Aside from peace, only this counts – for the foreseeable future:
– My relationship, or salvaging what I can (without sounding overly dramatic)
– The Lines (more on this later)
– Earning Money
I shall think of nothing else and do nothing else, but these three things. Except when it is necessary.
Like taking care of Jay. Going to work. Doing dishes.
Not social media. Not random surfing. Not loafing around. Not anything remotely like that.
These are the July Days and they shall last.
We love each other. We want to find solutions. Even if it seems dim – through the fog of anger.
But what is important to both of us, I have no doubt, is that we must also find solutions for Jay’s sake.
We simply can’t bear that he should have parted parents, much less that he should have parents who bicker and argue most of the time. It makes him feel unsafe and it hurts him. Obviously.
And we want the best for him.
So we have to find a way back to the best in ourselves, even if it has been seriously challenged this past year.
But we have to. There is not other way.
You can use the shared joy and responsibility to get a feeling of a bond – again and again. And a very strong one indeed. One that was lacking.
But other bonds have to be strengthened again.
Or it will be like a single rope, or perhaps two ropes, being pulled at all the time.
That will not do.
So: This summer it is time to rebuild.
I want 20 summers more together. Or more.
And I know she wants it as well.
But we have to make begin now.
Our propensity to become angry with each other has been and is still strong, over all sorts of things. Mostly irrelevant things.
So this will be the topic for the summer: How to heal.
Because we are not split yet – obviously. But we are hurt. In more ways than one.
I suspect we could ride it out on routine, love for Jay and dedication to him and to making at least every day work.
But why settle with that? Why not use the summer to really think about this – how we can get back on track, and with more – lots more – love for each other than we have been able to show and give in the recent year?
There is every reason to take this very seriously.
I think this could be the most important summer yet.
“Whenever Char and I get angry at each other, and start again with the first thing: Remembering why we love each other.” – affirmation.
Q: Why haven’t you at the age of 44 a steady job yet?
A: Why haven’t you at age 44 a steady relationship yet?
Sometimes you just have to do another makeshift solution if it is what works.
And I can say it just like it is: If you cum while masturbating to porn or with someone you hardly know there is a sure-fire void after that, right there in the middle of your chest where your heart is supposed to be. It’s not a sin. It is not a disaster. And your hands definitely won’t fall off.
But if you cum while having sex with someone you love – in a way you both love – then that orgasm can go all the way to the heart. And even if it doesn’t, you feel your heart more than you did before you had sex. Not less.
Banal, I suppose? And yet it can be excruciatingly difficult to remember.
Even if I worked all I could and stressed about it – especially the marketing part – there would be no earnings guarantee. The money lost from my insistence on ‘contributing’ by buying half the food, more or less, is penalized with 14.5 per cent interest on my credit account. Better to take that money from Char’s savings and inheritance, obviously. I mean, do we have a joint economy or what? Maybe I am not contributing much, economically, but it is still joint.
Let’s make some rational choices, then …
I wonder why it took me so long to see this. I guess it was a mixture of interference from life-stress (like the stuff with my mother’s cancer) and habit and an idea that Char wanted me to pay my part and that I should because I am … what? … the man of the house.
But Char also want’s help when she can only use one hand more or less. And she wants less stress at home. And more quality time and some sweet time, too. With me.
So that is my contribution.
So we should see to it in the new year that we take more time off together – maybe go to another city and just loaf, go more to cafes and a bit on restaurants. We have to dig into Char’s inheritance and maternity leave insurance, unless I make more money soon. But I think it is necessary.
And yes, these are sweet activities we can do with Jay – i.e. without a sitter. He is still very young and it would be a lot to leave him for a night with someone else. It would not work yet.
But go a bit more out together (and with Jay) that would work. Maybe going to another city and playing tourists. Just that.
It will be enough. For now.
But we have to do it!
I’d really love to see this outcome – that she got a huge chunk done in the first, say, 6 months. If she looks like she is prioritizing that I’d prioritize it, too. And I’d let her know beforehand that I am willing to risk less business, as long as our savings still hold. And then do this with her. I have let her know such a view before.
But I don’t think it will go this way. And I have to accept that. I think she will dabble a little and then … the Distractions.
It is okay. I love her. I love what we have together – all the rest. But I would really love for us to have this, too.
Not just to be able to better afford to pay someone to do our laundry every day, or live in a bigger place. Not just that.
Because it feels good – the idea of having our own business that has to do with a topic we are passionate about, and which might make a difference – very concretely, if we generate a surplus.
So I guess what I will have to do is to find a place for that dream. It should be like one of the old battleships – they are now museum ships but by law there is kept enough of the old shells around to reactivate them for service if need be. Or so I’ve read.
So maybe we can do this another day and win that battle to get it done.
But I will be realistic for now. And a good partner.
People have a tendency to be understanding if you explain your need and don’t wait to express it until you do so in anger.
You see, I promised to drive Char to our nephew’s 4th birthday down south and I told everybody I would come later because I was going to this old friend get-together.
But instead I will drive home and be alone for some hours, I think, and just think about all the things I have not had time to think about with Jay, with my ill mum, with work, with doing dishes.
Just me and some coffee and some stillness.
At a price. But here’s the chance.
That sort of thing which is forgettable but incredibly important. For all of us.
“Real friendship or love is not manufactured or achieved by an act of will or intention. Friendship is always an act of recognition.”
― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
I feel this is true of family, too – as family gets to know each other over the years, and come closer. That is the ideal, anyway. But it exists. It does in my family. And we are blessed because of it.