In the last few weeks, I’ve not written much at all; a few blog posts – a very few – has been it. Why? To be brutally honest, it is because my husband has been working at home rather than on the road. Granted, just before our vacation, I had my first ever computer virus on a personal computer that was of enough seriousness to cause issues in using my computer. It took about two weeks to rid my computer of the nasty critter, and then it was time to travel.
Once home, I wrote a bit, but the atmosphere was not right for me to do more than take a stab at writing because the HH is “on the bench” working at home. I love my husband dearly. In most things, we are in agreement, but we usually get to that point of agreement from very different angles because we are in so many ways opposites of each other, who, despite our differences, are drawn together. Those differences that draw us together can also become hurdles to overcome when together all of the time.
I am an early bird; the dear hubby is a night owl. I am proactive in avoiding problems if foreseeable; the HH does not want to worry about problems until they arise. I have a filter that is in place almost all of the time; the hubby has one that is not used enough. I am a planner; he is spontaneous. I usually get what I need to do done each day whether or not I follow a routine; my husband will forget most anything if his routine is not followed. I like silence; he likes noise. The list could go on and on, but I think you get the picture about being opposites.
I love being with my husband; we have such a good time together, but there is a reason why our marriage has worked so well with him usually on the road 4 out of 7 days: We don’t get in each other’s way or distract each other when working. While teaching, I spent way too much time grading papers. In the evenings during the week while he was working on client site, I could grade without disruption in quiet, and he could work at his computer in the hotel at night with the TV blaring. I could go to bed before the 10 0’clock news and wake before the sun rose each morning, and he could take a nap before supper and then work until 1 or 2 a.m. then sleep a few more hours before time to dress to go into the client’s office. The same principles applied last year while I did sub work but mainly labored getting the house ready to sell. This year, I’m tutoring and still attempting to get us settled in this much smaller living space while developing the craft of writing. Writing takes time, and for me it also takes quiet and keeping distractions to a minimum.
My HH is a big distraction because when he is home, I want to be with him. Being with him when he is home often means being in the living room watching TV or a movie because he needs to have noise from the minute he wakes until he is ready to sleep (or even after he is asleep). I have a hard time doing the work in the apartment that I need to be doing if I am sitting still. When it comes to writing, it is almost impossible for me to focus with the TV on. In addition, I am distracted by the need to cook or by my desire to talk with him or do things with him. In this regard, my sweet hubby is the antithesis of my writing muse, though it is often our conversations that give me ideas – ideas that often flitter away because I do not write the ideas down quickly enough to preserve them.
If I am to hope to learn to be a good writer, one that might eventually find intellectual, emotional, and, perhaps, a small amount of financial reward in practicing the craft of writing and also enjoy my husband’s presence at home during retirement, the past six weeks of almost constant time together have taught me that he and I must learn how to enjoy being with each other in our differences and yet find a way to cohabitate productively at the same time.
Since he and I have mutual love and respect, I am sure that a solution will be found. In the meantime, after encouraging him to get out and about on a road trip today to battle his “cabin fever,” I have also been able to find my “happy writing place” and my muse in the silence left behind. Today’s choices are a win/win for both of us.