I have a "grass is always greener" relationship with solitude.
In general I'm an extraverted, social guy, especially with people I know well. I often gain energy from being around others. There are times, however, when I become overwhelmed with interpersonal communication and I crave sitting in my cave by myself. And yet, too much alone time makes me pine for interpersonal interaction.
I must admit I was nervous about taking this retreat. Think about it: I purposely took time away from my family and friends, traveled to another state, and am practically locking myself in Relative's home in order to get this work done. Part of me thought, "Am I NUTS? Am I going to lose my mind??" However, another part of me knew I should savor this time and use it wisely."
Fortunately, I've learned to be OK with the rarther brown grassy lawn of solitude this week. While I don't particularly enjoy the alone time, I do enjoy the fact that I finally am feeling productive, more so than I have felt in several months. I'm maintaining a more simple life this week. I desperately miss the companionship of my wife and the playfulness of my son, but I don't miss the feeling of being torn apart by having to choose my studies over my family. These past two days, I've worked during the day and have felt no guilt about hanging out with relatives and friends at night. If I can achieve a similar balance after I return home next week, then perhaps I can start to get my life's balance back? Perhaps I can handle the alone time at home better if I reward myself with family/friend time in the evenings.
You'd think that by the 22nd grade I would have all this crap figured out??