Exhaustion is making a home

August 12, 2009 § Leave a comment

I feel I should preface this entry with a small note to explain, perhaps, my late sad mood. My best friend, we’ll call her Smitty on the blog, made a decision earlier this summer that she would not be returning to the university to complete her dissertation. Rather, she’ll be “dissertating” remotely in her hometown in New York state, which means it will be much more difficult to see her and hang out with her. She was my first friend I made as an adult, and I know she’ll be one of those friends who will always be a part of my life. I have known about this decision since Robert and I returned from the honeymoon (or shortly thereafter), but I did not actually deal with the reality of the consequences until the Thursday night before the Saturday she moved. After Robert fell asleep, I fell to pieces–he awoke to my near hyperventilating. When he told me to draw a full breath (after “threatening” to get a paper bag for me to breathe in), I literally dissolved; I babbled incoherently about how I was trying not to cry but if I breathed properly then I was going to cry and I didn’t want to cry because then my face would be all puffy and I was supposed to see the movie tomorrow with my sister and Smitty and etc. etc. etc. Poor Robert was awoken from sleep to a wife who could only blubber in his ear. He held me and comforted me and told me very sweet things, and finally ended with, “You know Smitty would never let you hear the end of it if she knew you were crying this hard over her.” This time I dissolved into giggles and nearly started hyperventilating again. When Smitty and I said our tearful goodbyes on Friday night, I drove away feeling like a boulder sat on my chest. I went home to my husband’s encircling arms and cried some more in his shirt. Smitty and I aren’t going to be able to write our dissertations together, as we had originally imagined for ourselves, in the graduate study room in the library…or in our very favorite coffee shop. But we’ll be okay, and I support Smitty in this move. I know she will flourish in this environment much more so than she ever could have done in this one. I’m proud of her…and a little jealous. Sometimes a girl wants a change in scenery from the same university (especially as she approaches her sixth year in the same place).

That had nothing to do with my subject, but I felt it was necessary. I’ve been down and not in the mood to write for a few days, so there’s the explanation.

So, exhaustion is making a home.

I think any of my readers who have moved into a new home would agree with that statement with no further explanation. Making a home, and really making a home (not merely a place to crash in the evening), is an exhausting exercise. I am currently in the intersession between semesters–I wrapped up a class last Wednesday, and look forward to a new semester with new students beginning next Tuesday. I had decided a few weeks back that I would make a more concerted effort to unpack all of these boxes during the intersession. Yesterday, I tackled the dining area and some of the kitchen. It’s still sort of messy, but that’s mostly because we ran out of cabinet space and needed to assemble new shelves. I think we should have bought a few more shelving units, ha! Today, I worked in the guest bedroom. When I woke up this morning (and when Robert left for his orientation this morning), the bedroom was slammed with boxes. Basically, all of the boxes we didn’t know what to do with (and didn’t feel like dealing with) had just been stuffed in there as best as they could fit. I emptied the closet of all its contents, constructed a bookcase, loaded the bookcase with the contents of the closet, and reorganized the closet with whatever could fit in it out of those boxes. Now the bed has been uncovered, and there is actual walking room–a guest could conceivably (and comfortably!) stay in there now. I feel good.

Probably the best part of the day was Robert’s reaction. After he walked in the door to find me still in my knock-around clothes from this morning, I took him back to the guest bedroom. He immediately gasped and said, “Whoa! Holy crap, baby!” I couldn’t stop grinning–if I had had a tail, it would have been wagging. He was so proud of me, and couldn’t stop hugging me–it was thrilling, truly. To work so hard for so many hours of the day, and to be so bone tired, of course such bursting pride would be a thrill. 🙂

So, yes, making a home is pure and utter exhaustion.

But, in a sick way, it’s also enjoyable. I do like building our little nest day by day, waiting in anticipation for my husband’s reaction when he walks in the door to see the latest improvement.

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