November 14 Day 616: Homebody

As I grow older, certain behavioral traits become more pronounced. I am sure they have been there all along, but sometimes it takes reconnecting with someone who has known you for a very long time to make them abundantly clear.

I am a homebody.

I am happy puttering around the house, focusing on my family, binge watching a favorite show, or reading a good book.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel—especially when I am heading to family, a math event, or good friends. Because those situations feel like home in their own way. But I am not so good at the unknown like traveling for the sake of adventure. I’d like to be. I’m willing to give it a try. But honestly, I’m pretty happy in my comfortable home with my loving husband and now, occasional visits from my (adult) boys. I’m happy to have adventures and will gladly follow a catalyst. I, however, am not usually the one planning the adventure. ( I can do it but I find it stressful. I was better at it when the kids were young because adventures were educational.)

I reconnected with my best friend from college after more than a decade. We met in Massachusetts as college freshman taking classes together in theater and mathematics. She ended up as a theater major. I was mathematics. After graduation we led very different lives. But she was there for my first wedding and for my divorce. Every time we managed to reconnect, it felt like no time had passed. And we promised not to wait so long until the next meeting.

Furthering our educations, I was Midwest, she was East Coast. Starting careers, I was West Coast, she remained east. We started drifting apart. So what a delightful surprise to learn that we had both moved to Washington State within a few years of each other. But we were not good at getting together.

Honestly, the ferry ride to Vashon is not that big of a barrier. I could say it was COVID that kept us apart. However that only accounts for 1/5 of the time since our last visit.

I was today years old when I realized that we are BOTH HOMEBODIES. In college, we were just homebodies together. We have so much in common—like enjoying the same TV shows, reading the same books, taking long walks, losing our fathers, worrying about our mothers, and rediscovering our own lives as our children and step-children have grown. I feel confident that we will get together much sooner than 10 years next time.

Cover image of me and my best college friend Ana after a wet and blustery walk along the Tacoma waterfront as she prepares to board the incoming ferry.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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