The Border Collie Chronicles

Observations from (arguably) the World's Smartest Dogs;
(but, without question, the bestest friends!)
or, Life As We Understand It, as told from dad's shop.

 Posted January 21, 2016


Conversatin' …

By Annie


Yeah … I bet you are as surprised as dad and mom-D are to see this topic coming from me … you know … from Angry Annie … the (sometimes) unsociable dog (who really enjoys time alone by (or in) the doggy condo)!!!


But, it really is from me … I’ve been trying to get foster Merritt to pen my articles for me, but right now she is trying to be the Alpha Female and isn’t going for that idea at all!  So, we’re not getting too far on that process at all … so far!  Gall and I are having it pretty tough (maybe a little more me, than Ms. Gall!)


In any event, you see … I’ve found that sometimes I am a better conversationalist after I’ve had a little solitude[i]  Really!  Dad does this … did you know that?  He generally listens a whole lot more than he talks … (but, if you’ve only been around him when he was with his VERY good friend Adolph, you might not have known that … but it is true!)  As a matter of fact, dad has been accused, at times, of being standoffish or unsociable … and, that just ain’t right!  He was probably just listening and thinking!  It does seem that he thinks about stuff maybe a little more than some other folks do … but when he is ready to espouse his position … He Does!!  I mean … he can really SPEW sometimes (doesn’t he PF!)!


You see, I believe that I owe it to all of you, that listen to me, to think out my thoughts and present them in a manner that is easily digestible (remember that I have to take my digesting pill EVERY DAY, 15 minutes before any of the other Bupps can eat!!! - If you don’t understand, please review one of my previous articles).  And then there’s this chick, Sherry Turkle (hee hee … turkle – sounds kinda like a tinkle with a side of number 2, doesn't it …), who is some acclaimed professor at MIT and the author of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, that figured it out and suggests that solitude is necessary for having a good conversation later on:


...alone we prepare to talk together... together we learn how to engage in a more productive solitude... Afraid of being alone, we struggle to pay attention to ourselves.  And what suffers is our ability to pay attention to each other.  If we can’t find our own center, we lose confidence in what we have to offer others.  Or you can work the circle the other way.  We struggle to pay attention to each other, and what suffers is our ability to know ourselves.


Well, that might seem kinda confusing with all that fancy smancy MIT speak … so here’s how a simple girl ‘splains it in a way that you can understand  … counterproductive … not really … you see, being alone can give you the best opportunity to see who you really are!  It lets you find your “center”.  Once you know yourself, you’ll feel more comfortable sharing opinions and stories with others; and that makes conversations a breeze.


Yeah, as strange as it may sound, you’ll have a better conversation with others if you give yourself more time to reflect on your own thoughts.  I find that some “alone time” helps spur creativity.  When you’re in a mix of folks, or pups, or even with your bestest buds (but rarely your bupps) … sometimes there is so much going on that you can’t hardly contemplate on anything … being alone can give you that time to formulate some of your most creative thoughts and ideas!  Also, creative thoughts don’t come around without some goofy ones creeping in … when you’re with others (especially if they’re just the casual kind of folks), you might have a tendency to stifle all your thoughts in fear that a goofy one might come out accidently!


Really, solitude is the best time to get things done, so don’t waste it.  There are plenty of people who say that they can never find a moment alone, and that they are desperately seeking some time to get things done without any distractions.  So think of your alone time as an opportunity for progress, not a curse.  You can become more self-sufficient, adventurous, or just get all of your crap together (or done) so you’re really ready for when you’re not alone.  Best of all, you can take the time to get to know yourself.  You can be as introspective as you please, figuring out who you really are without others impacting your thoughts and actions.  Think on it, how are you supposed to know who you really are if you’ve never actually spent any time alone with yourself?  Consider what the shrink and author Wayne Dyer said: “You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”  You might find that you like yourself a lot – that’s ok.  If not (and that’s ok too!), you’ll at least know why and you’ll have plenty of time to try and fix that!!  (I’m still working on that concept!)


Although this article is advocating spending time alone, please realize that you do need balance.  You can’t live your life without engaging with others, and those interactions fall on a scale from superficial to intimate.  You see, you’ll have to balance solitude with a sufficient level of social activity (sufficient in a level that it suits you).  Remember that the reason for solitude is not to retreat from the world altogether, but to prepare for a more productive return.


Yeah, I figure that you’ll need to figure out the right balance of social activity for you, and you can only do that by attempting to make your “alone time” more productive and figure out how much of it suits your needs.  The way I see it, you don’t want to become a loner, but you don’t want to become totally enmeshed and dependent on others either.  Therefore, if you embrace both your social activity as well as your solitude, you can look forward to everything you do.


Happy Thoughts!!!!







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