I haven't had my very own bedroom since the spring of 2006.
It happened last Sunday, after a month or so of meditation.
Prior to this, I had been sharing the larger of our two bedrooms with my nearly 2.5 year-old daughter.
I actually began sharing a room with her in January of 2015, when we moved into transitional housing straight out of the homeless shelter.
Prior to that, I spent two months sharing a bedroom with my two sons while we roomed with a friend at her apartment.
Before that, I spent 9 years or so sharing a room, and a bed, with my former husband.
My daughter doesn't sleep very well. She never has slept more than a few hours at a time for me, and I have been so perpetually exhausted for years now that sometimes I think I'm crazy. She sleeps okay for other people. It's been a combination, I assume, of recurrent ear infections, tonsils, adenoids, teething (she's still missing two of her two-year molars), and knowing I'm near. I'm a cruddy sleeper, quiet noises wake me, so listening to her cry at night is overwhelming. I have not been one to pick her up and coddle her when she cries at night, but I think part of it is that she would cry and I would even just voice from my bed "it's okay, babe, go back to sleep." Who knows.
Regardless of why, I thought it might be worth a shot to combine her room with her brothers room, and pray for the best.
It's been going well. She still wakes up sometimes, but not every 40 minutes to two hours. The boys stay in their beds quietly because she's in there, so the middle child hasn't been wandering out eight times before he falls asleep. I'm praying these things continue or improve.
It's nice to be able to go to bed and turn on the light whatever time I want to, or turn it on first thing in the morning and not worry about waking anyone. It's nice to have my own closet and not have to share space. It's nice to not have toys to step on, or other people throwing clothes on my floor. I can decorate for just me. I could read in bed if I wanted, or not wake anyone if I cough.
I have still been sleeping like crud. I think it's partially because it's a new room, new light, new noise, new temperature, and because my body is so used to waking up multiple times a night. It will take some adjustment. I'm holding onto faith soon we will all be sleeping well, though.
Last night, I had a few nightmares. It's not really a big deal, but irritating. However, I was going to make my bed a bit ago and I remembered them. Then, I remembered the 9 or so years where I had a roommate to share them with.
Suddenly, I realized, sitting on my bed, that my new room, while exciting and deserved, feels a bit lonely and sad at the same time.
It seems silly. But, I realized that in 2005, I was engaged and planning my forever, which included a roommate for life.
And now, the bed and the room contain just one person. Just me.
It's empowering on some levels, to know I stood up for myself and worked so hard to be in this room, alone. But it is also currently weighted reminder that my life dreams and plans were shattered and remade.
It will take some getting used to.
And my bed is still not made.