It all started when I came down with a cold. I don't often get sick beyond sniffles and a scratchy throat, but this was a few notches more severe. I chugged cough medicine and ginger tea, but felt miserable and had to miss a couple of days of work and socializing. My beloved apartment soon became a sad collection of blankets, socks, Kleenex boxes and unwashed mugs and bowls. My fridge went un-stocked and my desire to do anything – even read a magazine or watch something on Netflix – sank to new lows.
I started researching seasonal affective disorder on the Internet and vowed to buy some Vitamin D ASAP. I went so many hours without talking to anyone that when a friend called and commented on my sexy sick voice, I didn't even realize I had it and, even more surprising, had no desire to show it off (and who doesn't love showing off a sexy sick voice?).
At the end of three long bed-ridden days when I started to feel better, another ailment struck – on a Friday, no less. While running for the bus in a slightly too-big boot, my heel slipped and I pulled a tendon. I wish I could say I pulled it playing tennis or, at the very least, in a yoga class. But no. With walking off the table, I knew I was doomed to a weekend of lying low. I begged my friend who has a car to pick me up and drive me somewhere – “Anywhere!” I yelped into the phone, trying to stop myself from clawing at the walls.
Aside from learning the positive effects of Vitamin D, another lesson was gleaned from all this solitary confinement: As much effort as I put into creating a space of my own, I only love my apartment when I'm free (or, uh, well enough) to remove myself from it. After a stressful day at work or a beer-soaked night out, the space is a sanctuary filled with my dearest creature comforts.
When leaving isn't a viable option, that perception can change in a snap. Trust me – I almost have marks on the wall to prove it.
This is third in a series of posts about moving into your own apartment. You can find the others here.
Erin Letson is a Toronto-based writer and editor who blogs about digestive health at Fix My Gut (www.fixmygut.com). You can follow her on Twitter @erinletson.