Waking up at 6:45 a.m. on Sunday morning is not something most sane urban couples would ever do. I don’t mind it though. Not the waking up so early, but the reason why we do. Every Sunday morning we have a routine: 7:30 or 8:00 mass (depending on which of the two churches we go to), breakfast, & food shopping. We absolutely adore this time together. We both look forward to it before going to bed on Saturday night. But by 11:00 a.m. with our refrigerator stocked, meals planned for the day, and a load of laundry running in the wash, we go our separate ways, no fail, unless we have something previously planned together. He plops down in front of the t.v. or computer while I do whatever I would like. Usually I will leave the apartment for a little while just to meet up with a friend, do an errand that had been hanging over my head for the week, or get in my 50 minutes of cardio or yoga. Oftentimes I will putter around the apartment reading bits and pieces of magazines or books I am in the middle of, catch up on my favorite blogs, call someone I haven’t spoken to in a long time, or Skype with my sister and my little nephew on the east coast.
I used to think that on shared days’ off, a couple had to do everything together. There was a time when I used to believe that if he was watching a game on t.v. that I would have to watch it too, or if we weren’t spending the majority of the day joined at the hip, there was something wrong. Even though I had always maintained outside interests, my actions did not always follow suit some years ago. I would drop all plans just to be with him whenever & wherever I could. I have always known in a relationship you need to maintain your identity, but I had overlooked for some time that having your own actual space is just as necessary to feel close than sitting side by side is while faking interest in The Ultimate Fighter Challenge or another NFL Countdown List. Since he will forget I’m sitting there anyway or get annoyed if I ask too many questions, we’re both better off doing our own things during those five or so hours mid Sunday.
Funnily enough, I also realized that the more I leave him alone, the more he checks in on me (pesters me), asking me what I’m doing during commercial breaks, or rolling on top of my papers and magazines laid out next to me in bed while we waits during time out or a boring analysis of a disputed call. Upon returning to the apartment after a good three hours of being out this afternoon, he joked with me that he relates with the late President Reagan’s line about his wife, “I miss you when you first leave the room,” and hopes we’ll be like Ronald and Nancy until the very end.
In my anniversary card to Boyfriend last week, I expected to write the same meaningful things I have written in countless cards to him for birthdays and holidays: being blessed to have him and knowing passed loved ones up above are always guiding us; thanking him for working so hard; being my best friend and a reliable brother in law and son in law; plans and dreams for the year ahead. Surprisingly, I found my pen spelling out to him on night cardstock that I think we have been doing a great job this year respecting each other’s goals and interests so that our individual growth may continue, therefor making us an even happier couple because of the strong people we let each other be. After reading the card he called me “Dr. Phil.” Fine, it wasn’t poetic, but it was still deep. It’s the least romantic thing I’d ever written, but it was definitely full of pride, joy, and love.
Here is camera phone picture of a silly note I posted on a board during our late night TartBerry run in Portland on the night of our anniversary:
|“Wherever you go, there you are.” Were there ever wiser words uttered?|
The funny thing about love, is that at some point, it’s steady. It does not feel like adrenaline constantly pumping through your veins, nor is there a fear that it will suddenly go away. Sometimes, I noticed, you have to just let love be love, give it a break from all of the work, and not keep poking at it or ‘making’ it do something. It’s funny that love can be okay if you give love its own five hour mid day break or day off to do its own thing. Wherever you go, near or far, it’s still there within you if you’re lucky, which I do hope we will be for many years to come.