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  • Writer's pictureJayne Lisbeth

The Art of Reclusiveness

With age there is the  realization that I am becoming more and more of a recluse. I have respect for other friends who have adopted the same cloak of obscurity in their homes, enjoying the peace of their lives.

Often, I don’t want to leave our home. Some days I don’t even want to get out of bed, which I recognize can be a sign of depression.  Or is it that I'm just too cozy? I question my sanity.  Is this depression, I wonder, as I pull the covers over my head.


Then my sweet love, the angel of happiness, tempts me into the day with his constant fountain of joy. “Come on,” he says, “let’s get out and walk.”  “Mmmpff” I grunt back. Then he begins to sing and dance. He kisses me, tugs at the covers, makes me giggle. 

Tim begins most days with a song he requests from Alexa. Today’s song was, “The Space Inside your Mind.  “Come along as you can…” he sings as he dances about our bedroom.  I drag myself out from under the covers, giving up on any further attempts of “forty more winks.” I stumble about, dress, tie the laces on my walking shoes and before I know it, we’re out the door, facing the beauty of a new day.

Hand in hand we greet the awakening neighborhood.  We wave to the usual dog walkers and those in their cars and trucks on their way to work.  Breezes of wafted pot smoke greet us  from homes and cars.  I imagine these folks begin the day in their own happy way. 

We discuss the world as we walk.  There is so much misery in the world, who wouldn’t be depressed? The wars, the attacks on humanity, the poverty, bullets, bombs, collapsing buildings, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and volcanoes. Then there is the bitterness, the hatred, the racism, anti-semitism, bigotry, misogyny, poverty, housing prices, attacks on our democracy, the enormous apartment building rising on the corner in our little neck of the woods.  Some days, everything seems perilous, hopeless and miserable. We have learned it is best not to watch the news, to pull the covers over our heads. 

Then there are my personal woes. I worry and beat myself up when I am not writing. I grouse at Tim over my lack of inspiration. He always reassures me. He’s right. I convince myself that sooner or later a spark will ignite, growing into the flames of a new story. 

As we walk Tim and I remember dear friends and family who have been at death’s door, some who have crossed over to another place, missed forever. There are those who have survived terrible illnesses. They were not allowed to give up. They were badgered to regain their health by loved ones.  Their recoveries are a tribute to their value and the determination of partners and family. Sadly, sometimes there is no cure, no temptation back to life for mind or body.

Slowly, the day begins to brighten, not just with beautiful breezes and birdsong, but with familiar faces. We smile at the babies luxuriating in mom-or-dad-propelled-strollers, the bike-riding enthusiasts, the kids sleepily riding school buses.  All these faces and smiles lifts the gloom from our worldly views. 


We notice, as always, the magnificent canopy of oak trees overhead, shading our homes and embracing our avenues. We share funny recent events and future plans to visit friends on the other side of the country, California and Oregon, and family closer to home, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Vermont.  There is so much to look forward to, I remind myself. 



Our discussion turns to the amazing scientific events happening which will no doubt not be realized by Tim or I: CRISPR, the development of gene editing and gene therapy, to make the world, and humans, healthier. Astounding Nanobots, tiny robots joining our cells to clean up plaque, viruses and disease, creating fresh passages to life in their wake.  Quantum computers, and the ways in which they will revolutionize our world. What a future our children and grandchildren have to look forward to!  I realize there are far fewer years in front of me than behind me. That’s a sobering thought which I frequently cannot escape. Hence, my desire to pull the covers over my head.

As we continue our walk I am further inspired:  “I think I’ll make pork roast for dinner, and baked applesauce, what do you think?” Tim’s smile of delight is my answer.  He loves my cooking, especially since I recently had an injection in my “frozen shoulder” another sign of old age. This injection is a miracle which has allowed me once again to bake bread and stir my famous marinara sauce, cream of potato soup and beef bourgogne. 


We turn the corner at Park Circle and lo and behold, a Christmas tree, replete with twinkling lights, has been installed there.  We recall the beautiful lights surrounding Lake Roberta and the gloriously joyful and innovative ways in which the homeowners decorate their bungalows. “Was it really a year ago that we took Kyn to see the lights at Lake Roberta?” my sweetheart asks.  “Yes, it certainly was, a whole year ago. Time really does fly.” We reminisce about taking Kyndal to view the lights in our neighborhood. I loved the way our cynical, trying to be so-very-grown-up-eight-year old granddaughter glowed along with the lights. She happily  pointed out her favorites, the colors reflected on her beautiful face and in her eyes. 


More and more frequently I am tempted to allow my reclusive side to take over.  Where can we go to have fun? Our favorite beach bar and restaurant, the Sea Hag, was closed to make way for a giant condominium complex.  Prior to closing, we visited at least twice a month. It really was a place where everyone knew our names.  By the time we made our way to “our” reserved table, the bartender would have delivered my Jim Beam and Tim’s Iced Tea. One waiter or another would stop by for updates on our UNO game to see who was winning (me, usually). 

We have recently discovered other places where we are initiating the staff to our habits, cocktails, UNO, chattering back and forth, angry discussions regarding UNO victories, and a delicious meal.  After all, life is all about new discoveries, right?

There’s another side to reclusiveness. I adore my home to the point that I hate to leave it.  I don’t want to put on make-up, do my hair, and shop in my closet for a fetching outfit in which to present myself to the public. Our home is my best, favorite, most comfortable place to be.  It is where I’d rather spend my days than any other place on earth. I know every nook and cranny, each beautiful antique and adornment brings me endless joy. They are all  reminders from my childhood to our latest garage sale discovery. For me, our home is my happy place.


As we return home I realize I am singing, “Home…is where I want to be, but I guess I’m already there…” That wonderful Talking Heads song had filtered into my brain. 

We have breakfast and plan our day. “Let’s put our ceramic Christmas trees out today, okay?” Tim twinkles, agreeing to my idea. “I know exactly where they are.”  He departs to rummage about in our garage, his man cave. We enjoy a couple of hours finding



new ways to decorate than the year before.  The holidays, another reason for decorating, is an art we both cherish.

An unexpected gift arrives at our door, and provides us with the scent of pine and fir and the West coast, enveloping our home with the holidays, a very special gift fromy my longest California friend.


I recently posted photos of our house lit up, lights and trees on the outside and colored strings of lights peeking from our living room through our windows. It was a beautiful sight. We both stood outside in the chill evening air and together said, “ahhhhh!!”  We returned to our kitchen to have a cup of tea in our enclave of reclusiveness. 

This is my nest of contentment.  Where else would I want to be?  I have everything I need, or could ever want, within these walls.  I don’t pull the covers over my head unless I am cold, cozy, and need “forty more winks.”  What better place to be?

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!  I WISH YOU ALL PEACE AND COMFORT IN YOUR CHOSEN PLACES OF RECLUSIVENESS, PEACE AND LOVE!






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8 Comments


Donna Brown
Donna Brown
Dec 19, 2023

This writing was so timely because that is exactly how I feel about my home and being with myself. I received this wonderful verbage today: Just keep coming home to Yourself...You are the one you have been waiting for. Now I read your beautiful words. It makes me feel okay about my new found peace and happiness with myself!! Merry Christmas!

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Jayne Lisbeth
Jayne Lisbeth
Dec 27, 2023
Replying to

Thank you so much, Donna, for commenting on the similarities between us. I love the quote you shared, " just keep coming home to yourself." It is so wonderful to recognize all the special ways we connect through words. I hope your Christmas was a special one in your cherished nest! My readers inspire me to write!


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John York
John York
Dec 17, 2023

Your house looks very cozy. I can see why you prefer to hunker down there. The weather we're having right now makes home even more appealing. It's the small things that make life worth living. John

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Jayne Lisbeth
Jayne Lisbeth
Dec 17, 2023
Replying to

So well said, as your comments and blogs always are!! Thanks, our home is cozy. You and Paula will have to visit!

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Mary McKennan
Mary McKennan
Dec 17, 2023

You summed it up nicely, "This is my nest of contentment. Where else would I want to be?" The finest expression of what "Home" should be for each of us! Merry Christmas Jayne and Tim! ❤️

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Jayne Lisbeth
Jayne Lisbeth
Dec 17, 2023
Replying to

I know you can relate, Mary. We all need our special little nests! xoxoxo

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rmrogers22
Dec 17, 2023

So beautifully written Jayne. I could relate to every word you wrote. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas in your beautiful nest that you call home.

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Jayne Lisbeth
Jayne Lisbeth
Dec 17, 2023
Replying to

You have such a beautiful nest, too, love. Have a wonderful Christmas, here's to greater health in 2024 for all of us!! xoxoxo

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