November 16, 2012

Used to being alone

Have you ever lived alone?

I hadn't until I came to Alaska.

I lived with my parents for 23 1/2 years.  I commuted to college because it was so close to home. Minus the one semester I decided I needed to move out and live half an hour away (they totally paid my rent)...and I still went home every weekend, mostly because I was working at a restaurant nearer to home.

I didn't want to live on my own because I didn't want to be responsible for all of that adulthood stuff.  Bills?  Utilities?  No, thanks.  I can barely take care of that stuff now.

The "Where are you going at 9pm? It's already dark out!" and "Why didn't you come home until 2am?" questions I got from my parents were an even trade for them paying my way if you ask me.  I kept a 3.9 GPA, they didn't ask too many questions.

Then, I got married and we moved here.

I remember the first night he left me alone so he could do a night jump.  We'd been in our new Alaskan home for about 3 days.  I remember thinking, "I cannot do this, I cannot possibly stay here one night by myself, let alone months during deployment."

Yeah, I got over that real fast.

For the first deployment, he was only gone 4 months.  It was rough.  It was Alaskan wintertime.  It was, yeah, pretty God-awful.  But I did it.

By the time he came home, I just wanted companionship again.

He didn't leave for more than a night or two until a year later when he went to a training for 2 weeks.  Again, I thought I was going to die.

By the time we moved to our new house, he'd taken up the occasional hunting/fishing trip and I was used to him being gone at night once in awhile.

Then he went to JRTC (deployment training) and that was a rough 6 weeks for me because I knew it was leading up to THE BIG ONE.

And so, when he deployed last December, I was prepared.  I knew what it'd be like to be alone.

I was NOT prepared for what seemingly-never-ending freedom would taste like.

Not freedom in a "I does what I wants" kinda way.  Freedom in a "nobody's watching me so I'm not gonna do dishes, fold clothes, or clean the bathrooms" kinda way.

A few weeks ago, I spent most of Friday night doing dishes and straightening up because the cable company was sending someone over to look at the connection.  When someone does this, they have to go back and forth from t.v. to t.v., modem to box, etc, etc...criss-crossing all over the house.  So the entire house had to look like someone civilized had been living in it.

It was stressful.

And while the guy was here on a Saturday morning (making sure I was set up to watch my Sunday night line-up), I cleaned the stove...and did some dishes...and Cloroxed some windowsills (WTF, right?), because being perched on the couch with my laptop (my usual position) would've made me look lazy and unproductive.
This was the most stressful 45 minutes of my week...waiting for this cable dude to leave so I could stop doing stuff.  Exhausting.

Something tells me that living with another person again is going to take some adjusting.

Lately, I've found myself menu-planning, doing dishes, and putting away laundry on a regular basis.  It's strange.  Oddly enough, Scott is doing the same.  He's going through things, getting rid of stuff, unpacking, organizing, talking about putting the Christmas tree up.   HE CLEANED THE BATHROOM WHILE I TOOK A NAP LAST WEEK, and then asked when was the last time I had cleaned the tub (probably summer's a giant garden tub we never use.)

He also started putting together a Salvation Army box with things he doesn't want anymore.
There's nothing I like better than purging stuff I've been hoarding for no apparent reason, so that's good.  "Pack-ratted-ness" is not a quality I admire.

What about you?  Are you insanely messy on your own?  Does your husband/boyfriend/etc hold you accountable?  Do you, ohmygosh, have kids who you have to set an example for?


  1. for many reasons I can't imagine living by myself for that length of time. I think I would still keep my house clean but I definitely wouldn't be making meals. I'd be eating cereal, mac and cheese or a sandwich most nights!

  2. I'm very messy on my own. Who wants to come home from a long day of work and clean the house??

  3. I'm waaaay nearer than kev so when he was deployed (in our pre kids era) our house was so clean. But even now I can't go to bed unless the dishes are in the dishwasher and I make our bed every morning. C inherited my neatness, he cleans his room after bath and has a specific place for each thing, Bennett pulls stuff out of drawers for fun. Kev is the one who scrubs the tubs though! Definitely interesting to see how living alone changes you.

  4. I am borderline OCD when it comes to clean. Kyle always says that his idea of clean is my idea of neat haha. When I lived alone I was the same way.

  5. Truth be told, I had not truly lived by MYSELF until I was 30. First 21 years with the parents and the other 9 with the hubs. Then he went to grad school in another state. For 2 YEARS! That was the WORST experience ever. Stuff didn't get done until I got sick of my pig pen and cleaned. But I never cleaned like my mom or hubs would like. I'd half ass it. Today, hubs and I are under 1 roof. I'm happyish. I still half ass the domestic duties. Esther Norine Designs

  6. I am messy messy messy! if it werent for my husband and daughter I would stay that way haha...but they are very messy too so Im pretty busy cleaning up after them all the time.

  7. Gah, I can and can't relate...I love living on my own. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE living with my husband, too, but before we were married...I loved coming home to an empty apartment with just my cats, if I didn't want to talk I didn't have to, if I wanted to skip making dinner I could, if I wanted to crank MY music as loud as I could while I danced in the living room, I mostly do "together" things. Which is fine 90% of the time, but I miss being alone sometimes.

    That said...I'm actually cleaner when I live alone, believe it or not. Cleaning up after 1 person is SO MUCH FASTER than cleaning up after 2. Plus when Isaiah's home the last thing I want to do is spend our evenings cleaning things. We're busy so much of the time that being home with nothing to do is a luxury....I certainly don't want to spend it cleaning!

  8. With the exception of about a year (when I had a roommate in Texas), I have lived alone for the past ten years. And I love it. Truly love it. I actually worry sometimes that I won't adapt very easily to living with sometimes when/if I get married.

  9. I think our lives are pretty parallel. It is hard living alone when living with others is what you have experienced all your life. I lived alone for 6 months of college and I basically stayed with my bffs at their apartment. Now living with my sibling is just weird because he has his own family and own living standards...verrrry different from mine (and my hubby's who is CRAZY clean). I think if Paul ever is deployed I will do the SAME exact thing as you...I won't have anyone to clean up for except myself and let’s be honest I don't care THAT much!

  10. I've lived alone for the last 3 years and LOVE it. It must be some remnant of the only child upbringing (actually, when I went away to college my main concern was having a roommate - I've never minded sharing but I like my alone time). Once i was living with my best friends though I came to love having a shared space. Still, after being on my own again I don't think I could live with anyone until I'm married to be honest - though it would definitely help me to be neater (I'm right there with you on the dishes/laundry front - I love it all nice and clean, I'm just too lazy most of the time)!

  11. I was actually cleaner when he was gone, because he makes more of a mess than I did. I fell into a routine - clean this day, do laundry that - and when he came home, it messed it all up.

    I was ok with living by myself. I moved to college and lived in a dorm a year before we moved in together.

  12. Ohmigosh totally. Mel isn't gone for long stretches, but he is gone 1-2 nights a week when he gets busy (it's been 8 straight weeks now) and I don't cook and barely clean. Then, when he's been home for about 3 weeks with no travel I'M SO READY for him to be gone so I can eat cereal for dinner, feed my kid a corn dog, and watch the Real Housewives all night long.

  13. I find myself cleaning more when J is gone because I know it will stay that way longer than it would if he were here ;)

  14. I lived by myself for about 4 or 5 years after college. I really got used to it, and it was an adjustment when we bought our house.

    I can totally relate to the cleaning for and when the cable guy is there. What are you supposed to do when someone is working on your house??

  15. "Home is where your husband is"... love that. I am pretty clean on my own but add in a husband and a toddler and it seems like a constant struggle.

  16. I don't like doing things. Over the summer when I don't actually have a job to go to, I keep up with laundry, dishes, picking up after my husband, and myself, and doing actual cleaning.

    When school starts, we're lucky we have clean dishes and clothes....and sometimes that's only because we've almost hit the point of desperation. Scott does do things either. So we really can't get on each other's cases about it. I'm not a slob, and I don't like things to be messy, I'm just too exhausted to care! lol

  17. I am a total slob when I'm on my own. My husband used to work on an oil rig, so he'd be at work for a FULL week and then be back for a week. On the weeks he was at work, I didn't do jack. Then the night before he would return, I'd clean everything up. He knows it though lol

  18. My house totally stayed messier when David was deployed. Half the time, I was too exhausted to try to clean it up (2 kids and pregnant) and the other half I just felt like there was no real reason to, ya know?!
    When he got back it was the same thing you're going through. It's weird adjusting only to readjust a year or so later.
    I still hate being alone at night. During the day isn't a biggie, but night time.... the sleeping alone is what killed me the most. I'd literally lay in bed watching netflix on my phone until I passed out while it was still playing.
    I'd never really lived on my own until this last deployment but even that wasn't alone because I had kids. I don't know how I'd even handle myself if it were just me! Prekids, when we first got married before I got a job, I'd just play online all day. The house never got too too messy because he was hardly home and it was a tiny one bedroom apartment.

  19. Daniel is totally the clean one so when he was gone I didn't mind that the laundry piled up, dishes were never done in a timely manner etc. It's so funny because some of my most stressful deployment times were when maintenance was coming over and I would have to clean the ENTIRE house. lol

  20. This post cracks me up. I've never lived alone. I had never even stayed home alone until I was in college. After college, I lived at home a bit longer until I got engaged. Then I moved in with Rob and he worked an awful shift. I was freaked out to be home alone at night. I'm pretty neat. Rob says I'm obsessive compulsive and need to get out of so many routines. He doesn't need to hold me accountable, but I have to "nag" him about bringing dishes up from the man cave.


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