When we first moved here, I was terrified at the thought of Matt traveling for business. And then when Pepper was 3 months old, Matt's travels began. Between October 2006 and April 2007, Matt was on the road for 40 days. I was miserable. Happy that he was getting to help people, a bit jealous that I didn't get to go, lonely without him, and fearful of being home alone. Have you ever noticed that when you're home alone at night, you hear every little noise? I never knew my house creaked or that my neighbor across the street had a yappy dog until Matt was gone!
But over the last year, my heart has changed. Maybe I'm settled enough now here that I'm not scared anymore. Maybe I've adjusted to being home alone. Maybe I'm just growing up. Whatever the case, I've been totally fine this weekend while he has been gone. I've been completely relaxed, just putzing around the house, spending time with kiddos, and basically chillin'. In the past, I would get frantically busy to keep my mind occupied, but rarely accomplished anything. Not this time! In the past I would stay up until 2 a.m. scrapbooking until I was too exhausted to stay awake, and I would drop in to bed half asleep. Not this time! In the past I would jump and panic at the slightest unusual sound from outside (or inside), living my days alone in a perpetual adrenaline rush. Not this time!
I am delighted that Matt gets to be out serving the Lord, using his gifts, and making a difference in marriages and families. I'm content being at home, and I thrill at hearing about what he has been doing. I have gone to bed at normal hours. I've only freaked out at one unusual sound, which sounded like someone trying to open my back door--a legitimate fear, which ended up being the clatter of Jackson's overall buckles in the dryer. Hee hee! And I've been very productive. I have cycled 9 loads of laundry, boxed up my summer clothes, reorganized my dresser, deep cleaned my bedroom, gotten caught up and organized with my LifeChange childcare paperwork, started working on a newsletter, organized my online pictures in preparation for printing, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the living room, disciplined unruly children, crocheted a hat for my nephew's Christmas present, and fixed the broken garbage disposal. I am so proud of myself for fixing that thing! Of course, it took me an hour and I have two broken fingernails to show for it. But it did not conquer me. And Debbie has learned a very valuable lesson that will serve her well in the future: do not dispose of potpourri in your sister-in-law's garbage disposal...or in any garbage disposal for that matter! It doesn't work.
My biggest complaint came the first night Matt was gone. The heater didn't come on in the night and I froze my behind off! Actually, my feet were more frozen than my behind was. I didn't fall asleep until well into the wee morning hours, and ended up having to get up to put on a sweatshirt and my warm, fuzzy toe socks. I rolled up like a burrito in my blankets and longed for my warm, snuggly hubby. It never occurred to me to turn on the heater. It hasn't been on at all since April. I never did get warm that night. I was still cold when I got up the next morning, feeling like I hadn't slept at all. I remedied that problem the second night by pulling the flannel sheets out of the closet, putting them and an extra blanket on my bed, and making sure the thermostat was not sitting at 64.
So my time away from Matt has not been traumatic, despite the fact that Snapper pulled her "I Won't Poop!" routine again today. (The threat of Miralax and the description of its effects on the excretory system changed her mind in a hurry). I have had a good, productive, and kind of boring few days. All the same, I eagerly anticipate the arrival of man back at home sometime tomorrow evening. It can't come soon enough for me!