How we structure our domestic lives has blossomed from a few options to many, but whether single or coupled, sharing a home is a challenge.
“You can no longer hinge how you experience life based on the actions of others.” – Lynn Grabhorn
That’s what I read in one of my favorite “attitude adjustment” books the same morning I seriously questioned my sanity for getting a housemate. My day started with taking out a frying pan, spraying it with non-stick spray, turning on the stove and discovering said housemate had finished off the eggs. Then, just as I sat down to write in my journal in the pre-dawn stillness, the silence was rocked by two raucous, back-to-back housemate sneezes that rattled the house.
I feel silly confessing it now because it’s really not a big deal. I’m not that persnickety — at least once I’ve had my morning tea. But after a decade of living solo, I allowed those ridiculously minor incidents, perpetrated by another person living under the same roof, to become major offenses.
Welcome to a whole new need to turn to spiritual guides which teach that forgiveness is releasing resistance to positive energy – not focusing on the transgressors at whom we benevolently aim our forgiving smile.
The fact that this housemate is a man doesn’t make it any more challenging because I’ve had some female housemates who were real doozies, including one who threw toddler-like tantrums where she’d roll on the floor kicking and screaming. My new housemate is nothing like that. But one thing’s for sure, after years of living alone, “compromise” has suddenly become an action word – it’s no longer a theory.
If I could manage this big house on my own, which would require a staff something like you see on Downton Abby, it would be divine. But that’s not the case. I decided that having the house was worth the price of compromise. But it does have me wondering why people would actually choose to live with someone — if it weren’t for a practical purpose. I’m not saying you can’t have a plethora of relationships of all kinds and durations, but do you really want to share your mailing address with another human being? In particular for those who choose to marry, making a lifetime commitment to compromise is a tall order indeed.
Still, it is time to dust off those relationship skills if I want to find some peace for myself and my affable housemate. Life is too short to be ticked off, and I want to be able to enjoy this new experience of re-learning how to live with someone. My egg-eating house partner is a dear friend and, despite his Richter scale sneezes, is trustworthy, helpful, handy with house fixes, and puts up with my Chihuahua, two cats and a parrot.
Now if only I could be as tolerant of him as he is of me!
Copyright © Kim Calvert/2014 Singular Communications, LLC.