It’s not that I hate coming home, it’s that I hate what I come home to. My job has me engulfed in high levels of noise and chaos from the moment I step out of my car. I spend my day talking to hundreds of people, some of whom push my patience past boiling point. I throw myself into being engaging, fun, empathetic, and real for my students. I stretch myself thin to assist my colleagues, and peers. I love what I do, but these days, teaching is very demoralizing, dehumanizing, and devaluing. Sometimes what I need most is QUIET. Silence would be optimal, but I can’t expect the universe to fit into a thimble.

I try to carve quiet times into my day, but they are rarely attainable. When the weather, and my needs permit, I sometimes sit in my car for a few minutes before I walk through my front door. Sometimes three, or four minutes help me take a deep breath and prepare for transitioning from work children, to home children. We all seem to be on different schedules. We absolutely all have different needs!

I find it interesting that I’m the only person who ever truly NEEDS a quiet space away from everyone else. Everyone in my home has a space to call their own; they all take full advantage of that luxury when necessary. I stand alone in NOT having a personal sanctuary. Of course, I could go off to the master bedroom, close the door, and take my time, but that rarely sits well with anyone. It also doesn’t shield me from the incessant NOISE that fills the house. Noise that could easily be contained, and tamed if people respected the space around them!!!!!

The other adult in the house insists on playing loud, violent video games in public spaces. The older teens insist on playing THEIR games, and music loudly in public spaces. The youngest teen believes that the only way to communicate is to SCREAM. Everyone is LOUD, No one seems to understand the joys, and pleasures of quietness.

I try, I DESPERATELY TRY to be patient and not make demands when I come home. Walking into my house after work feels like what I imagine a casino in Las Vegas sounds like. It’s an attack on all of my senses. I don’t want people to stop what they are doing simply because I walked in, but lowering the volume, or putting on headphones would be an amazing gift!

I’ve tried tuning the noise out. I’ve tried putting my earbuds in to listen to my music, but nothing works. It seems as though the harder I try to not have to hear other people’s noise, the harder they try to ensure that I’m surrounded by it. It’s not even as though they are trying to share an experience with me. When they do, I’m quite happy to oblige, and engage! No, this is pure selfishness of “But I want to listen to my music in the living room!” or “I want to play my game NOW!” even though there are alternatives to sharing the noise level.

I guess I’m selfish for needing at least half an hour to bubble after work. Half an hour to not have to talk too much, or hear loud noises. Half an hour to think, decompress, and relax.

Bubbling is the term that I use to describe time to engage in something personal, or important to a person without having distractions, or interruptions. It’s an opportunity to almost self-isolate, even if surrounded by others, in order to transition from one stressful situation to another. In our family, everyone needs to bubble in their own ways. Most members seclude themselves in their own spaces and emerge when they’re comfortable. Seeing as I don’t have a bubble, I try to create one for myself by stating my needs. Sadly, my bubble is often popped before I’m able to finish breathing in my fresh air.

I’m not demanding hours of silence. I’m not demanding that everyone stop what they are doing to accommodate my bubble. I’m honestly asking for half an hour wherein people function around me and not make any demands of me. If they could try to reduce their noise pollution, that would be greatly appreciated.

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