My roommates and I have different schedules, making the time we do get to spend together restful and something we all look forward to.
KS is home at the most off times because her time is split between school and working for an interior designer in Dallas. For the first six months or so of living together, whenever MG and I returned home from work, KS was typically there. I became accustomed to returning home to lamps on in our cozy house and KS and Ruby there to greet me on the couch. She always asks how our days have been, and usually gets a cursory "fine", "good" or "it's over" from us.
We are such joys to be around, let me tell you.
Recently though, with Christmas followed by a trip to Jamaica, KS has returned to a full work schedule. This means she is working until about 7pm some nights and MG and I come home to an empty house. No lamps on, no news program on a low volume in the background, no KS and Ruby on the couch.
After coming home consecutive days to a lonely, empty house that looked much like it did when I left for work the same morning, I asked MG if it ever feels like something is missing when she comes home and finds herself alone. We laughed because we agree that KS is treated as the wife of the house and we have grown accustomed to having her there all the time, so when she's gone, we notice.
I always thought it was kind of funny when I was younger that my mom made a point to greet my dad when he came home from work. She still does it too- a hug and a kiss and dinner ready or in the works for him when he walks in the door. It seems like a simple ritual, but for him it makes coming home a welcoming experience every day.
As a working adult I now I see the value that having someone smiling at you on the opposite side of the door can have at the end of a long day. I think we all sometimes forget that enriching daily life in small ways can actually make it so much more enjoyable. You don't have to wait for grand gestures- a great opportunity lies simply in asking a question and sticking around for an answer.
"So how was your day, after all?"
Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.
-James M. Barrie