Our culture and technology (derived from our brain power) and by working cooperatively, now allows a healthy person, if they desire, to live alone, or solo. There are advantages and disadvantages. Assuming the good health prerequisite, there are other considerations concerning location, work, shelter, food, housekeeping, and social contact.
How to do it
Ideally (A basic assumption here is that the individual is not super wealthy because such a person is in a separate, sub-category altogether; and can hire other people to do all that needs doing, including “friends”) the individual, person x, would live within walking distance (three miles) of their workplace, and the same for a food source, recreation – pool, golf course, tennis courts, gym, and social contact – bars, restaurants, coffee shops, library, whatever is one’s preference.
In addition, the dwelling should be located on high ground and face south – to avoid floods, disease (shit rolls downhill), minimize energy consumption (south facing shelter in the northern hemisphere is warm and bright in winter, and cooler and darker in summer) and maximize defense and safety. The view is important and should be unobstructed and pastoral. Clean air and water are essential. X should be able to drink the water from the tap and take a deep breath outside. Waste removal is critical and ease of recycling should be considered. The two N’s, neighbors and noise, are important to think about. Also of concern are road and landscape maintenance, as well as parking and storage. Smoking?
Alright, x has now found the perfect spot, keeping in mind that good health is mandatory, and all of the above considerations contribute to one’s well being, the “outside” being accounted for, let me turn to the inside, or what transpires within the boundaries of the shelter.
What must x do in order to live well? X must be able to cook and clean, bathe, and sleep – to stay in good health. My recommendation is that one should take Home Economics in high school. But then, most people don’t anticipate that they may “choose”, or be forced by circumstance, to live alone so maybe x didn’t. If that’s the case – there are books, and now, most instruction about how to do anything, is available online.
Internet access is another modern technology that makes living alone easier than before. Another class I recommend is one called Mathematical Modes of Thought, or an equivalent. Such a class instructs one on how to think about probabilities, distributions, decision trees, and possible outcomes, in other words, risk management. That’s very helpful, essential actually, when living solo.
Remember, x has no one to consult, ask, or in any way rely on to take the burden of decision making from them. And also – no one to blame when things go awry, as they often do. In the two classes mentioned above, the actual economics of living and budgeting home life will be covered. X can learn how to manage money, which is also essential for staying healthy. Economic pressure/stress, is probably the biggest factor undermining one’s health and happiness.
Furthermore, it’s important that you keep your space clean, as well as yourself. You might be surprised at how much a clean living space makes a difference in one’s mood, particularly if you do it yourself.
Always make your bed first thing in the morning, that assures no matter how shitty the day might go – at the end of the day – you’ve got a nice soft, neat, clean bed to fall into. Sleep, and dreams, are necessary for good health. Also, never go to bed with a dirty kitchen. You want to wake to a kitchen that needs no attention. Like your bed, you want it ready to take care of you. The kitchen might be the most important room in your shelter, it feeds you, which is the most basic need.
A few words about the kitchen. Essential to it are a sink, refrigerator and freezer, a means to boil water (range or hotplate) and cook food. I like a counter-top grilling machine and a microwave, but then I rarely use the oven. Dishwashers are great, especially with the new “scrubbing bubbles”! I love mine. Toaster ovens are cool, and a waffle iron is hot. (Chicks dig warm waffles, syrup, and strawberries with ice cream on top.) A blender and/or juicer are handy, too. For sure a coffee machine and you’ll need mugs and glasses, plates and bowls, forks, spoons and knives, and a good, solid cutting board, and a cheese grater! Of course, pots with lids, one large and one small and a cast-iron frying pan. Also, just in case of miscalculation or convenience – containers to store leftovers in.
A few words about keeping clean and cleaning. It’s best to have a clothes washer and dryer within your shelter. You’ll need dish towels, sponges and rags, and of course towels and all kinds of soaps – dish, laundry, floor, countertop, toilet, body, face, and hand, hair, teeth, furniture polish, shoe polish, leather cleaner, glass cleaner, and so on. Add a broom and dust pan, a small bucket or pail, mop and vacuum, and you’re pretty much set.
Fear of living solo
What is not uncommon is for people to couple, and stay together, because fear of being unable to manage life on their own – which ironically leads to more stress, and increases anxiety and pressure.
It’s true, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The therapeutic adage that one must first take care of Self is true. You cannot be of much help to anyone if you can’t take care of yourself.
What about comfort? That is much a matter of preference, but I like a few candles and a lot of house plants, books and bookshelves, music, original local art, and a good rocking chair.
Your shelter should be a place that make you smile when you enter into it. Coming “home” should make you happy. If it does – you’re well on your way to living solo successfully.