Thursday, April 26, 2012

All By Myself



I adore my family. My Hubs and baby boy are my whole world, and I can’t imagine my life without them.

But I can remember my life without them.

Yes, there was a short time after my divorce when I lived in my own little apartment. All by myself. That brief, transitional period turned out to be a pivotal point in my existence, an important pit stop on my journey to this place.

I don’t want to go back to that point in my life, but I am very glad I experienced it and there are certain aspects about being alone that I miss. Such as:

  1. Laundry. I had at least thirty-one pairs of underwear so I could go over a month without doing laundry. When I did wash my clothes, I only had three loads that could be done in a couple hours. Now the laundry is endless, a to-do list item that never stays crossed off.
  2. Pasta. Cooking for one is rarely any fun, so I often made a simple pasta dinner that could be cooked in ten minutes with minimal dirty dishes. Now dinner is a lengthy process, a huge mess and definitely a two-person task.
  3. Sleep. I went to bed when I wanted to. I got up when I wanted to. It was heavenly. Now I feel a bit guilty when Hubs goes to bed before I do too many nights in a row, and Quinn determines when I get up in the morning… and lately that’s been about 6:30 a.m.
  4. Television. My DVR was full of girl-approved television shows, and I never had to cede control of the remote to anyone. Now my shows are still on the DVR, but they’re lost somewhere among the episodes of Myth Busters, Family Guy, Sesame Street and The Cat in the Hat.
  5. Décor. My apartment was sparse, but it was all mine. The furniture, throw pillows, bed spread and picture frames were all chosen and approved by me, right down to the kitchen knives. Now most décor decisions are negotiated, and all the bottom shelves hold Quinn’s books and toys.
  6. Cleaning. I hate cleaning, but I love having a clean home. When I lived alone, I could quickly clean my little apartment to a level of spotlessness suitable for any germophobe. And it stayed clean. Now we have a cleaning service, and I hate it. I could do a much better job for a fraction of the cost if I only had the time to do it. Of course, it still wouldn’t stay clean, but at least I’d feel more justified in griping about it if I cleaned it myself.
  7. Cuteness. I wore cute clothes, I did my hair every day, and my make-up routine consisted of more than a quick swipe of mascara. I took pride in my appearance and would never dream of going to the grocery store with a naked face. Now I live in yoga pants and ponytails. When choosing an outfit, I only consider how easily I can whip out a boob to nurse the baby instead of how cute it looks on me. And I usually have at least one booger on me somewhere.
  8. Work. When I didn’t have anyone to come home to, I threw myself into my job. I worked long hours and always had the laptop open. I felt smart and impressive. Those long hours validated me and helped me create the new identity I needed when I was suddenly no longer a wife. Now my hours are even longer, and I don’t feel as smart or impressive. My identity is back in limbo.
  9. Friends. When you’re single, your friendships are your most important relationships. We would spend hours talking on the phone, laughing over wine glasses, and hopping from one bar to another. Sometimes I would even spontaneously jump on a plane to go visit friends in Boston or Michigan. Now I don’t see my friends nearly as often, and I wonder if they miss me as much as I miss them.
  10. Non-stink. In my own little girly apartment, I had air fresheners and candles, and the place always smelled sweet and clean. Now I often play “find the smell” and try to figure out where the milk got spilled on the carpet. I open Quinn’s bedroom door, and the lingering stink of his last diaper smacks me right in the face. As much as I love my boys, they smell like boys


Though I miss these ten things about my life of solitude, they have been replaced with more love than I could ever have imagined. Even with all the boogers, stink, and endless laundry, I wouldn’t trade this life for anything.


This post is in response to Mama Kat's third writing prompt this week. Yes, I know I did another prompt yesterday. I'm an overachiever.




14 comments:

  1. i would love to experience life on my own. it's been so long & was so brief that i barely even remember it. not that i'd ever want to give up my family to make it happen.
    you're right. friends seem to fade away in the midst of wifey/mommyhood. why does that happen? and how can we make it stop?

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    1. I know, mine was brief, too. I wish I could find a way to stop the phone tag with friends. If you find a way to add more hours to the day, let me know!

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  2. I am with you on most of these. My laundry pile is never ending... with 5 of us that's not a surprise, right?

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    1. Wow, five. That's a ton of laundry. You deserve some sort of trophy!

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  3. I never ever had time when I was truly alone, which is why I think love (and crave) solitude... I went from being someone's kid, to being someone's mom, to being someone's wife, to being 3 more someones mom. I had my own little apartment when I was a young single mom, but that was going directly from my house with my parents and sisters. I HAVE NEVER BEEN ALONE. Which is just the oddest thing, because I consider myself a very solitary person.

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    1. I totally know what you mean. I'm a solitary person as well, but I never would have known that about myself if I hadn't those few short months in my own place. Hope you can find away to find some alone time... outside the bathroom, of course. :)

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  4. love the post - can so relate!

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    1. Haha! Oh yeah, I know you can. :)

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  5. I'd totally forgotten there was a time I too had enough underwear to go a month without needing to do laundry....oh those days of freedom....said as the washing machines chugs it's way through the third load today alone!

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    1. Ah, yes those were the days. Now, we're buried in dirty laundry and dirty dishes. Why didn't someone tell me adulthood would be so dirty all the time? :)

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  6. Hi Melissa, I could relate to everything you said! I lived on my own for a couple of years before I met Bob. I remember I used to have cereal all the time for dinner. And yes, my girlfriends, we did the bar things, chatted nearly every night. Now we are all so busy, with some we can go months without talking, but the love is still there. As for laundry, it never goes away. I swear I think the clothes are multiplying in there!
    But you are right, being on your own helps you to become a better person and appreciate what you have now!
    Lisa
    www.lisagradessweinstein.blogspotcom

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    1. I guess it's all part of growing up. (I refuse to use the word "older.") Glad to hear I'm not the only one whose hamper breeds more dirty clothes! :)

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  7. Oh how I miss SLEEP! I think every thing is brighter with sleep. And I miss the whole bed as well. My husband snores, and the three year old that somehow manifests each night is a humongous bed hog. I think I could handle a romantic getaway where the hubs and I each have our own queen-sized bed. That would be bliss. Stopping by from Mama Kat's.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! So sorry for the terribly late reply. I'm heading over to your blog after this. Good luck with your snoring bed hogs! I don't think anyone would blame you if you took your pillow and blanket into the bathtub. :)

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