Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Room of One's Own

My hubby and I are both only children.  I loved being an only child.  In fact, I'm slightly afraid of having more than one child myself, because I'm just not sure how that dynamic would work.  I had lots of imaginary friends, and talking stuffed animals (I still do, and feel bad for anyone who doesn't!).  Plus, from the time I was about 10, we had an awesome Boxer, who snuggled with me until I was in high school and he got sick and peed all over the house, so we had to restrict his living spaces, poor guy.

Anyway, I say that because J and I are kind of weird, as far as married couples go, in terms of how we use our space.  And yes, we're weird in other ways, too.  Come on, I'm quicker than that.  I saw that one coming a mile away.

Ok, so we're weird in terms of our allocation of space in that we each have our "own" rooms.  We have a two bedroom house.  The bedroom is "his" in that all of his stuff is there.  His clothes, his baseball bobble heads, his giant baseball card collection, and so on.  Our home office is "my room" in that I keep all my stuff there - handbags, books, notebooks, pens, makeup, jewelry, etc.  The living room is shared, though that being said, it houses Boy Things like the TV, Playstation, etc.

This presented a bit of a conundrum when we were expecting.  We always assumed that the home office would become the nursery.  My desk and work area could be moved to the living room.  But where would that leave me to put my girly stuff?  The thought of combining stuff in the bedroom has honestly never crossed my mind.  I'm an only child like that.

We have an attic space that goes over most of the house.  There are no stairs up to this space, but J can climb up one of our bookshelves to get up there (he used to rock climb) and we would bring in a ladder for big jobs, like taking down Christmas decorations.  J also built a ramp for the cats so that they can get up and have all that space for themselves, undisturbed by the lesser species of human with whom they cohabit.

This attic is much more of a crawl space.  It is a-shaped, and at it's very highest point it's about 4 feet high.  Not really a dancing spot.  But I thought I could create a perfect Girly Nook in part of the attic.  I just needed to be able to get up and down easily.  So in mid-October - actually, the Saturday before I miscarried - J installed one of those fold-in-the-ceiling ladders like Chevy Chase had in the National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.  It folds down into the kitchen, and is easily climbable for a heights-wimp like me.

I ignored the Girly Nook for a while because it brought back too many memories of being pregnant.  Now that we weren't having a baby, I still had lots of time to enjoy having my own room, with all my things intact in that room.  But slowly, I'm discovering the joy of my attic Girly Nook.

When I was sixteen, my parents finished off our own attic and I moved my room up there.  It was actually two rooms, and probably 6 and a half feet tall at the highest point, so easily standable for most of it.  My parents put bookshelves in the middle, dividing it into two rooms; a little teenaged-girly-haven-suite.  They also put in a skylight, so I could lay underneath it in the rain and write my "cellophane-wrapped-soul" poetry while watching the rain come down.  It was awesome, and I loved it.

My Girly Nook here isn't going to be a replacement for that one, and I'm still going to have to figure out where to put most of my stuff when a baby comes.  An attic nook is no place for my handbags, for example.  If my Simplification Quest continues on pace, though, I shouldn't have as much stuff to worry about (I'm trying to get back to the way I was in the days when I could move to England with three albeit-giant suitcases).

So I put down a colorful rug, got a beanbag chair, hung up fairy lights, put in one small bookcase, with another one waiting to be put together, and made a little meditation spot on an ikea coffee table.  This has become my new favorite place to sit and think.  The cats aren't used to me being up here yet, though.  They still stare at me and give me glowering looks, the unwelcome intruder that I am.  Once we have a baby, I'm hoping I can still come up here to have some quiet and be around my favorite books, journals, pens, and pictures.

Here's a picture taken with my cell phone of my Girly Nook.  Oh, a note on the stickers on the wall - about 20 years ago a family lived here and they had teenage boys.  The boys put those stickers up on the wall, and I don't want to take them down because it's part of the history and spirit of the place.  

I'm sitting in the Girly Nook right now, listening to the monsoon outside, and drinking my hot cocoa.  It's warm, cozy, and very comforting.  Kind of like a bubblebath, but without your skin getting all pruny.

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