Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: transition

Sundays Are For (Week 31)

 

Yesterday, I told H that, even if he hasn’t meant to do it on purpose, I see that he’s making our home life (and his personal time) as much of a priority as he can. Work is crazy this year for him – he’s teaching multiple classes, one of which he’s never taught before. He’s planning on the fly, during prep periods and before school starts, and also still attending grad school classes one night a week. While he’s super Type-B, you could not find a more diligent and organized teacher, so this whole schedule is a major upheaval for him.

I see his exhaustion and his determination to just grade one.more.class… and I’m doing what I can to help. So far, I think this is the best back-to-school transition we’ve had, but that may have more to do with my own self-care and less to do with how it’s really going for H.

But I also think it’s his intention to, as he put it, “have a real life” that is creating a bit of relationship reserve for us to draw on as the busy weekdays go by. Last week he brought the vacuum in to be fixed, helped me clean the apartment and continues to cook a few meals (omelets on the weekends and that delish chicken dinner this evening – above) I appreciate the attention and support, and I make sure to tell him so.

This morning we took the dog down to the beach path, grabbed hot drinks and sat on the sand for a bit. H graded and I journaled. It was H’s idea, and I know it’s because he’s trying to include me in his time, and make sure we’re relaxing some, even though he’s so busy.

H is grading yet another stack of papers with Carter Cash laying in his lap, and I’m here writing to you. I think we plan on splitting a small apple pie and watching some Breaking Bad before an early bedtime. (No BB spoilers, we just started Season 1!)

Hope you had a good weekend and will get some sleep too xo

Back To School

It’s back to school over here. When you’re married to a teacher, the transition from summer vacation to school back in session can be a harsh one.

After a few years of this, I’m noticing the pattern. The exhaustion on his part, the loneliness on mine. How comfortable we become with him being home and rested and not drowning in papers and activities. How disruptive it is the day it’s gone – no easing into it. One day we slept in until 7:30 a.m. and he was home for lunch, and the next a 5:30 a.m. alarm and not seeing each other for 18hrs.

It’s not being without him that’s so terrible, but that I also work alone – and so the days stretch out before me, taunting with all I could be doing or should be doing.

But this year I’m learning. I’m accepting the loneliness, inviting it in. I’m learning the awkwardness of now only having a few key hours in the evening to spend together – what what do we do with them? And I’m making sure to focus on what I need – sleep, exercise, lovely writings on the internet (here and here), podcasts, calls with friends and a general letting go of doing it all on my own.

He’s made extra effort to communicate when he’ll be home, what he can help with, checking in with me how I am feeling. These are all good things.

My aim is to feel better than I did last year, but more so, to not knuckle down until Thanksgiving, but to really see what this season brings to my work, my marriage and my creativity.

Intensity

“It’s like, all of a sudden life’s gotten really intense and it also happens to be 102* outside”

That’s what spilled out of my mouth to a friend on the phone while walking to my car in this stupid heat. Bingo! This is exactly what I’ve been experiencing the past few weeks. I’ve gone through three bosses via department restructuring, lost one professional support, added 7 flights and 5 events to my calendar, over-committed my time, escaped into books and generally felt out of sorts.

I’m not sure what changed today, but this is the first day I’ve felt good in a while. I remember feeling awesome on 9.14.12 but the rest of that week, hell the rest of the month, was a challenge.

Chock it up to transitions…?

  • H going back to work after summer
  • Us being back home after the wedding / honeymoon and that project being done
  • My work ramping up
  • My boss leaving + major changes in my department
  • Friends leaving LA, new friends entering my life

This is what clicked into focus this morning: Back to Work: 86 has Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin talking about Merlin’s schedule changes related to his daughter attending school and his wife going back to work. And he says that he thought the adjustment challenge was having a more constrained work day to accomplish his tasks but that now, after he’s in the transition, he sees that it’s the anxiety of the change and being more responsible for things related to his daughter that were freaking him out.

Spot on. For me it seems to be about managing my own anxiety / fears / hustle around this shift into a new stage – yes, there’s more work on my plate but there also seems to be an intensity around it. Yes the wedding is over and now I’m a wife, but conversations with friends have shifted to engagements / weddings / houses / babies – all big deal topics that make one question their own place in life. Add the general upheaval that travel can bring, a lack of routine, and a bouncing all over work, and you have a pretty good idea of where I’m at.

But for some reason, today the anxiety dissipated. I’ll thank my morning pages writing for some of this – I’ve noticed my writing has taken me to a deeper, more supportive place this week. And serendipity: a hug from H that smoothed out my mood, a random phone call from a former boss, a conversation with a colleague, a phone call with a friend I haven’t spoken to in months… and reminding myself that I’ve felt like this before and, while something may feel wrong, nothing is wrong with me, and if I’ve worked my way out of it before, I can do it again.

Mostly, I feel proud that I was able to gently coax myself into articulating what it was that was “wrong” and ask for what I needed (even in just a quiet thought) and the help started magically appearing. A hug, a phone call, a conversation, a podcast tidbit, an email…

So relieved tonight, & so blessed. xo