life inside a single room and my refusal to learn

Posted: October 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

My husband and I live a strange-to-most life, when it comes to the business of our “community living arrangement.”  Life with one’s possessions limited to a single bedroom, a corner of a garage, and a storage unit for backup is different than the life of a single-residence homeowner or even an apartment dweller.  

Our room is stuffed as full as I can reasonably stand it to be.  

One wall is taken up with our bed and my dresser (which doubles as my hair-and-makeup stand).  

One wall is our table, which is theoretically for eating.  In truth, for the meals we don’t do upstairs with our friends, we tend to sit on our bed and eat.  The table ends up being kind of a catch-all area, and I pull out the drop leaf every morning while I’m making his lunch and our breakfast, as an improvised counter/prep space.  Under the table is space for a laundry basket full of my jeans and sweatshirts – my sweaters live in big pretty baskets at the foot of our bed, topped with pretty blankets so that everything doesn’t always feel undone.  

The third wall is a sort of kitchenette area (sans sink or running water) where we store food and dishes.  There, we also have the microwave, the mini-fridge, the toaster, the coffee pot, some plastic stacking drawers for miscellaneous (mostly bathroom item) storage, a clear plastic tote that functions as our “filing cabinet,” our little TV and DVD player, the clothes hamper, and our tiny vacuum cleaner.  

The final wall is a bookshelf full of his books DVDs, his dresser, which doubles as a record player stand and vinyl album storage space, and a space heater that we haven’t yet utilized.

We have a collapsing clothing rack which is in use about 90% for drying the half of my wardrobe that is not dryer-friendly; we move it around the room as needed.  We have plants hanging above the table and plants lined up on his bookshelf.  The space under our bed is 100% storage space – no emptiness there.  

With every item precisely in its place, it is somewhat cramped but in a way that could be described as “cozy.”  

But I am not really all that great at keeping things precisely in their place.  My husband does great – he comes home and puts his things neatly where they go.  On the other hand, I leave a mess in my wake.  I kick off my shoes, but don’t put them on the rack in the bottom of the closet.  I peel off my coat, but don’t put it on a hanger.  I change my clothes, and tend to keep a pile of “re-wearable items” throughout the week, just kind of piled on a chair (why use more than one set of pajamas or one pair of jeans or one hoodie in a week, am I right?)  I bring in the mail, and I don’t open-pitch/file as I should – I just toss the mail on the table, along with receipts from my purse and other random items.  Soon enough, G’s side of the room (the one wall) is neat as a pin, while the whole rest of the room is suffering the marks of hurricane Karen.  

A tiny mess looks like A LOT, in a room so full.  So very soon it looks like too much to tackle *today* and I decide that the magic time to do that is *later* – you know, that time that sometimes never comes.  

We’ve had a week like that.  G had his first Saturday overtime at work today, so I had the opportunity to repent of my bad behavior and put things in order.  Every time I do that, I wonder why I didn’t do it in the first place.  After all, it FEELS SO GOOD, having everything put up.  My mind is more at rest.  I love the room, when it is clean (whereas I tend to resent the room, when it is not.)  It is so nice, knowing where everything is.  it is so nice, not tripping over my many pairs of shoes strewn all across the joint.  It is so nice, feeling the pressure of I-should-take-care-of-this lifted away, off of me, leaving me free to just enjoy the day.

What a silly lady I am, that at 47 years old I have to keep relearning this lesson.  I wonder when I might grow up enough to hold onto it daily. 


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