replace any one I cut down.

    Human life has human circumstances. We can not really escape them. BUT…We can choose to face them in anyway we want…and still we will prevail, for surely life obliges us to live, and our very nature is social.

    In your exclusion from obligation, you still create it for others, for in reading your perspective (because you shared with many others), I am moved to share mine…I felt obliged to express gratitude (for I sincerely am grateful to you for speaking your truth…and all truth is beautiful and terrible in that beauty…it is both joyful (as you feel in your solitude) and terrible (for the pity it invokes in the ignorant who find no value in solitude…it IS terrible they suffer with the pity they needlessly feel). Is this not their own suffering caused by the truth of an introvert? Is not compassion “to sit with courage in the presence of suffering?” Do you sit well with this?

    If so…then you express an advanced degree of compassion (not a flippant accusation filled with sarcasm, no. It is a fact).

    And still…obligation continues, but it springs twice more from a different head…and it is just as beautiful as it is terrible…or is it?

    Human life does not escape human circumstance. But in our humanness, we are also creative…and God’s glory and power is even in every expression.

    It IS all good!

    I do honor your hero’s journey. By the way…it IS often taken alone. Ironic, yes?

    Much love in spirit.

  6. Interesting points, x, and I agree that life has human circumstances. And that it’s our perspective about those circumstances that truly separates the master from someone who simply reacts to life. And I have come to discover that it’s not about becoming superhuman in all of this ascension. It’s to be very human, and to acknowledge our soul self, both.

    And as I become more trusting of my partner, my soul, I find it becomes easier to choose more uplifting thoughts and circumstances. (While at the same time acknowledging the other emotions….fear, etc. ).

    The sense of guilt, obligation and needing to be there emotionally for others in general diminishes naturally.

    I discovered that trying to leave a circumstance or relationship without also letting go of the guilt or the resentment or the obligation just created another even more intense situation. I like your metaphor of the hydra.

    I slowly and painfully realized that the people or situation was just a mirror for my own unfaced emotions.

    And yes, compassion is to ‘sit with courage in the presence of suffering.’ And to not suffer along with the sufferer, of course. But, easier said than done. I find that there are times I have to remove myself from said sufferer. Sometimes because it’s easy to get too empathetic, and sometimes because there is nothing there for me. Sometimes it’s simply because the relationship has run its course.

    The master can be an intolerant son of a bitch. Really. Contrary to popular belief, becoming more enlightened can be inversely proportional to being kind and patient.

    We become very discerning.

    Especially when we can clearly see that some who seek our company are really not interested in doing the inner work. They just want to ride on our coat tails….Then it’s really a waste of our time.

    But it’s so interesting that this embodied enlightenment process has us facing and feeling some of our deepest fears. And thereby transcending them. It also asks of us to disconnect from the pain and suffering of humanity. And I have noticed the more that happens, the more I can feel my soul humming through my body and feel the ecstasy of this time/space reality the way it is meant to be enjoyed.

    And at the same time, still being my very human self.

    Alone, but not lonely.

  7. X

    We are all in some degree of mastery. And oddly (or maybe…really…not so odd) that it is as it is…sovereign in what ever expression that it is. Mastery is not static either, or there would be no point.

    We ARE the masters of our own creation.

    Germane excerpts from the Lord’s Prayer may exemplify to a degree all may feel kinship to…

    “…thy kingdom come (and it has). Thy will be done (and so it is) on Earth as it is in Heaven (all creation is one)….”

    “…for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen” and so it is in us, ones who are created…sharing our own creation…

    Every expression within creation is creation ongoing…and it is beautiful…and terrible.

    It is.

    In it all, we are spared the oblivion that only one single perspective would offer. You save me from oblivion as I honor your truth in relation to mine (his, hers and theirs).

    Imagine! A world where there was only extroversion…nothing more…no contrast! Oblivion. And for the introvert? Pure hell!

    And vise versa!

    I’m an introvert…profoundly so. My mastery? Only my own perspective. And the damn thing keeps changing…all the time!

    Each change…is an inhalation. The next change…an exhumation, and so…while life continues, my chest rises…and then it falls. Each beat of my heart is felt as it swells with courage…and shrinks in fear, for never will I know the day it all ends, but while my pulse thrums and I follow it’s course to the heart of what matters, I will live…

    …in and out of the patterns I am set to master and remaster…in time

    It is…so amazing!

    I love what you said by the way. All…absolutely true!

    You are a master…in mastery. I love it.

  8. X

    And by the way…I’m a very bord master who set to long in his own perspective far too long. I’m starring over the edge of oblivion…and a huge yawn escaped me. I saw your beautiful post…and saw an escape! :0)

    Thank you for spending a little time with me. I am now invigorated and feel much better!

    No obligation! I’m just grateful for the respite from myself as I wait for my next inhilation.

    I’m at rest now, but time soon to get cracking…Look out world! (Crossing myself).

  9. For the nth time, I so resonate with what you wrote! I can’t even remember when the last time was that I’ve been to a Christmas party. I’m so grateful that I made the decision a long time ago to not be part of the traditional Christmas and holiday celebration. It is one stressor that I choose to live without for which I’m most grateful!

    I’m with you, Maria. If the traditional celebration of gatherings and partying gives others joy, and I mean, pure and true joy, and not only because it’s an obligation or only because it is tradition, then go for it! I respect their choices. It just isn’t for me. Not anymore. And I, too, expect others to respect my choice. Many, though, especially those from my country of origin, the Philippines, just are unable to truly get that. And that’s ok. I’m ok with others not being ok with it and my many other choices which go against tradition and mainstream. I’m just so glad and grateful that I’m in good company! 🙂 ❤

    1. Yes, Nadine Marie, it sure is a blessing we choose to reduce the stressors in our life….especially as women, it’s a bold choice. We are not here to make others feel more comfortable at our own expense.

      And my heritage, being Greek and Italian, is probably similar to yours in that there is a whole boat load of guilt and obligation. Family first, bla bla bla.

      A woman thinking for herself, choosing for herself FIRST….that’s radical, and not rewarded. But as you say, it’s o.k. with us. And then we get to be the new role models for the solution to all the world’s dilemmas. That solution being….self-love. Something this planet has not been very adept at.

      Kudos to you dear siSTAR for walking in self-love. 🤗💕💕💕

    2. X

      Hi Nadine,

      I’m Filipino, too. Tradition…ugh! (sigh). It must be in our bones. As an introvert, I have my own solitary traditions…and I love them. I wonder what it would be like if all the introverts formed a tradition of getting togather…like…every 10 years (I could handle every ten years…maybe). I envision countless well appointed tables…with two chairs each…a lot of glowing iPads in muted corners (where there are many chairs well distanced from the other…maybe petitions, too). We would see light traffic through the room as we each perked our ears for an interesting turn of phrase or topic…”Popped in” for a brief discussion (which would be INCREDIBLY interesting for lack of trite content…densely packed with meaning) and then pop back out to find our seat of origin (likely still warm)…to sip our coffee that is, also, still warm.

      The whole affair would last 1.5 hours (Yawn..yawn yawn)…”Look at the time! I have a date with my journal (Cat, dog…spouce…who is likely some degree of “More” extroverted…nothing like me)…Let’s do this again soon (relative soon is another decade and many more grey hairs later, buhhht….maybe not)”


  10. Just saw this. Grateful that I have managed to extricate myself from holidays with my ma and Pa. Still working on some other stuff.

    Although I adore being with my hubby and amazing grown up children. The best. I can easily leave out everyone else.

    Thanks for your inspiration!

    Love you and love me and I love us all

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