One thing I'm adjusting to with my new life here is that the pace of life is both much quieter and more still. With Gerick, for so long things always seemed to be rushing forward. He was a restless guy, always moving and making noise. Activity, noise, activity, noise…
Cat and Sharn are more laid back, even when they work on a project, there is never a rush. Indeed, things can be left behind or left out altogether if it seems too much of an effort.
I won't advocate for one way being better than another, its just different approaches. There are pros and cons to both lifestyles.
While with Gerick, I could count on never getting bored. No, with him, I longed for a little more peace and quiet! I wished he could just sit down– to a leisurely meal, or to watch a movie with me, or to sit quietly and read or watch a sunset… My life with him, even when I was ill or exhausted, was always go- go- GO! When I couldn't join his enthusiastic zest for consuming time in motion, I was relegated to the sidelines, a mere witness to his movement and music. I became used to this, to eking out little slots of time for myself, or to sitting still and silent as the noisy projects went on around me. Sometimes I joined him, when I had energy and felt up for doing various work or a more social sort of relaxation, dancing to music in our living room, being silly during animated conversations, working on gardening or art or home improvement stuff together. It was hard to keep up, so I often didn't try– but I became used to an ongoing energy all the time with my ex husband. Often it was more tedious than exciting, but space and time were… always filled.
Now with my roommates, there is plenty of space and time to oneself, or for watching a movie together or making a decent meal and sitting down to eat at a table like a family. We have thoughtful conversations almost every day. We will just sit outside on nice days and watch the chickens or my cat or the birds at the feeders or the clouds overhead (seriously!) And I appreciate the chance to just breathe and exist in peace most of the time. However, it can get rather dull at times– and I find myself, carefully measured pace chronic-illness beset ME, being the catalyst for change and the one bringing bright energy to the household. That feels weird to me. Cat is the healthiest of us, but she swings back and forth between impulse shopping and crazy projects that eventually become too much for her to maintain, and then being depressed or exhausted. I've learned to be frugal with both my time and my money, and slowly but steadily I am already changing the home. Not just my two rooms, either– but the yards and shared spaces are also getting cleared out and cleaned up as I just start (with permission) a little project here or there and apparently inspire both roomies to either join me or start their own home improvement projects.
This evening, it occurred to me that I missed not having music just playing sometimes in the background. Everyone watches TV in their bedroom, there is no use of the communal family space for anything but Cat and I playing board games once a week. This house is so damned quiet! After having Gerick playing music endlessly nearly every night (at least every other night) to the point it drove me crazy, now I find I miss it.
Even the air difference is tweaking me a little. Gerick always burned scented candles and I usually did a stick of incense at least every other night, and I've started doing the incense burning again to at least fill the air with more of a scent (I did this when alone at Windy Firs during the divorce, too.) Just to help make myself feel more at home. (Luckily, roomies LOVE incense!)
I suppose what I've learned is that I prefer more of a balance to either extreme of either constant noise and movement OR constant near-silence and stillness. I would ideally like to gently sway back and forth a bit from a little bit of sound and activity to quiet time/space. From intense socializing to comfortable near-solitude. From frenetic energy to soothing calm.
In the meantime, as I try to make my way towards that in-between ideal, I'm just acknowledging what 24+ years of living one way does to one's expectations and appreciations of another way of life.