With both of the boys in school now, and all these hours of “free time”, I find myself wandering aimlessly around my house. I’m trying to create a new routine for myself, but it’s not as easy as I anticipated.
After I return home around 8:30 from getting them to the bus, I clean. I clean the kitchen, the living room, and all of the upstairs. I sweep, I vacuum, I mop. I do a few loads of laundry while I clean, and I fold it in front of the television when I’m done the rest of my chores, my eyes and brain aimlessly taking in some home renovation program on HGTV. Then I even have time to put away all the clean clothes. After that point, it’s not even 10am.
This should mean that I have the entire rest of the day to write, and hopefully soon that’s exactly what it will mean. Right now though, my fingers hoover over my keyboard and my eyes stare at the screen. It’s too quite to write. Even with the TV volume up, it’s too quiet. There aren’t little voices in the background, there isn’t even the presence of other people.
And you really can feel an empty house, you feel it even when you close your eyes. It’s empty, it’s quiet. It’s…strange. It’s not a bad strange – I know they boys are safe and enjoying their days at school with friends and learning, but it’s still a strange thing to get used to.
It’s no secret, children occupy a lot of our time. Children like to interrupt conversations that their parents try to have with other adults, either by having a story explode from their mouths or requiring immediate assistance or redirection. For years, so many of my conversations in both person and on the phone were mostly made up with me telling the other person to hang on for a second while I chased a kid away from doing something bad or helped them with something.
People keep asking me, are you enjoying your time alone? And the answer is…yes. I think that’s my problem right now, I think that’s why I haven’t been able to write. I’m too busy enjoying my time alone. I’m too busy enjoying the fact that I don’t have to jump up and run around, fulfilling the needs and requirements of other people for a solid seven hours. I can have silence and I can take my time. I can sit quietly or I can blast my music. I can nap (although I haven’t done that yet). I can run to the grocery story without lugging uncooperative children around (because really…who wants to go to the grocery store? I don’t even want to go). I can take my dog for a hike in the woods. I can meet friends for coffee and laugh and focus on conversation for the first time in years.
It’s still going to take some getting used to, but I am enjoying my “free time”. I’ll enjoy getting back into writing too, once I adjust to all this silence.