SOUL SUCKING BASEMENTS

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The first place my husband and I lived together was a cute little basement apartment in Logan, Utah. There was barely enough room for two chairs and a tiny table in the kitchen. I remember a lot of spiders, the 70's orange carpet in the bedrooms, and the fold up table we used as a desk. This is also where I experienced my first really bad episode of depression.

We only stayed there a few months before we got the opportunity to live for free in the basement of another house. In exchange for free rent we managed some apartments while finishing college. This basement had 70's green carpet and leaking window wells. Water or snow would collect in the windows and seep down the walls into our carpet. This apartment is where we started our family and I struggled with my first dose of prenatal depression (depression during pregnancy).

While pregnant with Sassafras we moved from Logan, Utah to sunny Daytona Beach, Florida. We started a business, bought a house, and had two kids. The economy crashed, we closed our business, decided to pursue med school, and gave up everything (The house, the cars, the sun.) for this lofty goal.

We moved back to Utah so that we could have family support while the Hubby took his prerequisites and I worked. Guess where we live now? Yup, in a basement. And, though our family is bigger than ever, this apartment is the smallest yet.

I associate some negative memories with these soul sucking basement apartments. But, the dimness of a basement provides a great contrast to the light of day. While living in each of these underground dwellings, walking and running outside has saved me.

To battle depression in basement #1 I would strap on my running shoes and and jog around the neighborhood. I have a distinct memory of two cute Mexican children that lived a few houses down. One day ,when I was really struggling, I jogged past these kids drawing on the side walk. They smiled and said, "Hola." "Hola," I smiled back. I jogged a few yards and then decided to turn around. I sat down with those kids and drew with them for a good thirty minutes. Our languages were different, but we communicated through laughter and chalk drawings. Those kids healed a little of my heart that day and as I continued my run, my step was a little lighter.

Basement #2 was located in a wealthier neighborhood of the same town. In Utah, the wealthier you are, the higher up the mountain you live. I would often leave our dungeon of a basement to walk higher up the base of the mountain perusing the beautiful homes as I went. During those walks I would envision what my home would look like some day. These were walks that refueled my energy and hope.

I never envisioned my home would be a third basement, but here I am in basement #3. I'm still relying on my outdoor exercise to replenish my soul from the cave I call home. You would think I'd feel quite down trodden that as educated as the Hubby and I are we find ourselves living like this. But, it really is okay. I have learned the great power of taking a simple walk. I've also learned I can live just about anywhere and be happy.

In three months we will be moving once again. My husband often asks me where I'd like to live. An apartment? A townhouse? A house? My reply is simply this, "Honey, I love you. I will move across the country, follow you through med school, be as poor as a church mouse, and live anywhere...As long as it's not a basement." (I guess that's another thing basement living has done for me. I'm easy to please.)

Speaking of pleasing...If you are having trouble finding a way to come up with a pleasing date (Remember my sex post? Romance is important.) then I recommend going to www.thedatingdivas.com for ideas. They do all the work for you. They have date ideas, printouts, and step by step instructions (For free!). They even have love advice, reviews of things, and give aways. I've just begun looking at all their ideas and already love it.

So, my advice for the day is get out and take a walk and plan a fun date! Your day will be better for it:).
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