Being lonely makes me clean.
My husband has been on the road since Friday night for business. He won't be home until Thursday. The first few days weren't so bad because I was distracted with school (but it was lonely going to bed alone at night.) Now that I'm entering my fourth night alone, the silence of the apartment is really obvious.
So ... I clean. Given the state of the apartment usually, you'll be able to tell that I'm never lonely! But tonight I avoided the obvious pitfalls of laundry and dishes and decided to tackle our "office" space, which is usually our disaster area and dumping ground. In the room, we have two desks that face into either corner. When you walk in the door, there is a large table from my grandfather's kitchen that I kept for posterity. This was pushed right up against Rob's desk. The only problem was its immense size in such a small space. It had to go, but I've been delaying the inevitable for some time (ohh... let's see... about three years!). This past weekend I toyed with the idea of running to IKEA and buying a new bookshelf to replace its spot, but the last time we tried to buy bookcases from there, they were just about 5 inches too long for my car... and wouldn't fit.
I decided to avoid that and kept thinking. Then it dawned on me. About a month ago on my way to the trash room, I discovered a baker's rack waiting to be put on the curb. There was nothing wrong with it- it was in excellent condition. Not wanting something useful to be thrown away, I dragged it out of the trash room and back down to my apartment... where it proceeded to sit in front of our coat closest for the last month.
Tonight, the two ideas connected.
So I spent the better part of the early evening hauling everything on the table out to the living room. I then disassembled the table, and dragged it out. I vacuumed, then brought in the baker's rack. I originally thought a good amount of craft items that are currently at home in the living room could be stored here, but after organizing, resorting, and bringing back in the items that were already from the office, there wasn't room for anything new. But the result is already dramatic. The room seems more open--even lighter--without the large table in the way. And things seem slightly more organized-- for the moment. (The table will be going to storage to stay until we get a house... hopefully someday soon.)
But I think besides getting a clean apartment, being lonely helps me remember why I married my husband. Too often we let life get in the way. Our day jobs monopolize our time, and I get on such a bent to still have rewarding experiences outside of work that I too often fill up my spare time with other activities. Which isn't a bad thing -- just I've filled my plate a little too much. (My eyes are bigger than my stomach, as my grandmother would say.)
If anything, I think time apart makes us appreciate each other more. I've been pretty stressed out and pulled in too many directions for the last seven months. And in return, Rob has been very stressed with his job, too. We kinda got in the routine of living, but not really enjoying or living in the sense that we should.
Now I feel that when Rob comes home, I'll listen more closely and smile a lot more.