An overstuffed sofa covered in white linen with string ties at the front, just below the armrests. Large white linen covered pillows, a vase with fresh flowers, lots of natural light and amazing prints on the wall that pull you into them, rather than allow you to view them from the safety of your own space. A small bookshelf loaded with the next 20 books I intend to read, next to a beautiful desk where I write. This is my room. Not in reality.. in reality, my rooms are a combination of ideas that suit both my husband and myself. In reality, I've lived exactly zero days all by myself in a setting that was just mine. In reality, when I talk about it, there is a feeling of guilt, as though by loving that room in my mind I'm wishing my family away, regretting my children, resenting the compromises. So, I don't talk about it, except to follow it up with apologetic back pedaling that emphasizes that those things aren't important and don't really mean anything to me.
In truth, they aren't important. They are daydreams much like the wedding dress I imagined in my teenage years. Many of my daydreams came to fruition... the dress was beautiful, the romantic and tender husband is a dream come true, and the house in the country complete with a blackberry patch is where I now wake up each day and have for the past 6 years. I recognize that I have many many blessings that I'm incredibly grateful for... They are all grounded in reality - the dress was, in reality a prom dress, I had a practice husband first, the house didn't get started until my girls were grown and I was 40. Life isn't a daydream for me, and I'm glad... truth be told I never wanted to be a princess - I wanted to be a teacher or a writer.
I have a sewing room - complete with 2 sewing machines, 2 sewing tables, an ironing board that is set up all the time, and shelves of fabric for projects in process as well as those that I haven't yet thought through. It started out to be "my room", but important things became perpetual interruptions until I just let it be. Truth is... I don't want to be a seamstress. I want to write. I ache to write. I've made the hundredth start here at Pentriloquist, and while I may surprise myself with an article of quality here or there, in all honesty - I'm very rusty. This is more a scratch pad of ideas with odd paragraphs and tentatively connected subjects. I've had important things taking up my mind and using my creative energy. Which is probably why I have a sewing room and not a space for writing.
I can spend an entire day on a dilemma my daughter is facing bouncing around in my brain like a bullet without enough umph to break out... just tearing up every cell of that gray matter until it resembles pie crust dough... just after you've reached that all important goal of "pea sized clumps". (I watch my share of crime shows... I know what a .22 can do, and I've made a lot of pies in my lifetime) Numbly I go through the motions of laundry, housecleaning, making dinner, shoveling snow, running errands and my other work - none of which requires me to concentrate too much, and I use up my creative thinking on solutions to dilemmas that are usually not my own.
Recently, my daughters and I are experiencing a little more breathing room between us. I'd love to say this is coming as a graceful transition from one stage of parenting to complete adulthood, but in truth - it's painful. For me and for them. It feels uncomfortable, lonely, odd. My husband likes the new feeling of it being "just us". He's started unplugging our phone on weekend mornings until almost noon so we can sleep in or just have a quiet morning. I feel like something is missing... and at other times, I feel liberated and excited to be able to have a quiet day where my phone doesn't ring with any number of catastrophes that are common to women and which I'm powerless to resist the urge to obsess over.
I woke up this morning thinking about waking up in my house, next to my husband. That's it! I wasn't in turmoil as to how to help my sister make this parenting transition that I'm struggling with, or how one daughter was going to find a sitter to spend a little time on herself, or how another daughter has some need that perhaps I could help her discover so she would find her peace, or how the third daughter was going to find a new place to live. In truth - they don't really want me to solve those problems, but I'm not a good sounding board.... I want to fix things. Even if I hold my tongue - my mind consumes itself trying to fix things.
I'm rearranging my sewing room next week. I'm getting an overstuffed chair with a white linen cover, a little bookshelf and I'm painting up an old desk completely "Amy - style".