One of my earliest posts on this blog is similar to the thoughts I’m having tonight. The Academy Awards are on tonight and while I have absolutely no desire to be a famous celebrity–I don’t like being the center of attention, even at my own wedding–I still wish I was one, at least just for tonight. I want to be dressed up in a fancy gown and sitting in a plush seat in the audience enjoying the show. This is my desire tonight for the simple reason that I’ll bet none of those people in attendance have to get up early tomorrow and go to work.
When I’m envious of celebrities only because they don’t have to go to work tomorrow, I know I’m starting the downhill descent to summer vacation. I am starting to become “teacher tired”. It’s a real thing. I slept for 12 hours Friday night into late Saturday morning this weekend, and yet, I’m exhausted. I know it’s because I’m the yearbook editor and the deadline is coming up soon for it. My Battle of the Books team is preparing for their annual competition which is going to be a week from Wednesday. We’ve won the past four years and since we’re hosting the other teams this year at my school, there is even more pressure for us to not break the winning streak at home. It makes me nervous every time I think about it. It’s also the week of our monthly faculty meeting and my principal has already promised us that it will not be a short one. I’m ready for next weekend already and the work week hasn’t even begun!
What I’m dreading about the upcoming week is not the same as what I’m looking forward to. I have not exercised with my whole heart being put into it for a few weeks. I have one excuse after another for why I haven’t exercised consistently and why I have drank more soda in the past two weeks than I have in the past four months. Despite all that, I am looking forward to Monday afternoon because I am determined to stop the excuses and come home to the elliptical and make an honest attempt at getting back into my fitness routine. There are too many gains that I have made that I do not want to lose. Too many signs and reminders pointing me back into the direction of my elliptical and weights. Those A-listers in California can have their night of leisure and grace and not have to worry about tomorrow. But as for me, teacher tired or not, I’m doing this.
I like being at home. I yearn for the time that I have each night sitting on the couch with my feet up. I enjoy my Saturdays when I have the time during the day to sit. Being that it’s March, which means the school year hasn’t ended yet, most of that time on the couch is spent on the computer working on something for school. And yet, despite that fact, I absolutely detest staying after school. Many of my coworkers will stay to get work done. Bravo to them for not wanting to take work home. I really don’t want to either, but it’s inevitable, and given the choice, I much prefer to do the work while being at home. Perhaps my attitude will change when my husband and I welcome children into our home, but for now, I have found that I truly just want to put off my school responsibilities until I have the opportunity to do it in front of the t.v., usually with a cat laying across my arm in need of attention.
Is it laziness that drives this desire? A routine, perhaps, that has come from being a teacher for the past 13 years and living in this same apartment for 11 of those years? While I am indeed lazy at the end of the day, as we all are, and I am very much a slave to my routine, I think it’s not quite for those reasons that I am happiest here. The physical space is quaint, the rental office uses the term “cottage” to describe this phase of apartments on the property. We’ve lived here long enough to see our space go from an out-dated habitat of the 70s to a newly renovated modern space (still without a washer and dryer hook-up though). My husband and I are looking forward to the near future when we will get a lease renewal notice on our door. We are planning to finally take the next step and NOT renew our lease in favor of moving into a house of our own. Our space here being what it is, one-bedroom and all, is not conducive for starting a family. And yet, I still feel a strong sense of contentment when I’m here. I feel that nesting urge that I understand pregnant women often get.
Our living room this afternoon as soon as I came home.
I’m almost certain that it’s because this space belongs to us. Maybe not financially, but over the course of our time here, we have certainly made this a home that we can be happy in, if only temporarily. For my birthday last year, my husband bought me an entire new living room set–8 pieces in all! Certainly it’s a long cry from the worn out old couch that had once belonged to my grandmother and the coffee table my husband and his roommates saved from the curb when he was in college.
Much like bringing a pet home and giving it time to acclimate to its surroundings, I too have had time to get used to my living space and I now consider it my safe haven. I truly feel comfortable here and I’m grateful for the seemingly dull evenings spent on the couch. I do enjoy going out with my husband, but I always look more forward to coming back home. There is peace here. No drama. Security. A man that loves me on the couch next to me. Possessions that make me happy. Cats that snuggle with me, even when I’m trying to work. I have everything that I need, right here at home.