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In fits and starts I’m starting to feel settled again. It’s not constant, still I’d forgotten how nice it is. Contentment is vastly underrated in a society driven by the pursuit of happiness. I wonder if Thomas Jefferson meant the phrase as we interpret it in the twenty-first century.  It seems silly, sitting where I’m sitting, to chase a feeling of fulfillment. When in the completion of our everyday tasks dreams are realized and happiness is the result. Happiness is normally felt when I’m quiet, not manic. How many of us miss happiness chasing a feeling so desperately that they miss it altogether?  Many, I’m sure.

I’m very content with my current work position. I have no aspirations to move into higher education for advancement. Yet, I’m often asked when I’m going to go to school. My take on it is, I’ve got the best of the job with none of the headaches. The pay isn’t worth the frantic pace moving up would cause.  This seems to be contrary to what many believe to be accomplishment and happiness.  All the same, I’m content and if that changes, then I’ll change my plans.

What I’m struggling with is reengaging at home. I’m here, but not really. It’s weird. The weeds are taking over in my normally pretty well tended flower gardens. There are things around the house which need attention and I’m just not there. Maybe it’s a realignment of priorities I’m adjusting to. All I know is it feels so different. And don’t get me wrong, different isn’t always a bad thing.

Depending on ones vantage point, leaving might seem the easy out of a relationship. When if fact it is devastating to contemplate, let alone carry out. What if it doesn’t work? What if I’m alone for the rest of my life? What if……ad nauseam. Staying is safe, difficult in it’s own right, still safe. How many of us trod on in silent, or not so silent pain because the fear of the unknown is so great?

I shot the moon and survived it.  I just wish pain and distrust dissipated as quickly as they appeared. Leaving certainly didn’t make everything better. It did allow for healing to begin. It appears as if this is a trauma only time will heal. I hate that, but what are you to do?  Time takes time. Blech!

Pain and all, I’m glad I made the decisions I made. It’s how my husband and I got to where we are today and there is great contentment in that thought.

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Priorities

Life is still getting ahead of me, and I’m dealing with that. At some point I’ll catch up. For now it’s staying focused on what counts. When I was raising our children, I never lost sight of the ball nor did he. No two children had more dedicated parents, perhaps as dedicated but not more dedicated.

A week ago today I moved home as quietly as I left. I’m still not unpacked. My office is a mess, but the laundry is done. smile One has to take the little victories as they come. I’m still scattered on so many levels, it’s hard to look beyond my prime focus. Our marriage and my new career. The house won’t miss me for a bit longer. The garden? Well, that’s a never-ending time suck. When it blooms I remember why I pour so much energy into it. It’s not blooming at the moment.

We have counseling tomorrow. Money is the topic. This should prove interesting. In the last year I was willing to and did walk away from all of it. None of it meant anything without my husband. He’s the focus or should I say ‘us’. Our children are raised, now it’s time to create the life we want for us and the means to properly fund it.  Us, what a wonderful concept; warm and fuzzy, as it should be.

What I want is for the sensitivity to dissipate. The world is still so threatening in my current state. New beginnings are  normally unsteady places. I’ve been through one or two of them. This will pass, I don’t have to like feeling emotionally naked in the meantime.  I’m exposing myself at home, in the firm hope our marriage is on a new, better path.

On the work front, I’m working in a completely new field at a new place with dynamics I haven’t riddled out just yet. People, in general, perplex me. I’m not going to spend a lot of energy beyond what I need to know to move through the space in an efficient  manner.

Things I’ve observed along the journey of work places. There is always a double agent. I’ve discovered her, and we’re as good as we’re going to get. Busy bees, there are many of these. You know the ones who are sure no one works as hard as they do. Therefore no one else is as competent making everyone subject to contempt as seen necessary. More importantly, I found the rock. Rally around the rock and your world is less likely to tip. I got a jolt this week and I have little doubt, the rock, is a big reason why there were no after shocks.

Wish I could find a rock in my personal life. It would seem my rocks have aged and now need support themselves. My only hope is to lean on my husband. This is a leap of faith so huge, words fail me completely. The risk I took walking out is nothing compared to learning to depend on him again, and that is what I’m doing. Slowly, cautiously, creeping forward, it looks good folks, real good. Better than I had any right to hope for, and that’s hell-a-scary. It still beats the pants off of hopeless, so I’ll take it.

I suppose that should go without much thought, or saying. Who is the same over the passage of time? This last year has made me a more private person. The blog doesn’t count as it’s anonymous and most of you have no idea who I am, or were and likely never will. If one of you plucked even a tiny tidbit from my rambling which helped make your life easier, then it was worth the effort of keeping this up.

The marriage is healing as are we. All of my pain wasn’t caused by him, so I’ve a ways to go. Saturday will be the one year anniversary of my mother’s passing. Losing her has got to be the single most painful event of my life. Maybe that’s what made it possible for me to make the life changes I made. It couldn’t get worse, now could it?  Having nothing to lose is an odd place to live. Or should I say survive?

There hasn’t been much living this year and a whole lot of surviving. On our anniversary, the 28th, my husband presented me with an anniversary ring and asked me to marry him again. He was blushing. I’m sure he gets it now. I said yes. Plans for the renewal are in the works, at least that’s what he says. I’m not concerned with his plan making, he’ll let me in on it when he’s ready, and I can wait.

Me leaving him with plans is a huge change. I sort of like it. smile

When we spoke about the painting project it turns out he had two projects lumped into one. Remove popcorn ceiling stuff and then paint. Em, dude, no way. The current color scheme is bugging the crap out of me. We paint and then worry about the blinkin’ ceiling. TYVM. Instead of arguing with me, he and I discuss how I saw the project. As in much smaller than he had anticipated. No fight? Way cool. Being heard? Priceless.

I’m going to go home the way I left. Quietly without much fuss. I don’t want a fuss. In the mean time I’m working through my current isolationist attitude. I’ve never minded being alone, I rather enjoy being alone truth be told. Don’t get me wrong, I like to interact with people too.  It has come to my notice that some persons in my circle like to whine and pole vault mouse turds. Blank stare

My emotional state is still on the thin side. I tire easily in the company of loud persons. My patience are not rebounding to their former glory, that’s probably a good thing for me. I find I don’t have the interest or the energy to involve myself with persons complaining about situations which were either created by the whiner, or are completely beyond their self-righteous indignation.

Life is short. Happiness is fleeting. Settling is no longer on the table for me. My husband and I were either going to get through this or we weren’t. So unhappy were we both I was willing to take the chance, and it paid out big.

Don’t settle. Dare to live the best life of your willingness. Failure isn’t optional, it’s certain… get on with the mistakes for the rewards they supply.

Eight Weeks Out

In some ways this has been a very long two months, and in others not so much.

I’ve discovered that I create too much trash for one person. Steps are being taken to reduce that. Yes, I actually think of these things. smile  At this point I’m shamelessly spoiled by only having to pick up after myself. Being by oneself has some nice benefits. Okay so my space needs attention at the moment, but it’s all my mess. Somehow that makes it okay.

Today my husband and I are taking a step toward the hard stuff. We’re going to pick out paint for the living room, foyer and halls. This might not seem like a big deal. In my world it’s huge. I’ve being doing all of the home improvement, work, repair for six years. He wants to do this. Suggested it. I see glimpses of the man I married. This is a good trend. I might even cave on a color. Might. I’m a brat remember?

Rent is paid for another month. Hopefully I’m be closer to moving home at the end of the month. The longer this goes on the more I see how, as difficult as the decision was, leaving was the best thing for the marriage I could’ve done. Had I stayed I seriously doubt we’d have made this much, if any progress.

So I left with my husband and he says, ‘We’re only looking at colors today right?”

Wing brow. This isn’t what I understood, but I roll with it. It ended up being the same trip we’ve had eleventy billon times. WTF.  I’m done with this browsing stuff, and yes I will explain that to him when I’m in better head space.

Tonight really threw me. Our grown daughter is hitting some life bumps. He’s upset, more so than I am. I suspect his reversion has something to do with that. I know he’d like to collapse into me and have me make it better for him. Em, yeah, no. He really has to get over this needy crap. It does neither of us any good. Hello! I don’t want to spend the rest of my life making him feel better. GAH!

Our kids will take their life licks the same as everyone else. Do I like it? No, absolutely not. I also understand our time to rescue either of them is long passed. If they are ever to figure this stuff out, better now than later.  Honestly, I worked hard to make sure they had the tools necessary to make it on their own. If they misplace or forget them, this is not on us.

Someone (a man) please explain this to my husband. I’m so tired of telling him it’s none of our business I could hurl. Like you wanted your dad all up in our business at this age? That would be a solid, no.

Every time he pulls this clingy, needy, but honey the kids, bull-shit, hope for reconciliation dims ever so slightly. It makes me crazy. He misses me. I GET that. In the same stroke I didn’t bounce out the front door of that house because I thought a change of scenery would be nice and refreshing.  I was suffocating from fear, anxiety and his ridiculous insecurities.

There is nothing I can do about his self esteem or lack there of. Were I so powerful, this would have been rectified ages ago. I really don’t know what it is he wants from me. So far a life partner doesn’t seem to be in his definition, and that concerns me.

We have counseling tomorrow. FUN!

Sarcastic? Me? Really?

Our counselor suggested that I spend more time at the house, oh say like three days. I spent one night and now I’m at the apartment. It’s too painful to go back and forth. Sorry, I can’t do half measures.  If I’m here, I’m here. If I’m there, I’m there.

Problem, I’m not sure it’s time to be there. I was feeling good about going home around the first of May. After the sleep over? I’m not sure, and here is where the brat part enters in.

All I saw when I walked into the house was work. The cabinet fronts need attention, the kitchen is tidy, but not clean with coffee on the cabinet doors. He doesn’t see this stuff, and I don’t think he gets how important it is to me. The house hasn’t been vacuumed since I left [six weeks]. I had to clean up my bathroom and bedroom. Really? We need to come to an understanding about the house. He works, I work and there has to be an agreement on the house and yard work. HAS–TO–BE – I’m a shameless brat. I don’t want to walk into 40 hours of house and garden work. If I do, what was the point of leaving to begin with. That’s how I feel.

Then he made a small comment about a payment going out on a day he didn’t expect and how that caused problems. Blank stare. If you know you have a payment of X dollars, it shouldn’t matter when it comes out. You take it off the balance and go on with your life. Right? I mean what does it matter unless it comes out before the pay period you indicated, which in this case you should wait, how could this cause problems?  This financial thing is huge for me.

I simply can’t think about going on the way we’ve been. His views on this subject really need to mature. We’ve always butted heads on money. Was I naive to think he would grow up at some point? Apparently so. My heart dropped with his seemingly innocent comment.  All the hopes I had of going home the first, dashed.

I’m feeling selfish to expect so much of him. I’m feeling self-indulgent about continue paying the rent on the apartment.

Bottom line?  If I go back without working these things out, we’re doomed to fail. All of the heartache for not. Damn, this is hard.

Tomorrow I’m going to the house and he and I are going to have to talk about the hard stuff. Us getting along was easy, these sticking points may prove more difficult. Reminding myself that this isn’t about settling is unnerving. The compromiser in me cries out to take what I can get and reality draws me up short.

Brat, yep, that’s me.

Week Three

This has been the longest three weeks I’ve had in a good long while. Why? Well, not only did I move, I started a new shift at work, 10pm to 6am. Getting used to going to work on one day and getting off on another wrapped my head in knots to say the least, add to it the personal stuff and yeah.

My head is starting to clear which is so nice, you have no idea. This is what I was hoping for when I left. Sometimes one has to step out of a situation to realign the inner compass. Mine seems to have stopped spinning. A small wobble beats the hell out of the 180 and 360 swings I was in. No wonder I felt nutz.  I was nutz? Okay, I was. I admit it. Still am, just not so much at present.

The last couple of nights at work I’ve been able to keep things straight in my head and not make three steps instead of one. I’m feeling more myself and less like a muddle brained idiot. I rather like having a clear head. All of this chaos and drama had me wondering if I was ever going to feel normal. Normal is relative, I know. Boring? Perhaps, but I like an even keel.

I watch the chaos driven people around me and wonder what the draw is?  Calm is so much better. So, much better. I’m all about  a long bubble bath and spending hours in my flower garden just futzing around. I’ll leave the speed showers and 100 miles an hour to those better suited. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m not about just getting through life. I like being in it, surrounded by the moment. Getting close again is a joy and wonder, silly smile.

My husband and I made arrangements for a trip to our hometown, I thought I’d be doing alone. It was very reassuring to discuss things with him instead of arguing or feeling affronted. Our last counseling session was emotionally charged. Instead of trying to explain myself off the top of my head, which I don’t seem to be very good at. I wrote him a letter and read it.

I was so upset we didn’t talk for three days. He was smart to leave me be. Our interaction since has been reminiscent of when we were first married. Something has changed, I can’t put my finger on it, but we’re different. Fixed? Em, no. Better? Much. To the point that I broached the subject of coming home. We’re both leery of moving too fast, or making knee jerk reactions. I was surprised we were on the same page. It’s been a very long time.

It appears as if there is breath left in this marriage, and dare I say hope.

People can be stupid. Really stupid. Blank stare.

If one reads the blog one already knows and need not ask. If one doesn’t? Too bad, too sad.

I don’t have to justify myself to everyone in my world bubble. Really, I don’t and hence forth will not do so.

Persons I’ve talked with over the course of the year are having brain farts. “What happened again?” “Exactly what was the problem?”

I don’t carry a concordance of my life in my hip pocket. Chances are good you were never told everything or very little, cuz frankly it’s not something I speak about with everyone.

This isn’t a make the husband a monster contest, where I come off as the damsel in distress. Shivers at the thought. Yes, I would (at times) like to be saved, but it’s an idol wish and nothing more.

Here’s the deal. I don’t carry my woes into my day’ scattered across a chain linked to my ankle for everyone to see. Have the past few months been extremely difficult? Yes. The difficulty level is lower and these things don’t occupy my every waking moment. Even when they did, I sure wasn’t going to spew my unhappiness on everyone in my path.

Most days are very pleasant. I laugh and smile because life is too short to feel sorry for myself, or to cultivate resentments which only serve to make me miserable.

Maybe this trait is how I get fingered for being stronger than I am. If it looks like a duck theory of thinking. She looks happy, therefore she must be happy[all the time]. Em, that would be a negative Ghost Rider.  I’m not the type of person who easily shows emotion on my sleeve.

I operate under the premise that very few people want to ‘really’ know how I am.  Not only do most of them not care (try answering lousy every once and a while or better). Are they horrible persons of little regard? Absolutely not. They are a loving child of God doing the level best they know how with what they have, just like the rest of us.  It’s not my place to make people uncomfortable with too much information, so I don’t.

When you are in the circle who is confided in, you are expected to keep up. Really. I don’t want to list my crappy events so that you will understand anything, only in context. This is one of the things my husband did that got on my last nerve. When I love someone, I remember things which are important to them. If you’ve had a rough time of it, allowances will be made.

From the gate this wasn’t about bashing my husband. I’ve been fairly faithful to this promise. One does have transgressions and moments of insanity during times of great stress.

I don’t want anyone to hate him, think badly of him or not be his friend. This is an ‘us’ thing. He and I aren’t functioning well as a couple. (Big news flash I know. grin)  So, if you’ve forgotten why I left, tough. It really isn’t any of your business anyway. When my friend is having marital problems I don’t want the down and dirty.. just to soothe the hurt feelings as best I know how. It is understood that I don’t have a chance of figuring out the ins and outs nor honestly do I want to get tangled up in it. My friend needs support; support is given. No stupid questions. Maybe a gentle reminder to be kind no matter how angry, because that creates stuff to clean up later.

I don’t suppose this will be my last rant about this. People are curious by nature. People need to be on the ‘correct’ side, whatever that is for them. Sorry folks, no recaps, no reasons, explanations or excuses. If you fell out of the loop, too bad. I’m done tilling up the past for you.