I just spent 8 hours cleaning my house. And didn’t get past the upstairs.
It was pathetic, really. Three bedrooms. One bathroom. 8 hours.
There were remnants of company between Hadley’s birthday and Christmas, yes, but also every article of clothing worn and tossed aside just short of the laundry basket; boxes returned from storage after my failed attempt at a home sale; three different suitcases from recent (and not-so-recent) trips – once folded clothes now strewn amidst jewelry and shoes and plane ticket stubs from some hurried search; garbage bags full of stuff moved from my months of living with Jordan and Molly, packed by my mom and their contents long-forgotten.
I’ve practically lived out of a suitcase since May. When Taryn came home for the summer and we began our North Dakota endeavors (with detours to bajillion weddings, Salt Lake City, and L.A.), I packed up and lived on the road or in anticipation of it. And I loved it. The feeling of being unsettled offered hope. Planning for the next trip meant forgetting that Taryn would eventually leave, and Hadley and I would be alone. Again. In Fargo.
When Taryn went back to school in August, Hadley and I retreated to Jordan and Molly’s basement. Truthfully, the summer had been great – filled with so much growth and truth and life – so great that I was terrified by the potential of going “back” to the way things were before it began.
But my house didn’t sell, and we started to crave our own space, so I resolved to move home after returning from Maryland in November. And I did.
But I didn’t unpack.
In part it was my reality. Life isn’t lonely now – our days are filled with people and life and opportunities to love and be loved. I would just dig out what I needed and toss the rest aside. We settled into the parts of our house that we needed – office, play room, living room, kitchen. But left the living part alone. Who has time for unpacking boxes?
But in part, there was still that hope. That maybe I would try to sell my house again, or a roommate would appear, or the opportunity for another trip would arise, or – better yet – a move.
So tonight. I took my toiletries out of their hanging bag and put them in the cupboard; I put books back on the bookshelves; I folded clothes and actually hung them in the closet. I found places for all of the things that never had a place.
I took a deep breath, and accepted my home.
And then I smiled.
Because this thing that I feared so much for so long is actually not quite so scary.