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.