Do you have a space in your home that’s just for you? Not like a bedroom that you share with your sweetheart, or a cozy living room where everyone in the family hangs out, but someplace that’s just yours. I’m talking about a place where you can leave and return and everything in the space is exactly as you left it.
I know many people who, after sharing a room for the first years of college, really look forward to having their own room. I was one of those people. No matter how much you love your roommate, it’s nice to have your own space. So why then, when we’re grown up (ha!) and married and have pets and kids do we stop thinking about the importance of having a space that’s just ours?
Of course such a space is a luxury that isn’t always possible, but it doesn’t have to be a whole room. Gretchen Rubin and her sister, Elizabeth Craft, talked about having a room of one’s own on their podcast a while back in episode 72. They recently hit on the topic again when discussing what to do with under-used areas in a home in episode 126.
Both of these episodes struck a chord with me. I love having my own space. My husband is extremely tidy and easy to live with, but I’m particular about everything having an exact place in a way that he isn’t. I wanted a place where my mechanical pencils would always be exactly where I left them. And I knew a perfect spot in own house for “a room of my own.”
Our basement is basically one big open room. Most of the room is a living room with a couch and entertainment center where we watch Netflix and Nick plays video games. But there’s a corner where we had an old table that no one ever sat at, and after a year or two of being annoyed about the wasted space, I knew what to do with it. A reading nook!
I love to read, and the benefit of having a big cozy reading chair in the unused corner of the basement is that Nick can play video games and I can read at the same time. We’re in the same space, which feels companionable, but we’re not distracting each another. We got a chair and moved an old shelf into the space last winter. Recently, my dad built me a desk and I set up a little writing space in my corner, complete with a gallery wall and a couple of house plants!
I love this corner. It’s a room just for me, and I get so much reading a writing done while Nick hangs out on the couch near by or tinkers in the garage (which is a room of his own, I only go in there to get in and out of the car). It’s not a whole room, but the fact that I’ve made use of a space that went completely wasted for so long brings me a deep feeling of joy and satisfaction. I like that Nick and I can be together while working on separate things, and that I feel so relaxed in this space. Harv likes it too, as there’s lots of floor room for napping.
Mostly I spend my time in this space reading in my chair or writing at my desk, but I will occasionally break out markers and a coloring book, or roll out my yoga mat for a short practice. More than once I’ve nodded off for a nap curled up in my chair. Sometimes I just make myself a big cup of coffee and sit down here and think. That’s the beauty of having a room of one’s own - you can do with it as you please.
Questions: Do you have a room of your own? Do you have a corner that you could transform into your own little space? If you did have a room all to yourself, what would you use it for?