Small Space Living
Sometimes, you just need to say, “You’re in my space. I need some time alone. Some privacy”.
Imagine going from an 1800 sq. ft house to a 27’ Airstream. Full time. All the time. One-bedroom. One bath. One tiny living space. Two people.
During our forty-five years of marriage, we have spent a lot of time together. We owned a couple of small businesses jointly, raised two children together. Since Covid, we have been in our little bubble, just the two of us. None of that had prepared us for being in a small space. Close quarters. All. The. Time. Before, we could at least retreat to our own space.
We are developing a rhythm, a routine for negotiating the space. With such a narrow space, we often need to take turns moving from one end to the other. This creates a unique dance. A shuffle, a scoot, then a slide, past the other, as we move from end to end. A lot of excuse me or you go first.
During meal prep, it is hazardous for us to both be in the galley. We have learned only one of us can be in the galley while the other prepares at the dining table. The morning bathroom routine had to change now that we are just one bathroom. Thankfully, the shower and the bathroom area are separate in the Airstream model we have. Thus making the morning routine less strenuous and crowded. We have his side/her side of the only table for working space.
If we need more privacy, we can always retreat outside, to the truck, and on bad weather days, one can be at the table, the other in the bedroom.
Not all of our time is spent in the Airstream. A good majority of our time is actually in even closer quarters, inside our Ford F-250. Compared to other vehicles we have owned, Jack (the Ford F-250) has a more spacious interior, so less likely to be bumping into each other while traveling. We listen to music or podcasts, get lost in our own thoughts, or just sit in silence. When we do argue, it often begins in the truck than continues into the Airstream.
After over a year of social distancing and Covid, I think we are even more sensitive than ever before about our “personal space”. And, when you are an introvert, you need downtime to recharge and regroup. It helps to learn to respect the other’s need for alone time, for quiet time or to just back off when they are having a bad day.
We also need to take joy in the time together. To be grateful that we have someone we can spend time with, enjoy their company, share the laughs and tears with.
It is okay to ask for privacy, for time to ourselves. To let our partners know that we have a need they should respect and not take offense when we say, “You’re in my space”.
As we roam the roads and highways, looking for that next fantastic stop, keep track of our travels in our Airstream - Betty Jo