I used to hate ice trays, but I’ve discovered that had more to do with sharing a living space than the task of emptying and refilling the trays. I am living alone for the first time in many years. Actually, I’m realizing right now that I’ve always had roommates. Before my current job I was a college student and always shared at least a common area with at least one other person. I had roommates early on in my career and went from there to married life. That chapter is closed and so this is the first time I have lived entirely alone. It isn’t a completely foreign concept though, I used to spend hours thinking about how nice my own apartment would be, mostly while lying awake at night in a dark cloud of frustration and resentment. And now here I am! I have a nice little two bedroom apartment with a breezy patio. I’m even walking distance from several restaurants. Getting my office set was the priority and it is coming along swimmingly. I can comfortably spend hours in there. I really like my kitchen as well. My Sunday morning clean up ritual has occurred each time with a continued rise in efficiency and efficacy, something that never quite caught on in my previous living situations.
These things came to light because I recently finished reading Going Solo by NYU Sociology professor Eric Klinenberg. He explores the recent rise in people who choose to live alone. I hadn’t thought about it as a choice before, it seemed more like a punishment considering my post-divorce circumstances. But I was reminded by Klinenberg that there are benefits to living alone. The freedom to go and do things last minute has been nice. I can get up early and start my day without wondering why everyone else is being so lazy. Or I can sleep in and nobody will bother me.
The only current drawback to this situation is the physical distance between me and my awesome kids. I miss them all the time and I am constantly reminded of the hole in my life that only they can fill. It seems selfish put that way, but I’m sure if they were older they could describe my absence in similar terms. Klinenberg knows that living alone, for most people, is a temporary phase. Maybe my kids will choose to live with me when they are old enough to make that terrible decision, (a decision I had to make too). Or maybe years from now I will have a partner who wants to share living space. I’ll just make sure I only consider cohabitation with someone who understand the tranquility of well maintained ice trays.