It’s so much easier to write when I am fired up about something, but it’s been a good, comfortable, loving week. No explosions, no crises, no injuries, no drama. Even the blizzard missed us (much to the disappointment of my Californian sweetheart). And after last Sunday’s disagreement/misunderstanding/set-Linda-off episode, we have settled into a calm period of respectfully claiming territory. We’ve had the occasional virtues of Bernie vs. superiority of Hillary discussions, but they have all been relatively thoughtful and calm. It’s not been boring, however. We have way too much life to catch up on, way too many stories to tell, and walks to take. It seems like we’re caught in a comfortable movie loop where only the pleasant things happen, the characters still developing.
I never thought at this age it would be possible to co-habitate again. I thought I was too comfortable living alone and convinced myself I was happier that way. The idea that two older adults, with vastly different pasts, could start a new life together was beyond the realm of possible. But here it is, over a week already, and it’s hard to imagine it being better. Really. Can this be happening? Can it last?
Of course I’ve seen it happen before, only not to me. I’d come to believe I was too hard to live with, too hard to work with, too fiery, just too everything. But here we are, learning about each other with honest curiosity and real compassion. This is such a new experience that I’m still adjusting. The attack never comes. My arm with the shield is slowly lowering (emphasize slowly, lest it be a trick). But he has his own story, his own shield, and it makes me want to sand my edges. And though I’m still incredulous there is a person on this planet who had never seen It’s a Wonderful Life, I’m seeing more clearly how assumptions have been the source of much unnecessary heartache. (No wonder my Clarence the angel joke fell so flat on the train!)
I’d said many times since my divorce, that relationships are just too much work. I’d say the word work as if it were a pejorative. I didn’t want to do it again. I’d think of my marriage and all the misunderstandings turned into fights. The days of trying to resolve things and the energy that took. It just didn’t seem worth it again. But I wonder why, as someone who always liked to work, in fact, loves to work, considers work fun, fulfilling, exciting, meaningful, and rewarding, would I use the word so negatively when referring to relationships? Maybe a defense. Probably a defense. Definitely a defense. Because, as I’ve said over and over, when you really love your job, it doesn’t seem like work. Midwifery is certainly a lot of work, but I love it. Maintaining this house is a lot of work, but I love it. And, yes, relationships involve work, but I’m finding myself loving it.
It doesn’t seem like work.