Don’t be afraid of just staying by yourself. [When I was in my twenties], there was a sense that if you weren’t out you were missing out on something. If I was home in the evening by myself, I felt like I was an outcast — that I was socially ill-adjusted — so I should find something to do. I compulsively felt the need to schedule activities with people. I would decide to stay home for a relaxing night and then call a friend and go out. I would rather have dropped to the floor than go to see a movie by myself or go to a play by myself or go out to eat. I think a lot of people still in their forties have some trouble living on their own. There will come a time when you are fighting to find time for yourself vs looking to avoid it.
Now, I know that there has to be some time just for me. Whether I’m going for a walk or sitting and reading a magazine or just having a little bit of time, at least a couple of times a week. It doesn’t have to be a huge long time but you need to have a little bit of a zone where people can’t get to you. You don’t have to be accessible to everybody all the time. Make a date with yourself. – 40-something, Education/ PhD, married, mom, LA