Friday, August 9, 2013

Real Life

A few weeks ago
Paul and I packed up the boys
and hit the highway
for a family road trip
through Arizona.

1,500 miles.

6 days.


We floated through days;
laughing, hiking, catching fish.
The boys swam in a creek,
played in a summer storm
and fed their great-grandfather's horses.
We sat on a country backporch
and watched lightening fill the night sky.

We saw miles and miles
of desert and forest,
red rock and sunsets,
with a Grand Canyon
exclamation point.

Total sighheartburstmagicpeacejoyfest.

I fell in love with my children
and Paul
all over again
and floated home
on a game of ABC Band Names
(I still hold strong to the belief that
Ziggy Stardust counts for Z).

That was Monday.

The high lasted
about 2 days
and then like a plane
whose engines suddenly seized;
I plummeted to earth.
By Thursday I found myself irritated
by laundry and dishes
and work
and just the god damn

I know living with me
can be a nightmare.

I'm a neat freak
I'm controlling
I'm pretty sure
if everyone cooperated,
our home would possibly
look like a museum,
but instead it looks
like people actually live there
and sometimes that makes me crazy.

When James was a baby
I'd have to literally pep talk myself
into leaving the dinner dishes in the sink
until after the boys were in bed.

I still struggle with this.

Busy, busy, busy...always doing
nonstop...go, go, go.

And since I am like this
I unintentionally expect my partner
to be the same,
and because he is not,
bing! Bang! BOOM!
HELP ME!!!!!!

So that's a point of contention for us.

Which please don't even think
for a moment that I am alone
in the managment of our home.

This is the guy who goes grocery shopping
every week,
makes marinara and hummus from scratch
because he knows I love it,
cooks dinner half of the time,
schleps our boys around,
works overtime hours
and then spends his days off
designing furniture for our home
that he then builds.

Great man?
Yeah I'd say so.


Me neither.
In addition to my neurosis
in all things housework,
I also battle my head.

30 plus years of rolling stages
of depression, anxiety.
A life lived sober now
but not in the past
and the work
that goes with that.
The struggle that still exists
behind that.

Sometimes things are very...




It's been shocking to me
how much work is involved
in the care and maintenance
and survival of a partnership.

With kids and a home to spare.

I spoke with one of my best friends
Sunday morning as I cried into my coffee.
I was super angry with my beloved
"I know relationships are full of highs and lows 
but the lows suck."


And she let me cry
and she heard me out
and then she delivered
some hard earned gems of marriage advice:

"It's just one day.
It'll get better.
It always does."


"Yes the lows suck,
but they'll make you
into a better, healthier person
if you stick it out."

And it wasn't better right away.

But it's better now.

And we spent last night watching
a documentary with Lucas
and then snuggled on the couch
eating blueberry pie.

And every day I learn more
about what it is to love someone
and keep a relationship alive.

To decide every day,
yes I want to be here
with you,
doing this.

Because I don't know
what everyone else's partnership is like
but I can tell you mine is 
full of love
and joy
and laughter
and WORK.

It takes work.

Wayyyyy more work
than I had ever imagined.

Work that is worth it to me
because these boys
and this man
are my greatest loves.

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