We spent this week house-sitting. I’ve always thought spending time in a different house feels a bit like holiday. We still went to work each day, and yet having a slightly different room to spend our evenings in made all the difference. I work from home most days, and I’ve lived in house shares of 5+ people for nearly a decade. There is something so satisfying about roaming your own space. Padding downstairs in the morning to make tea accompanied by your own footsteps. The cafetiere is yours to use whenever you feel like it. Currently the mornings are icy and uninviting: seems like perfect working conditions to me.
House-sitting is like trying on a temporary life. Ryan works just 20 minutes from the huge, empty house. Ordinarily he has a 90 minute commute between his much-loathed job and our cramped shared room. This week has been so different, as though we are sketching out ideas for a new life. I even get to see Ryan in the mornings before he leaves! The evenings seem doubled in length and we find a new rhythm instantly. Ryan gets in and lights a fire while I do admin on the sofa. We stop at the shops despite the fully stocked fridge, because who knows, we may want a beer later. Every evening we rifle through the TV guide; there are documentaries, Bojack, and currently trending topics to watch! Having a TV in the house after 9 years without is a novelty we got used to really quick.
I think of the couples I know around my age who own their own place. Sometimes I’ll see friends sharing images of homecooked dinners or carefully curated shelves. That’s nice and all, but it’s not what I want. As fun as it is to try out, it’s almost as though most of the fun comes from knowing it’s a weeklong novelty. A life with a time limit. Settling down seems a waste. I’d like to be in my thirties at least before I consider mortgage-searching and crockery-owning. There are decades of adventures still to have, whole continents still to roam. On our final morning house-sitting, I sat in the kitchen and watched the thick fog rolling in over the garden. Where does the fog go? And just like that, I am finished with house-sitting, ready to dash back into the world with a calamitous roar.