Wednesday, June 15, 2016

While He Was Away

Cleaning out my bathroom.
I feel like a terrible wife.

My husband FINALLY got some work, and three weeks of it was out of town, hundreds of miles north. When I wasn't at work, I was all alone with the cats in the house. I was a good girl. Why am I a terrible wife? I'm getting to that.

If you know me, or even follow this blog a bit, you'll know that I've been working full time after my husband got laid off. I didn't really mind. I enjoy it, and I've dropped a couple of sizes. The bills are getting paid, including the mortgage.

While he was away, we kept in touch through e-mails, because cell service was dubious. I learned that the food wasn't great, and that he had to share a few bathrooms with the whole floor. He had to buy sandals, because the bathroom floor was always wet. Sleep? Forget it. It's constant daylight up there right now, and the curtains didn't help much. I KNEW I should have sent him with tin foil and maybe a sleep mask...Not that he'd wear one.

Before he left, I joked with my friends about whether or not I would actually experience 'loneliness'. I don't get enough alone time these days. Almost twenty years with the same man--you'd think I'd be pining for his embrace, longing for his touch...

I slept like solid stone. The first night, as I warily turned out the lights, (not really fond of the dark) and the tv, (or silence) and wondered how I would sleep, I dropped off. And woke more well rested than I had been in months, possibly years! Well, aside from the nightly cat fight, of course. I can't believe how well I slept! No snoring, no random muttering or arm waving, no cuddling that shuffled me to the edge of the bed, no pillow stealing, no heavy leg dropped on my person...I threw off the covers upon rising, threw them back over. Voila. The bed is made again. Slept. Like a stone, I tell you.

I got lots done. The first thing I did when I got home from the airport was clean the house. And yeah, it still looks pretty good, but I know the toast crumbs are coming. I know I'm not the first wife, nor will I be the last, to say that nothing gets done when hubby is home. Right? I finished most of my spring cleaning, mowed the lawn, weeded the garden and wrote to my heart's content. I kept occupied, not just to ward off feels of missing him, but because I had all the time in the world to do what I needed to get done. The power bill went down by fifteen dollars.
This is how the bathroom looks when it's clean and there's no stuff in it.

Turns out, it was as I suspected. I am an extrovert who appreciates her own company. I don't know what 'lonely' means. In fact, it felt like a little vacation. Does that make me a terrible wife? The fact that I didn't miss him as much as he missed me? That I could easily do it again?

Actually, the one thing I REALLY missed was his presence. I missed not being able to talk to him whenever I pleased. Often times I turned to read him what I'd just written, only to realize he wasn't there to listen or offer his opinion. Okay, that made me feel a little lost. Not to mention that's a lot of yard to tackle by oneself.

Times are tough these days, and if you find yourself home alone while your spouse is it work, here's what I know, and I hope you find it useful

DON'T mention your spouse's absence on social media---EVER. While your friends may be trustworthy, there's always a random chance some hackers, or even just someone who trolls can find you, and know when you're not home...or worse, when you ARE.

DON'T tell your neighbors. They all talk amongst themselves. Especially the renters next door. Let them wonder and be unsure. There's a DO on that, but I'll get to that later.

DON'T forget to lock all doors, even your shed doors.

DO tell your co-workers. Mine don't even know exactly where I live, but they know if I don't show up for work--there's a serious problem. My manager knows my address,

DO use an alarm system, if you have one. Although my alarm system is no longer connected to the server. (we cut it to save money) I sleep better knowing it will STILL beep LOUDLY in the event someone comes through that door while I dream.

DO tell the neighbors you trust. Mine are across the street. I trust them so much, they are family now, and they have keys to my house. They check in on me frequently, and they know my cats. My cats like them. (Thank you to the Raju family <3)

DO spend some extra time comforting and loving your pets. Mine, and many other pets, are smart enough to figure out that luggage means someone is leaving, but there's no way of telling them when that someone is coming back. I saw behavior in my furkids that I wish I could have fixed. Although Spartacus Jones is MY baby, Dan's prolonged absence had a disturbing effect on his appetite and attitude after two weeks.

Now that he's home, they've gone back to acknowledging him when they want food. All is back to normal. I'm off to work, but I know the troll will be the one to mow the lawn this time.

And it's really nice to know he'll be here when I get home. That actually cheers me a great deal.


  1. Good on you! And congrats to the hubby on finding work!

    1. Thanks Mimsey! We both had a little adventure.

  2. Excellent post, Donna. You captured the scenario and offered tips that will help anyone who is at home alone. Absence does make the heart grow fonder, doesn't it? xo

    1. Thanks Kathy! It was my first time home alone without him for longer than two days. It kind of inspired me. And YES, absence DOES make the heart grow fonder!