Here are some of the changes I've noticed since moving into my own room:
1) Nascent ability to decorate
One of the first things I did in my new room was take some of my favorite beautiful things out of storage and put them on top of my dresser. This includes a Motawi tile by one of my favorite artists, the Japanese kokeshi doll I received as an exchange student, a little blue and white porcelain dish filled with shells I collected in North Carolina and Florida, and the ceramic bowl my sister made for me in high school. I found my favorite quilt (patchwork flannel in earth tones, made by my mother) in the linen closet and put it on my bed. I brought my two favorite Persian rugs into my room.
I have never really decorated my home. I want it to be beautiful, but I have this big mental block about it. I don't know where to start, I don't feel capable of making decisions in this area, fearing that whatever I decide to do I will get tired of or regret. But in my room, it feels much easier. Maybe because it is a smaller space, or because it is just for me, I'm warming up to the idea of putting things up on the walls that I love. I'm wondering if it will be easier for me to do pretty things in the rest of the house after I've had the chance to work on my own little room.
2) A home for my things
Another thing I've noticed is that when I'm trying to clean up the house, I now take anything that belongs to me and put it in my room. I don't know why I now feel like gathering all of my possessions to that room, but did not feel that way when I shared a room. This includes mail. I have never gotten a system down for dealing with papers, and we have a big paper clutter problem. Since getting my own room, I take every piece of paper I find that belongs to me and put it in a box in my room. It is already much easier for me to find things. I don't know that I ever before thought of papers as being either mine or Dan's, but the distinction is easy to make now that we have separate rooms, and I'm taking responsibility for mine in a way I did not do in the past.
3) More reading and writing
I have longed to have my own desk, but there was not room for one in our other bedroom. In my new bedroom, with my smaller bed, I can fit a desk, and I found one that I loved at the local consignment shop, Treasure Mart. I have been reading and writing more. Dan and I have never done a very good job at going to bed or getting up together. I usually go to bed a lot later than Dan since I get to take a nap every afternoon. I really like reading in bed at night, but when Dan was ready to sleep I felt guilty keeping my lamp on because I knew it bothered him. But I also didn't want to read in the living room because it felt cold and exposed compared to my bed. Now I can read and write to my heart's content at night without bothering anyone. I think this new situation has a lot to do with the fact that I have recently started blogging again.
4) More romance
It is more romantic in a lot of ways to have separate rooms. We are more likely to say good night to each other now, since we know we will not end up in the same bed later. Dan makes more of an effort to come and find me in my room before he turns in for the night. We often invite the other to come snuggle and talk with us in our bed. It makes me feel like I'm in college at BYU again, when boys could only come into the girls' dorm rooms on Sundays for two hours during visiting time. That was so exciting! When Dan comes into my room now, I know he wants to be with me. This is quite different from sharing a room and knowing your spouse may not want to be with you, but just to be in his bedroom, which you happen to share with him. It is so flattering.
I also feel better when I'm sleeping knowing that Dan can't hear me snore. It is very hard on one's ego and feeling of cuteness to be a snorer, especially if your true love is bothered by it every night. Now I can snore in privacy. I also like having my own room to change in, especially when we're getting ready for a date, because it is fun to come out all beautified and say, "ta-da"!
5) Private mountain top
For months before getting my own room, I had been thinking about having a mountain top or a wilderness or a closet where I could pray. I did not feel that there was any private space for me anywhere in the house. Even when I am in the bathroom, the little girls are either with me, or banging on the door telling me to open it for them. I now find myself retreating to my room during the day when I need to time to collect myself.
I have never considered myself a loner, but since this change I have discovered that I really crave some privacy and separateness, perhaps because I am at a stage in life with very little of that. Dan has a private space in his office at work, which he has decorated, and where he keeps his paperwork. He spends a large chunk of each day alone. Just knowing I have my own space in the house makes me feel stronger and my head clearer.