I slept in a different place every night for the last seven nights. This may or may not be a record for me. It seems this sort of thing is becoming fairly common in my life; I had a similar five-day streak just four weeks ago. I’ve been bouncing between home to hotel to tent to friend’s couch and home again like a little brunette pinball.
I was born on a Thursday, and, as the nursery rhyme says, Thursday’s child has far to go. I entered this world via a naval hospital, where my dad was stationed for boot camp, and two weeks later, we drove from Tennessee to California. My first bed was a laundry basket, where I slept on the floor of our old pickup as we traversed the country. For my third birthday, I got a shiny red tricycle. I have a very vivid memory of riding it on the sidewalk outside our apartment, and being called back inside after a few minutes, because my birthday party was still in progress. I thought, “Wait, I have places to go on this thing!” Twenty years later, I was thinking the same thing on a shiny red hybrid commuter bicycle.
Fortunately for me, my husband was also born on a Thursday. He gets it. We went on a road trip for our honeymoon. He circumnavigated the globe last year on a business trip. By volume, we have as much luggage in our house as we do books. A tally would probably indicate that we travel separately more often than we do together. Many of our best conversations are conducted through emoticon.
The next time I move, which will likely be in the near future, will be my… 28th? time relocating as an adult. That’s since 1993. Sometimes people ask me why I’ve moved so much. I wasn’t a military brat, my family didn’t move a lot when I was a kid, and I don’t particularly have a reason. I get restless. I’ve never lived in a house or apartment I liked well enough to stay put. Some people have a dream house, in the same way they have a dream wedding, but I never have. My one house dream is to live in a place that doesn’t have carpets.
Moving and traveling a great deal has fed my interest in minimalism. It’s much easier to pack up and go when you aren’t burdened by thousands of pounds of material possessions. Living in a tent for part of each year reminds me that the best parts of home are the infrastructural parts: plumbing, central heat, and a roof and walls that don’t blow around while you’re trying to sleep. There is nothing in my home that is nearly as beautiful as unspoiled wilderness, or anywhere near as interesting as a foreign country. Except for myself, of course. *fluttering eyelashes*
Home is where I keep my pets. Home is where I do laundry and pack up for the next trip. Home is the place that’s cheaper per night than most hotels, at least in my part of the world. Home is the most convenient place to collect my mail. Home, unfortunately, does not have free wi-fi. Home doesn’t have a concierge either. Home generally has my husband, though, and it’s guaranteed to have the second-most comfortable bed and pillows of my experience. Being a human pinball has its ways of making us appreciate the comforts of home all the more.
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I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.