Because it’s only a memory now, the reality of moving into this house and the first catawampus days—oh, let’s be honest—weeks, I can only feel grateful. The move itself involved less than two miles, but the emotional distance, immeasurable. Sometimes I think moving up the street was more difficult. This was our second move in less than two years, and there was some anxiety around it, no NIMH data necessary.
The room that would become our bedroom is what my husband tackled first. In less time than it has taken for any other paint color/carpet decision, he had begun work on our retreat from the rest of the house. Meanwhile, we put our mattress on the scrupulously vacuumed and thoroughly cleaned spare bedroom floor. The unfamiliar light from community-maintained fixtures shone through the aged blinds onto the bed during that first month. I didn’t care, truthfully; I was exhausted by a long-term substitute gig with second graders (note to self: never again!).
Each morning I’d go off to work while my husband performed his magic at the other end of the house, relieved that I could leave the it behind. I’d come home, barely keep myself awake ’til 8 when I could ease myself onto the floor once again. By the end of the month and a half it took to get everything the way he wanted it, the light outside had become friendly, predictable, my clothes in various containers, the lack of an intentional, here’s-where-I’ll-put-that space only underscored our new life of possibility.
When I look back at that transition, I smile. That room has its own personality now: shades of blue, crisp sheets, bed off the floor, favorite art, red cabinet, still spare but home. And I am grateful for it all, especially for my husband who made it happen.
(prompt inspired by THE ISOLATION JOURNALS)