Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Nook of My Own

Once upon a time, just over ten years ago, a young newlywed couple purchased a house.

This house seemed so big to them. Maybe too big. After all, it was just the two of them. And after a lifetime of moving from their bedrooms in their parent's houses, to college dorms, to one bedroom apartments, a four bedroom house seemed vast. Incredibly spacious. Plenty of room.

They moved in, buying furniture to fill those empty rooms. They settled and they organized and they loved their space.

They had a dining room, and a living room, and a family room and a kitchen, so those bedrooms were pure space to spread out in.

And the husband took one for an office, and the wife took one for her office, and they had a master bedroom and a spare bedroom full of storage space. The two of them had five closets to store things in.

The husband started working out of the house, and loved his office overlooking the backyard and the fifteen step commute from his bedroom. The wife loved her ample bookshelves and how neatly everything was arranged.

Then the couple had a baby, and the wife's office became the nursery, and the wife's office moved into that spare, storage space, bedroom. They lost some space, but they purged some of those unnecessary items and they fit just fine.

Then the couple had another baby. And the first baby took the spare room, and the second baby took the nursery, and the couple crammed whatever they could into the master bedroom. One bookshelf fit fine, but the rest of the books were banished to the attic. A desk was squeezed into the corner. The closets were overflowing.

But the baby had a room and the little girl had a room and the husband was still working from home and the wife didn't mind that her bookshelf was in her bedroom. She did most of her reading there anyway. And she didn't really need a whole room for her desk and files.

Then the wife started writing.

For a while, she was ok with using her laptop in her bed in the master bedroom. When you have a laptop, who needs a desk?

Then she started writing more. And submitting to books. And working with companies. And freelancing articles. And realizing she needed space again. And a place to put things. Things that - once upon a time - had been office things. Things like papers and files and printers and notebooks.

She started realizing that using a laptop while sitting up in bed was not producing the best work. And the area was always a mess. And when the husband wanted to sleep and she needed to work there was no way to win.

Suddenly, the (once) young couple realized that their vast, spacious home had become an office for the husband, a workspace for the wife, a school and playplace for the children, as well as a place to eat and sleep and live.

They didn't want to leave their house, so they organized the school things to fit in the girl's rooms. And they organized the toys to fit nicely in one room downstairs. And they made sure the husband's office was consolidated.

But the wife still didn't have her space.

Did she need one?

That's the question, isn't it? She had places all over the house.

But the wife decided that if everyone else got a space, she needed one too. A place that was hers. That was off limits to the children, that was free from the clutter of others.

And she took back a nook.

Just a small nook. It once was the crap corner in the master bedroom, but the wife had an idea, and the transformation has begun.

Away went the ironing board (they didn't use it anyway).

Away went the crap.

And the nook began to transform into a space for the wife. A small one, to be sure. No door, no real room to move around. But it had a window. And it fit a small desk. And her files. And even some books. It's a place to leave a laptop and a purse. It's a place for her to use.

The transformation isn't complete, but the wife feels like she has a space again. And she is happy.

Sometimes the nook is all you need.

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