Saturday, January 11, 2014

{a simplified list of things to do in an empty house}

I spent most of the evening alone tonight. My husband went to a basketball game with some kids from youth group and he didn't get home until 11. And as I sat here and wondered what to do with a totally empty house, I started to make a list. A hopefully long, interesting list of things to do with myself in an empty house.

See, in a little while my husband will be deploying for about six months. And I'm starting to try to prepare myself. I'm starting to think about it every day. To (perhaps) gently cry myself to sleep every night when I snuggle down and start to think about those long nights without him by my side. To prepare my heart, my house, my mind and plans and goals for those slightly lonely months.

So tonight I decided to start preparing. I hope to add, and add, and add to this list. And I hope to check off these items, one at at time, until he's home with me again. Rather than always feeling sorry for myself and bored with myself, I'll tackle one item on the list. I'm sure I'll do some of them many, many times. And others probably not at all. I'm giving myself room on the list to grieve, to eat my feelings, to party and dance and celebrate and cry. Because those are all big parts of life. And my life will go on, even if my whole heart is far, far away.

Things to do when alone in the house:
  • Bake something challenging
  • Sew
  • Craft
  • Work out
  • Have a solo dance party
  • Sing badly
  • Learn to play piano
  • Make a phone call
  • Clean something
  • Take a bath
  • Read
  • Eat ice-cream sundaes (or other forms of chocolate)
  • Watch TV
  • Read my Bible
  • Go for a walk
  • Play with the dog
  • Write a story, poem, blog post, song, article
  • Write a letter, thank you note, encouraging note
  • Find out about a worthy cause
  • Pray for others
  • Pack up a fabulous care package and mail it
  • Organize something
  • Plan meals
  • Plan and accomplish random acts of kindness
  • Read up on an interesting subject, like politics or another country
  • Learn a new language
  • Do yoga, or find a yoga class
  • Iron something
  • Learn to cook something new
  • Yard work
  • Plant something
  • Paint something
  • Make hot chocolate from scratch
  • Draw
  • Get rid of useless junk
  • Go to the gym
  • Journal
  • Play a computer game/video game
  • Drink tea
  • Make moodboards and collages
  • Shop online for fabulous, overpriced objects
  • Take a nap
  • Listen to loud music
  • Drink wine
  • Have a long, satisfying cry 
  • Trim the rosebushes
  • Pull weeds
  • Pick up dog poop in the yard
  • Read the classifieds on Craigslist
  • Puzzles
  • Throw a party

 What would you add to the list?


  1. Oh Daniella, I'm so sorry! I'm sure it comes with the territory and all, but that can't make it any easier. On the extremely rare occasions I have the house to myself, I'm thrilled for about ... 1 hour. And then I get lonely. I was thinking of writing a similar list. I was trying to remember what I did when I lived alone in grad school... then I remembered that I was always studying... haha. I find I'm happiest when I have music on in the background, and something to do with my hands - embroidery at the moment, but painting/sewing/hot glue gunning/knitting have all kept me happy.

  2. - Come visit your sisters in Albuquerque...!