Its been a LONG, long, long time since I shared space with more than one adult at a time. I did not realize how much I valued it and in a very cliched way, yes, how much I miss it when its taken away.
Over a period of time, we, who have lived or spent some part of our lives away from the parental home, get used to being alone. Not alone in the lonely way, but alone in the i-can-spend-all-day-in-silence way. The I dont mind making tea for one and sitting quietly and drinking it. I am used to doing laundry once a week and I only talk on the phone when I want to. I am also used to opening the door of my house to find it empty and silent - in the peaceful, ahhhhh-i-am-home way. I am used to shutting the lights and making sure the door is locked when I leave. I am used to thinking about food and making it to my requirements...
It is a long list when you think about it.
Over a period of time you get used to engaging in conversation when you feel like it. You also know that any physical company you have comes with a time limit and eventually you shall be back in your own space and place with your mind for company. In my case it is books for company. I have always loved lying down with a book and spending hours in silence, deeply engrossed in a book. I also like listening to loud music and secretly dancing with great abandon to it when the feeling takes over.
So, though the word is often used and abused, space, as a concept, should have made its presence known and felt to most people who have spent some time alone. Once you recognize it, you also instantly learn to realize when it is missing.
Recently with family over at my house, guests, visitors and the baby - space seems to come at a premium. Instead of being sunk in seemingly endless space, it now comes with time - defining and limiting it. I only get little windows or pockets of space in a day to match my previous existence. Makes it all the more precious, worth recognizing and protecting.
However it is amazing how well this little pocket or 'timeout' works. A few hours of silence, physical emptiness and peace makes a huge difference to overall day quality. A small amount of 'space' and silence with time limits makes you welcome noise, company and distraction.