Being in college has created this weird limbo for what home is and defining routines. I'm counting down the seconds until I get to see my family again in Georgia, and I keep saying I'm going home in 4 weeks, but I'm packing a suitcase and leaving the majority of my things here. I'll only be "home" for two weeks before I come back to college. Which should, by definition, mean I'm visiting Georgia and leaving home. But home is an emotional, familial thing, so I really am going home in a few weeks.
Anywayyyys, the point of this post is not to discuss my confusion about where exactly my home is technically, but to instead discuss the very grown up thing of establishing my own routines. There are many things that are good and bad about this whole college thing, but I think one of my favorites is the freedom and independence. I establish my own schedule. I am accountable to myself for whether things get done or not. And while that sometimes means I oversleep or run late or don't eat or workout or forget assignments or just generally mess up, it also means that when I do things right, it's exciting. When I remember to wash the sheets, I feel so responsible. When I get to crossfit 4 or 5 times a week, I feel healthy. And I have something, a little routine, to call my own.
At home, around the holidays, everything felt warm and fuzzy. Christmas music played, lights were strewn around the house, the kitchen smelled like Mom's toffee. I would walk around the house in fuzzy socks with a big blanket, my latest read, and a cup of mint hot chocolate, searching for a seat in a secluded corner of the house to read- close enough to hear the music and the laughter and smell the toffee, but far enough away that I could read for a few hours uninterrupted. If I was lucky enough to stumble upon an empty living room, next to the Christmas tree with the lights shedding a warm glow- that was the prime position.
But for the majority of this holiday season, I won't be home. I'll be in my little dorm room in Provo, little snowflakes flurrying outside my window and chilly breezes whistling through the bare tree branches. There will be no smell of toffee, no 8 foot Christmas tree bowing under the weight of dozens of ornaments and strands of light. No big armchair or corner of the couch to read in. So, I've had to establish a new holiday warmth routine. And this is what it is.
Come home from the cold and turn on every light in the room. The overhead light, the lamp by my bed, the light above my desk, the light by the sink. Depending on the time of day, open or close the blinds. Pull out the contraband water heater and make a thermos of Stephen's Candy Cane hot chocolate. As the water heats up, tug on leggings and my beloved Oxford sweatshirt, and, if necessary, pull the fuzzy red blanket off the shelf and wrap up in that. Turn on some music, Michael Buble Christmas or Taylor Swift's 1989, depending on the day, maybe grab the scarf I've been knitting for almost a year and try to finish it, watch Jimmy Fallon videos or read the sappy romance I've borrowed from my cousins. If it's close to bedtime, crawl under the covers of my bed, preferably with clean, fluffy sheets, and wiggle my toes to try to get warm.
It has mixtures of the old with required bits of the new, but it's the best I've got and I can call it mine.