Perhaps it was because I had awoken before sunrise again to read. Or maybe it was because I had not been to work the past five days and I had simply gotten used to a different schedule that the day felt never-ending. Hour after hour passed by at such a sluggish pace that I thought the sun would never set tonight.

In addition to time standing seemingly in an idle position, the sound throughout the room was a deafening silence. No sound anywhere except the forced air of the air conditioner cooling down the apartment.

The children would not be waking in my home this morning asking me what we have for breakfast. They would not run around annoying each other and yelling at times to get out of each other’s rooms. Nor would we all get into the car to go buy something at the shop. None of these things will be happening for the next 29 days until they return.

My breakfast for one consisted of a bagel and cream cheese and one sunny-side up egg topped with chives, thyme, and oregano. The Turkish coffee gave me the momentum needed to start tidying up the place. I got started on my closet and then the bathroom before driving over to the house to see what I could take when I wanted nothing more to do with that house.

The large Persian area rug that was inside a plastic cover and had previously covered half of the mirror room carpeted floor was heavier than I expected. As I half carried it and half dragged it to the minivan, the plastic tore in several places. I decided that the rug would stay in the back of the minivan until I figured out another way to get it inside the apartment.

The closet in the master bedroom was next as I packed away half of the clothes that were left behind. The other half I would deal with at another time as I try to figure out what to do with everything. Either toss them or give them away, I reasoned.

Taking the few items from the house served little purpose other than to make me feel better about having done at least something at the house. I would have more time this coming weekend to do much more in the way of cleaning, moving boxes, and disassembling my large bed before the movers arrive the following weekend.

Once home, I settled back into the quiet zone. I prepared an early dinner of leftover spaghetti and sauce along with breaded cod fillets from the freezer which I heated whilst the tomato sauce simmered on the stove. The silence I combated with a movie on the German ZDF app that I had seen last year.

As the sun began to set, I put on my tennis shoes and workout clothes and grabbed my headphones and phone to go on a walk around the neighbourhood. A return to healthy habits is necessary and a walk was just the beginning.

After another hour of reading, I heard the ding of a message coming from my phone in the other room. Cinnamon was sending me several videos of her and her siblings enjoying lighting sparklers in the street at their father’s house. Twice I had messaged her back to ‘be careful’. But I am glad they are having a fun time.

The days away from work have been pleasant indeed but have now come to an end as I return to a normal schedule though I still have the weekend before a full week of work.