A Rollercoaster Jam Called Love
By Wednesday of last week, I had taken to telling people outright that I was cranky. I was frustrated with usual work stuff. I was annoyed with having to move desks and floors. I was uncharacteristically curt with folks for whom I usually have more patience. My emotions were at the surface, an occurrence so rare that others were commenting on it. By Friday, though, my story had changed. I was cranky and annoyed and frustrated but the cause was, I was lonely.
This week I'm grateful for longing. Tiffany spent the week visiting a friend in Vancouver, leaving me on my own at home. It's not common for me to be home alone. In the last few years, I've been the one prone to solo travel multiple times a year for work. Work travel is so busy; I don't get that sense of being alone. All my time is filled with meetings and movement and managing time zones. Over the last seven days, though, I sat in this house listening to its creaky floors and cupboards, forgetting to eat dinner at a reasonable hour, working too much, off my routine, and missing my wife.
My schedule never filled with appointments and events with other people. The few I made were canceled or postponed. So, I was left to spend my time thinking about how much I appreciate her presence in my life. How much I enjoy caring for her and being cared for in return. One morning, I nearly made coffee despite knowing she wasn't here to drink it because the feeling of not doing it felt so... wrong. I joked with her about enjoying not having every television tuned to MSNBC whenever I chose to turn one on while she was away but I would've gladly traded Maddow for our nightly discussions of dinner plans that were sorely missing from my every day.
We've been together over a decade now. Diana Evans, in an interview with NPR about her novel, Ordinary People, talks about what we face when we are coupled-up for the long haul:
I think the real challenge of marriage or a long-term relationship is trying to appreciate the wonderful things about it. That sense of human understanding and sort of compassion and home — a sense of home that is always there and is always accessible to you.
I’m thankful for getting the chance to appreciate the beautiful things about my partner, the home we've made, and the life we share. When we came back together last night, our faces lit up, again on this rollercoaster jam called love.