Monday, July 22, 2013

Absence does make the heart grow fonder.

I have alluded to the time Spouse & I lived apart for almost a year - not due to marital strife, but job situation - so let me 'splain. Note: it gets a little mushy up in here. 

When you work at a large institution of higher education, there are a lot of really cool and excellent opportunities for advancement. Through a series of wacky adventures I call life, I found myself working for two really cool guys. Not only are they both eminently qualified, educated and professional, they are both also hilariously dorky and genuine, authentic men with huge hearts and silly brains. 

In more wacky adventures, cool guy #1 was recruited away to a smaller, but more eminent, institution in the literal woods of New England. Finding the administration of his area in a bit of a disarray, he started full-court press on cool guy #2 and I to join him. 

Fast forward about 6 months, other cool guy is there and working hard, as always. And Spouse & I were engaged in negotiations. At this point his company had merged with another, and the combined company was not ready to make any new, extreme decisions on work arrangements outside of brick-and-mortar, i.e. he could not get formal permission to work remotely. 

One thing I know more than anything else is my Spouse adores the bejesus outta me. I am spoiled - but I know it and trust me, it goes both ways. Neither one of us wanted to be apart but it was, for me, the opportunity of a lifetime. Not only would I be back with my boys, as I called them, but it was a delightful raise and came with a huge addendum, that being cool guy #1 knew this would be hard, so I was free to leave with our friendship intact, and I would have 12 round-trip tickets to/from Ohio, so as to ease the separation from Spouse. Why the hell not at least give it a go?

It would take up a lot of space to relate all that occurred upon me moving for my new position, but let me sum up the first TWO WEEKS of my employment. 
  1. Spouse came down with an acute, non-textbook (i.e. weird) case of an intestinal disorder that had him in hospital for 3-4 days. The man is rarely even ill, let alone sick enough to be in the hospital. 
  2. My dearest friend from middle & high school's dad died from a cancer he had fought for 15+ years. While she was entering third trimester with baby #2. 
  3. One of my closest friends, who was also Spouse's cousin, passed away very unexpectedly at age 31. Her name was Elise. 
My. first. two. weeks. DUDE.
I just never got my bearings, with a start like that, so while it was a highly successful, productive and lovely experience, it also quite honestly sucked in a lot of ways. Mainly because of the stress of not having Spouse with me (and vice versa) during an intense grieving period.

It took over six months for Spouse to get the go-ahead on working remotely, but by that time, things were lining up on my end, that I wasn't sure being in The 'Shire was my best move, professionally. 

Leaving was really seriously incredibly hard - I loved living in the small town, Spouse really liked it too, I had made some incredibly awesome friends while there, and the lifestyle was just so natural, both in terms of actual lifestyle and how it meshed with me. I still miss it in

When you are in a relationship with a partner for any length of time, you do take each other for granted. It's just hard not to. Household tasks get divided up, such that you don't even consciously register that you don't have to wash the clothes, or take out the trash, because *it just happens* (at least in my case). Then you are on your own again, in your own little place, and you have to wash the clothes and make sure your trash is out on the assigned day. Jeesh! #FirstWorldProblems

I've been back with Spouse for almost a year now, and still, there is a sense of daily gratitude. Not just because Spouse is my best friend, but he's my best partner. We make a good team. Things get done because we both bring to the table certain skills and talents. Nothing highlighted that more for me, than being apart. Oh the irony and hence, the title of today's musings.

So now not only is he really grateful that I make his breakfast burritos (when we both know he could do it himself), I am grateful that I *get* to make his breakfast burritos. 

I try and thank him every week for making sure the trash & recycling are out on time - generally by bringing in the bins when I get home, if not saying "Thank you.". We take pleasure in the little things, like going grocery shopping or just being able to hug goodnight, when before we could only say it over the phone. 

I am immeasurably grateful to him for giving me his blessing to try the adventure of The 'Shire. I know it wasn't what he really wanted, and was much harder on him. He was, after all, still in "our" home, in "our" town, in "our" routine - only without me. I was in a new place, meeting new people, having new adventures. 

There's a lot of woulda, coulda, shoulda that still occurs in my brain and my heart. But at the end of the day, I am where I need and want to be. With Spouse. Everything else is just noise. 

I look icky but it was a really warm day. Spouse is adorable, as always!

Plus, friendships with the two cool guys - intact. And I live here again. 

No comments:

Post a Comment