My living room was my respite, my escape, my symbol of freedom. I loved my living room. I would sink into that couch and find my zen.
But now it's different. Now my living room is my place of work. It is my office.
It's where I make meals (gotta love an open plan). It's where I put on Nick Jr. It's where my dog barks incessantly at passersby. It's where my kids climb and fall and cry and fight and tantrum and scream. It's where I clean up and then clean up again and then clean up some more. It's where I do my professional work, when there is professional work to be done.
So I'm not loving it so much anymore. It's not the respite it once was.
Even at night, when the kids are silent and the meals are over, I can't seem to relax in there. It represents too many memories of the day and of the tasks to come. For example, last night...
The children are finally asleep. I sit in said light green couch and turn on the TV. I attempt to change the channel, but can't, because DVR is recording Mickey Mouse and Yo Gabba Gabba simultaneously. I cancel one, and start watching my show of choice, when my eyes start panning to the floor. Toys everywhere. I had just cleaned after dinner, but no matter. I have no energy to clean now, so I divert my eyes elsewhere. This time they pan to Braden's lunch box, sitting on the counter, but still not unpacked from the day. Crap, I should really empty that, I think there's a rotten banana in there, but no, I don't want to. I must relax. Beep beep! There's the sound of my outlook email from my computer not too far away - a work related email, no doubt, but I try to ignore it. Then a whining sound.... The kids? No, it's the dog, whining and staring at me for no apparent reason (presumably to throw a ball for her which I'm not going to do). I try to get comfortable, and lay my head down on the couch, and I smell something odd. What is that? Oh, it's the scent of Casey's vomit from last week, which I have attempted to clean to no avail. That one was the kicker.
I went to bed.
Bed, ahhhhhhhhhh, bed. Of all the rooms in this house, it seems my only true solace is in my bedroom, in bed. I crave it, and go to it at any opportunity. Casey napping? Bed. Husband taking the kids on an errand? Bed. After 8pm? Bed.
I know it's not necessarily the healthiest of things to get in bed at every available chance, but hey, right now this feels like the only space that is truly for me - untouched by kids and work and stress. It's quiet. It's comfortable. It comes with entertainment in the form of a TV, phone, and Ipad.
I tell myself there's nothing wrong with sitting in bed at 2:15 in the afternoon. And returning six hours later. But it reeks of depression, doesn't it?
I'm not depressed though. I'm really not.
I just love bed.