My blogger friend Ann talked about the idea of open concept living space the other day. You know, the thing commonly seen on HGTV, where all walls are eliminated, and costly beams are placed in the ceiling to support a wall less structure. I commented that I read recently that people are taking to their basements to gain privacy. I guess what people failed to realize is, everyone one needs a little time to oneself.
Now you all know that I live in a very small apartment. Middle class New Yorkers are know to utter “Our apartments are our bedrooms, and the city is our living room.” That’s how we console ourselves by living in tiny places- we talk about how we are always out and about, doing all sorts of wacky things. But trust me, though you all know I love doing all the things the city has to offer, sometimes I need some time, and space to myself.
I don’t have a large bedroom- it true New Yorker fashion, we split our living room in half – one half living room and one half bedroom. I don’t have a sanctuary, I have a bed, two nightstands, a vanity and a shelf. I spend almost no time in my bedroom. It just isn’t big enough. My entire apartment has 3 closets. 3. These closets store clothes for 3 people and vacuums, brooms and all the assorted household items one might need. We have a storage locker in our communal basement to house luggage, skis, holiday decorations and extra toilet paper and paper towels. We literally do not have room for these things within our apartment proper. We have one bathroom- we literally schedule bathroom time. I promised Cynthia that I would do a post on my very tiny kitchen, so I’ll talk about that separately. I don’t have an office- I have a small desk tucked into a corner of the living room. I usually bring my laptop to my dining table to write, because I have enough space on that to hold a cup of tea or glass of water.
This is my reality and I’m OK with that. This is how I choose to live, even though most don’t understand it.
But, while I’ve adjusted to minimal square footage, I have never really adjusted to having no time to myself. We obviously have no space for a she cave or anything like that. Spending time alone is my biggest challenge. Let me rephrase that, having time alone when I am not doing something practical is my biggest challenge.
Now, my Husband was supposed to go on a business trip this week- a convention in Nashville. I was looking forward to this. Oh, how I was looking forward to this. For the most part, my teenage daughter is not needy- she is fairly self sufficient. Husband…not so much. He requires attention. I’m usually OK with giving attention, but sometimes……
So, when Husband’s trip got cancelled the other day (pressing work issues precipitated by changes that were not forecast) I was the one that was the most upset. I was lookin forward to 4 days of not having him around.
I know- some of you think I’m horrible. But really, I planned on writing a lot. I planned on going through my shoes- I know I have shoes I really don’t wear anymore and i’d rather give them away to someone who might make better use of them. I wanted to reorganize one of my kitchen cabinets. These are things that take a lot of thought- when you have small spaces and limited cabinets, you must completely empty more than one area, you must regroup and consider each items worth- you ask, do I really need this? When did I last use it? Is it difficult or costly to replace? Trust me, New Yorkers have been asking these questions long before Marie Kondo. This takes awhile. It also means there are a lot of things hanging out in yoru living room. A living room that is tiny to begin with.
I also planned on sitting on the couch and watching some Hallmark mystery channel movies that I DVR’ed a few months ago. Ones that I just haven’t had a two hour block in which to watch. Because we only have 1 TV and I can’t/won’t watch on my computer.
I also wanted an hour to just stare at the wall.
So I was a bit deflated, knowing that I would not have a little time to myself. I still need to figure out how to recharge my very depleted internal battery.
This time of year is busy. I always joke that I have a HUGE social life from September 1 to January 2, and from April 1 to June 30. For me, it seems like its all or nothing. But during the “all” times, I know I have to schedule some down time. I am no different from a toddler that requires a time out. I need a time out. I would like a really comfy chair in the corner to just sit in and stare at the wall, and not have anyone bother me for at least 12 minutes. (FYI- my husband went to the gym the other day- he joint texted my daughter and I and told us he couldn’t get the gym wifi to work on his phone at the gym- he couldn’t get Spotify. Because you know, I’m the person to call if the gym’s wifi is not working. Fearing he was going to ask me to sing into the phone so he could run, I suggested he turn off his phone and turn it on again- reboot- what a concept) But you get what I mean- I’m never safe from questions.
And now I know it will be full throttle from now till New Years. But I need a break. I may lock myself in one of my three closets and hide from the family. Or maybe I will bring a comfy chair down to the storage locker.
Right now- I need a little space.