UNITED STATES—Is it sane to want to have a few hours or even a day totally to yourself? That’s a question I seem to ask myself time and time again. As Americans, we do so much on a daily basis, that just thinking about everything that has to be completed starts as soon as you get out the bed for most people. That’s the start of most chaos that sends us in a tailspin.

I’ll be the first to admit, when I get done with an 8-10 hour shift at work, I want to be left alone for a few hours. I don’t want to be asked any questions, I don’t want to converse; I just need some time to allow my brain to decompress. Some people take offense if one is standoffish, but I don’t see it that way. This tends to occur when I’m dealing with people who don’t work on a daily basis, they work when they want to.

Does being isolated create problems? I guess it depends on if that isolation is 24-7, seven days a week, 365 days a year. I don’t see much of a problem taking a few moments to yourself to reflect on the events of the day, things planned for the week, organizing finances or considering options that need to be taken to create serenity in their mind and in the home.

When I think of isolation, I think it sometimes gives a person the opportunity to get to know themselves a bit better. Understand who they are, and actually how people perceive them as well. I’d say just an hour of isolation can put so many things in perspective it becomes a revelation for a person. Could you imagine being surrounded by people 24-7 all the time? Having no time to yourself at all? I think even the busiest people in this country understand the merit of quietly isolating themselves from the madness that may be orbiting them on a day-to-day basis.

Now am I advocating for everyone in America to just shut-off completely from the world? No. My argument is if you choose to take a day or a few hours to yourself; don’t beat yourself up about it. You’ve earned it, you’re entitled to it. Maybe it was a tough day at work, and feeling bubbly and sociable for a house gathering is not your cup of tea. Perhaps you just dealt with a terrible tragedy and the grieving process has not fully ceased.

Perhaps the one that identifies with me the most is being sick. I don’t get sick often, but when I do, it’s usually bad. Not a day or two, somewhat like a week and during that time frame I need peace, I need quietness, I need to not be disturbed. If I see things getting progressively worse, I’ll call for help, but asking me every 15 minutes how I’m doing is slightly irritating. Trust me I know that is not the intention, but that is how it presents itself in my opinion.

So the next time a loved one asks for a few minutes or even an hour to themselves take it for what it is: the opportunity to decompress. Everyone wants companionship, even if they’d like for you to believe otherwise.