A Declaration of Independence: The Right to Ski Alone

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on July 2, 2009 5:10 pm

It’s probably a subject that has more dynamically to do with Valentine’s Day, but emotionally it’s not in harmony with a day of shared love.  This is about selfish love, about serving one’s own needs.  An explanation, a declaration for this July 4th, of the absolute necessity — quantified by the rigidness of a divine-given “right” — to ski alone. 

Of all the lovely ladies kind enough to accompany me on a ski trip, none have understood.  That the question (“Would you be so kind as to join me on a ski trip?”) could be followed up later with a cruel-sounding answer related to the invitation  (“No, I won’t ski with you.”) does not compute to the non-Ski Junkie.

The problem is one of shared experience.  Your spouse/signfiicant other who is not a ski/snowboard addict does not understand how flying down a mountain is the greatest thing in the world.  She/he will not understand why continuous waiting kills the activity.  Your spouse wants to have fun together!

Best to try a different approach, one that’s a sure bet in your declaration of independence on the mountain.  Make the discussion about mental health. Relationship experts, secular and religious, agree: it is mentally healthy to ski alone. 

Sharna L. Striar, Ph.D., a certified sex therapist/relationship counselor in private practice in New York City:
“It’s important to be involved in activities that take you away from the home and each other and give you something of your own.”

Well, let’s compare a ski trip with the doc’s words.  Skiing is an activity away from home, and skiing alone takes me away from you.  Just like the doc says.

Tip #17 from Marriage Mentoring Ministries:
All of us needs quiet time and time alone. Talk about this with your spouse and determine what each of you need and how you will let the other person know when you are needing that alone time.

Ok, let’s talk.  I will be with you: in the car on the drive, at the lodge, for morning coffee action, in the parking lot getting ready, in the lift line, on the first chair ride; and then I need time alone. 

Psychiatrist T. Byram Karasu in The Art of Serenity:
A lack of solitude “is the cause of many manifestations of psychological and physiological distress.  Being with other people for long periods of time, no matter how loving, wonderful and interesting they may be, interferes with one’s biopsychological rhythm.”

You’re so loving, wonderful and interesting, but it’s about my biopsychological rhythm.  Yep, if I don’t ski alone it’ll mess that up.  Biopsychological rhythm.  (Say it one more time and you might not fumble it in your verbal defense.  Biopsychological rhythm.)  And what of those manifestations of psychological distress?  All because you want me to ski with you!   And I thought I was being selfish.

Now hopefully that you’ve achieved alone time, how best to maximize it? 

From the book, Getting Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application:
A successful alone time period means letting go of communication addiction. During alone time, give up instant messenging, phone calls, and meetings. Avoid any email thread that’s going to require an immediate response. Just shut up and get to work.

Shut up and ski.  I can do that!

Even though this last excerpt is for you and how best to spend your alone time, you may be forced to bring it up if your spouse is texting you constantly up on the mountain.  In sourcing your explanation of a “successful alone time”, drop the subtitle.  Just say it’s from Getting Real.  That sounds relationshipy.

Print a copy of this article and tuck it into your jacket pocket.  Use the therapist’s, the minister’s, or the psychologist’s words when needed in declaring your independence on the mountain and your right to ski alone!  For sanity’s sake, of course.

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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