This morning I got some e-mails from readers asking where I was. They noticed that I have not been posting much the past couple of weeks. “Are you OK?” they asked. “Is anything wrong?”.
I am fine. Simply in the midst of another time of change.
I am sitting at my local diner. It’s about one in the afternoon and I just ordered breakfast. It’s been a while since I sat down here to write. A couple of weeks overall. First there was the wedding, then the honeymoon, and then we came back to discover a lady in my church, a parishioner and dear friend was dying after a long battle with cancer. I spent a lot of this week with the family and spent Tuesday, her last day on this earth, at her side. There was a funeral to help arrange and do, and then church today.
Being married changes the equation. Not so much a better or worse, just different. I discovered for real what I already knew – that her compassion and ability to know what people need in tough times is incredible, that she has a sixth sense about people I don’t have. I found what I did not know, but believed – that she will be a wonderful partner for me.
I’ve also discovered that it is really different being married to someone who wakes up earlier than me. My ex wife used to say I woke up before God and while that is not anywhere near true, it is true that I am accustomed to waking up long before the other people in my household. And I am accustomed to using that time for meditation, for devotions, and for writing.
The woman I love makes me look like a slackard. She’s up and moving before the birds sing. We wake up talking to each other, as if thoughts had been building in our minds as we slept, just waiting for us to wake up and let them loose. They spill out and I love that part of our mornings.
But it does mean re-arranging things. Because that time of thought, meditation and writing is essential to me.
She’s got her things to re-arrange too. Right now we are a bi-state, migratory couple. Her work is in Massachusetts and mine is either virtual work, or in Vermont. We spend some of the week down her way, and part of the week my way, which gives each of us, but particularly her, less time to do things at “home” and less time to do things with friends in the world she is famiar with
None of this was a surprise to either of us. We knew it was the way it would be for a while, that there would be a settling in period, a time of change as we adjust to living with someone new, as we re-arranged lives and schedules and such.
It’s less hard for me, I think. After years of stability, in the same house, same church, same town, same industry, I’ve undergone a divorce, lived in 2 places, 2 states 11 hours apart from each other. I’ve lost my kids, gained my kids back, had them move in, out, in and out again. I’ve re-invented work, and re-invented it again late in life. I’ve traveled constantly.
I’m not sure what i would do with sameness at this point.
But there has been one constant – my time of meditation, prayer, devotions and creativity. It’s what keeps me whole, I have discovered. And right now, it’s not happening. I am doing these things in snippets, catch as catch can. My spirit is not starving, it’s just on a diet for a while.
The woman I love is worried about me, about my lack of this spirit time. And she would be right too if it was a long term thing.
But it won’t be. People find their routines. She and I will find ours. That will be part of the joy of growing together, helping each other find and grow in the things we need most.
Getting married a second time, decades after the first time, is a different experience. The woman I love often calls it a “grown up love.”. You’ve lived and suffered and made piles of mistakes (and hopefully learned from them.). You’ve had time alone to delve into yourself and while the attraction may be strong, you’re old enough to know a relationship can only get so far on attraction alone.
You make a choice. More so that when you are young and driven more by emotion and less than by experience. You are aware of what a bad relationship can do to you and to your soul and more aware of the act of faith and risk that love is. You are more aware of the delecate balance between being with someone you love, and not smothering each other, of being enough for each other, but not too much. THe value of retaining yourself while still giving yourself.
It’s not a easy dance. But it’s a wonderful one.
The last two weeks have been crazy. This week we should begin to settle into ourselves. I have no idea what that routine will look like. But I am looking forward to it. Life is an adventure. Even in the little things.
Be well. Travel wisely,