I’ve learned that loneliness is not a way of life, it’s a part of life.
~ Live & Learn & Pass It On
The house is empty — quiet. The only sounds breaking the silence are the gas heater roaring on the fireplace and the floorboards creaking as they expand and contract from the hot and cold air continually battling for position.
Hubby is off to work, not to be home for at least 24 hours. The kids are off doing young adult things with friends and co-workers. And Bella, well, she is curled up among the blankets on my bed dreaming of bedtime, wondering why I’m not up there snuggling with her.
The dinner dishes are stacked on the kitchen counter, still full of morsels of food that are turning into cement, assuring the need for a good soak before they’ll ever be clean again.
The laundry room floor is full of clothes in need of washing, making it impossible to enter without elaborate mountain climbing skills.
The office is a disaster area with piles of paperwork in desperate need of filing or addressing and boxes of inventory to list on eBay.
The great room carpet has everything from that elusive Kleenex that never gets picked up to dog hair to the never-ending supply of lint that never seems to go away, disguising the dark blue color to a pale shade of speckled white.
There are canning jars on the dining room table for storing the 25 pound bags of flour and sugar we recently bought as well as using for the ever-growing list of recipes I want to can for the pantry.
I haven’t started my gardening to do list for the spring, fearful that I’ve already missed some important dates for the preplanting season, so I continue to keep my head buried in the proverbial dirt hoping things will just somehow work out.
The gym in the basement is calling to me, but the call falls upon deaf ears as I have more excuses for not going down there than any one person should be allowed.
So much to do, yet here I sit. The quiet surrounding me, smothering me.
I don’t know what it is, but having time to myself isn’t always as glorious as I envision it. You know on those days when everyone is underfoot, getting in your way, making demands on your time, leaving you absolutely no space to breathe. When you think to yourself, “If I only had a few hours to myself…”
Well, I got my wish. A few hours to myself, and yet, now I don’t really want them. I do far better knowing that everyone is home, everyone is exactly where I know they are safe, everyone is within shouting distance. Without the hustle and bustle and demands of being a wife and mother, I’m at a loss.
This isn’t always the case. Most of the time I do enjoy a few hours of reprieve when everyone happens to be gone. In fact, this is the case most of the week these days. Most days I have the house all to myself from 7:00 till 1:00 and sometimes longer. That time alone however is different, it doesn’t seem quite like I’m ever really alone. During those hours I cook, clean, do laundry, work, can, exercise, plan meals, write, dream of spring —
Maybe that’s it. This has been an exceptionally cold winter. Last year was bad as well, but this year I feel as if I have been cooped up in the house with no way out. Almost like I’m trapped. It’s night, there’s no place to go, I can’t sit out on the patio, it’s too icy for a walk, I’m stuck.
I’m not a cold-weather type person. Funny coming from someone who has lived in Michigan all their life, but true. I dress appropriately, sometimes to a fault, so I can stay warm even on the coldest of days, but the cold makes me lazy. It is easier to just sit here and complain about it being too cold to do anything than to collect the layers of clothing necessary to keep the cold from chilling me to the bone and venturing out into the icy tundra. Plus it’s not especially smart as I’m getting up in years and I certainly don’t need to fall and break anything.
I sit here, guilt-ridden for the things I should be doing, could be doing, would be doing if I only had the inspiration, the drive, the time! How can I possibly do any of those chores, duties, or responsibilities waiting for me when I’ve got to sit here and dwell on being unproductive and lazy?
It all seems rather silly, this vicious circle of procrastination which leads to guilt which leads to denial and then finally — well it will probably be bedtime so I guess acceptance comes next. Accepting that tomorrow is another day and one that I will take full advantage of and clean the kitchen, vacuum the great room, file the papers in the office, do a bit of canning, possibly pull out my gardening books, maybe do a load or two of laundry, and then wonder where the day went and why I didn’t have a moment of peace, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.