Thursday, June 21, 2007

Conjugal Visit Weekend ;)

I'm off to Philadelphia/New York/New Jersey to visit Math-Man and for the wedding of one of his nephews. This nephew is, I suppose, also my nephew, but he's Dave's sister's son. So... more his nephew than mine, somehow. Interestingly, one of the first "dates" Dave and I had was shopping for a birthday present for this nephew, who was about to have his first birthday. Yikes.

Idle thoughts this morning -when, after all, I'm supposed to be packing. (I suppose I ought to be PACKED, but that's a problem of rather long standing. I do almost nothing until it's necessary AND urgent.)

Thing 1: When you have 48 hours a month with your partner, each hour takes on a lot of importance. That's not really fair -to anyone. For one thing, we're really on this whirlwind tour for our nephew. It is, in fact, not about me. (WHAT????) And secondly, this 48 hours isn't more important than any other weekend. Yet, when you're apart for long stretches of time, you lose the smoothing-out feature that regular contact provides. If I'm crabby or having a bad hair day or distracted, in my regular life that gets averaged in with all the other times when I'm patient, or lovely (it could happen, I suppose), and focused. In this long-distance relationship, if one of us is crabby when we get together, that's the memory we have for a month.

I don't know what to do about that. I think reconnecting when we finally live in the same house again is going to feel like dating. Which could be good, but has a scary edge to it as well.

Thing the Second: A friend brought a friend of hers to our local Sit and Knit. This new-to-me friend is just beginning a year where she is living apart from her husband. The shared friend thought we should meet. Our conversation went like this.

New friend: I'm deciding to think of this as an adventure.
Me: It's so hard.
New friend: I'm reconnecting with old friends and learning things (e.g. knitting) that I've always wanted to learn.
Me: It's so hard.
New Friend: I'm just trying to stay busy.
Me: It's so.... (Then my brain finally kicked in. YOU ARE NOT HELPING ANYTHING WITH YOUR WHINING. Shut the heck up.) Emergency re-frame ensued.

So, there are more people doing this strange living apart thing than I would have imagined. And I need to practice more empowering and compassionate chatter about this situation. Yes, it's been hard. I don't even know if it's been worth it, when you weigh one thing against another. But I have learned a lot. I have (almost) survived it, so I know that I can do it again if I have to.

There's more.... but really, I have to go put some clothes in a suitcase, and prepare myself for some serious...conjugation ;)

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