The Upsides of Alone

Don’t get me wrong.  I really do hate it when Husband is gone.  This time around it took a few days for the ‘numbness’ to set in.  It sounds like a terrible thing to become numb to the feeling of missing one’s husband, but I have to admit it really does help. 

What I forget about as we’re gearing up for “Husband Away Times” is the fact that I don’t stop having good days.  In the bleakness of anticipating him being gone I imagine that my landscape will be painted only with rainy days of sitting around and moping.  No smiling, no laughter, no fun.  I forget that those things are even possible to erupt in the blahness of missing someone that you love very much. 

But they do–especially with Little Miss around to make me giggle, and remind me to play.  She also helps to remind me to get up off of my tuckus, much as I enjoy loafing on the couch. 

I have found that I remember my independence with DH gone.  When he’s here I’m not a sniveling little girl with no ability to do for herself, but…  I don’t *have to* do everything myself.  So…  those chores and tasks–little or big–that intimidate me a little bit, I sometimes let slide over to my very generous, helpful husband.

Mowing has always been one of these chores for me.  Growing up, Dad gave up on trying to convince me to go tackle our two acres of yard even (and for me especially) with a riding lawn-mower.  When I tell you that I had a ridiculous, but very significant phobia of things with wheels and motors I am not exaggerating.  When I celebrated my 16th birthday, I made everyone call it my “Ipteenth” birthday mostly because I didn’t want to face the fact that I was now ‘old enough to drive.’  To me the lawnmower was always even scarier because it had blades on it that I’d heard could cut off appendages.  *shudder*  When thinking about the possibility that I may someday have to mow I even fancied that perhaps I’d just take garden shears out and cut the yard one snip at a time.

So let me admit something pretty embarassing:  Until Today, I’d never mowed.

But I did today.  I got out there and got the thing started and pushed it around.  I’m not entirely convinced that the yard looks *that* much better, but I know I at least tried.  I now know it’s something I can do.  And strangely I found that between the exhaust fumes, the fresh-cut grass smell, and the little bit of exertion required resulting in a little endorphin kick, I actually kind of enjoyed the job (don’t tell Husband…  I’m not sure I’m ready to take it on permanently). 

Yeah–my first mowing experience can go down on the books as being when I was 26 years old and 36 1/2 weeks pregnant.  Go me!

On top of that, Little Miss and I went on a mini-adventure yesterday which also reminded me of this spirit that I possess that allows me to be ok with ‘aloneness’ and independence.  I’ve been wanting to see a certain flowery garden here, but forgot how very long our island really is.  We drove, and drove, and drove, and Little Miss got antsier and antsier and antsier….  So finally, I turned around and gave up on the search for the Gardens.  Instead we went to our favorite little town and had a picnic on the wharf there.  We wandered around, and she played at a park, and we did some shopping (Little Miss picked out a stuffed animal for her and one to give to Ingrid–both out of the bargain bin, hooray! ;)).  And then, after all that waddling, we called it a day and came home.  Simple enough…  Something that I *could do* with my daughter every day…  But when Husband is home I tend to want to wait until we can do things all as a family.  As a result I get a little near-sighted about what to do with my days…  I let myself get burned out on laundry and tidying and…  yeah occasionally actually cleaning a little.  I forget that everyday SHOULD be a day for an adventure.

Until he goes…  until I make myself ‘keep busy.’  Until I remember that he’s not the only one who knows how to drive out of town.

It’s not just little things like mowing and mini-adventures either, it’s….  2000 mile car trips with a small child–me driving the whole way (remember that wheel/engine phobia?).  It’s being able to navigate airports alone with a small child in tow without losing my mind.  It’s the very task of plodding along day by day missing him fiercely, but coping…  surviving, and some days even thriving. 

So I smile to myself at different times during Husband’s awayness and remember…  that I’m not just his appendage.  I am me.  I am a capable, able, woman who can in fact tackle this world and go out for adventures.  It’s good to remember.

Maybe it sounds silly to you that this isn’t something that I remember daily…  but I guess we all need our little reminders.

I’d rather have him home, but if he can’t be here it is good to find that there is still happiness in ‘alone.’   It’s good to remember that part of me that has always been wired to enjoy stretching out there by myself.  Too much stretching makes one pretty lonely, and I certainly get to those points too.

But on days like today and yesterday when I tackle the silly chores that always looked so daunting, or remember that I too can be a Don Quixote and not just a Sancho Panza there is reason for contentment, and the feeling that comes in the spaces of learning something out of a situation you didn’t wish for.

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One thought on “The Upsides of Alone

  1. I admire you truly. Our happiness depends mainly on us and the way we let problems affect us. Of course, it is normal for you to miss your husband but you deserve to be happy too 🙂

    There are always reasons to smile in life.

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