Saturday, March 8, 2008

on being home alone

Remember the iconic film of 1990 "Home Alone"? References to that film were so ubiquitous in the early 90's that I would have sworn that I had actually seen the movie. Turns out I had not. Being home alone (as long as you don't count 10 cats and one large and attention hogging dog) yesterday afternoon and last night I was looking for something to watch and ended up seeing "Home Alone" from beginning to end.

Until a few years ago, I often spent days, nights, even weeks alone while my husband took care of his parents, and especially his mom after his dad died. I had lived alone for most of my adult life (we didn't marry until I was 43), so spending time alone after I was married was no hard ship, and often desirable. One year (one actual 12 month period) my husband went back to graduate school in Knoxville (which was near his mom)and came home perhaps three weeks in that whole time. That was not fun, and it severely stress our marriage, but we recovered.

Then four years ago his mom, who was very ill the last few years of her life, died. Suddenly he was home all the time, for the first time in our marriage. That took some adjustment, but it was a good adjustment. For the past four years, I've gotten used to him always being here. I'd go away for a few nights on work related travel, but John would always be here.

However, this morning John had a 5 K race at 8 am in Greeneville, TN (his home town) a two and a half hour drive, and a snow storm was called for in the early morning hours. Se we packed him off yesterday, so he could get a good nights sleep and avoid dangerous travel. It paid off -- he came in first in his age group (40-45), his first "first" since he started running seriously again last year (check out his blog).

It was odd being home alone again. I must say that I reverted to some bad behaviors. Even with piles of work to get accomplished before Spring break ends tomorrow, I curled up and watched TV (and ate ice cream) for most of the afternoon and evening. All I managed to accomplish was getting some recycling out to the curb and washing a few loads of clothes. Thinking about it, I think I've always been more productive (work-wise) when John is with me than he is not, and more productive since our marriage than before it. Being home alone is okay on occasion, but not as a regular diet.

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