When I was first married, I hated being by myself. (OK, for the first 40 years of my life, I hated being by myself.) I dreaded the time when my husband had classes at night and I was home alone. I was afraid of noises, people I didn't know in the other apartments, scary TV shows, and bugs. (Once I spent 4 hours paralyzed on my couch because I had seen a bug on the floor. I trapped him under a glass, but I didn't trust that he was going to stay there. So rather than have him show up somewhere and surprise me, I sat on the couch and watched him...JUST watched him. I didn't eat dinner. I didn't answer the phone. I didn't go to the bathroom. I just held my breath until my husband came home and disposed of him.)
Eventually my husband graduated from school and was home every night for dinner. That blissful comfort didn't last long, though. He is a fast track kind of a guy and eventually moved up in the company and had to travel on a regular basis. We were transferred to Seattle and he had to be on the road two weeks out of every month. Our kids were little then and we only had two of them, so we would tag along whenever we could. But there were many trips that we weren't able to go on, and those were always extremely difficult for me.
By the time we were transferred to Atlanta we had increased our children by 50% and two of them were in school, so we became less spontaneous about jumping in the car and going with him on road trips. Paralyzed and debilitated were not exaggerations of the way I felt when he was gone. I would start to panic when I knew a trip was coming and I would cry from the time he left until he got back. I didn't sleep. I didn't do anything. I just waited and endured life until he came home. I can't imagine how he must have felt having to walk out the door and leave his wife in a small puddle on the floor surrounded by kids and diapers and toys.
|They were cute, but they were BUSY!|
So now we're back to the traveling stage of life. He travels once a month to HOU and once a month to somewhere else in the state. And if you combine those trips with once a month Scout Camp Outs, he's gone pretty regularly. This morning, though, as I geared up for yet another business trip, I realized that they're not as debilitating as they used to be. I don't cry anymore...and I'm sure my husband is grateful for that. But it's even better than that. Now I sort of look forward to them. I DON'T LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING HIM GONE, but I definitely enjoy a quiet house all day long and I look forward to the projects I have planned while he's away.
The kids are also bigger and more independent so there is less strenuous labor with them. We stick to our routine a little better when I know there's no one else to pick up the slack for me. And I have a sleeping rotation that totally helps me sleep through the night. Isn't that crazy that having a small person in my bed helps me feel more secure than sleeping in there by myself? (I think it's knowing that there is another set of ears and eyes just in case...but with some of my more sound sleepers, I'm not sure the extra set gives me much of an advantage.) Anyway...it works and they all look forward to their turn to have a sleep over in the giant bed.
This week, I'm going to clean an area of our bedroom that has become the dumping ground for unfinished projects, paperwork from my dad's house, scrapbook stuff, kid papers, magazines, books I haven't read...all those things that don't have a clear HOME. I'm going to find homes for all of them.
I'm going to clean all the blinds upstairs.
And I'm going to make an Easter wreath for my front door. (Yep, this is the SAME one I started over Spring Break. I thought I would be so AHEAD of the Easter season and it turns out I'll be lucky if I finish that thing in time for the Easter Bunny to even see it!)
I look forward to quiet time over the next five days...and all the Conference Talks I'm going to listen to...and the estrogen movies I'm going to watch...and the projects I'm going to finish. BUT the very best part of the trip is DEFINITELY the part when my husband comes home and life goes back to normal. I'd much rather have him home than traveling.