Mr. J. and I have been living apart (work reasons, we’re still married) since December 4, 2018 and I’ve surprised myself because thinking of all those days and all the days to come that we will still be apart doesn’t bother me.
Instead I putter along, going with the flow of the day, happy and motivated because we are doing this long distance thing to make a better future for us. But then some stupid little thing that makes me realize I haven’t seen my husband/best friend in forever and my carefully rationed optimism and positivity leave me and my mood sinks like a concrete block.
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS YOU NOTICE.
The first time I noticed the little things getting to me was when I had to do laundry for the first time since moving. And I thought to myself, ‘Seriously? I’ve already run out of clothes? And this is my first time doing laundry away from Mr. J?’ And then I thought about how many loads of laundry I will be doing in the 3 (maybe 4) years we will be apart.
That’s a lot of fucking laundry.
The second little thing was cutting my fingernails. I cut them the day before we said goodbye. Sorry if fingernails gross you out. But as I was cutting them I thought, ‘Seriously? I have to cut my nails already? Surely it hasn’t been that long.’ But it was. And my nails don’t grow very fast.
And then, a few months later I noticed my “new” (purchased the week before my move) bottle of Vitamin C was almost empty. I don’t take vitamins regularly even though I should. You could hold a gun to my head and say, “If you don’t take your vitamins every day for a week I will kill you and your cats.” I still wouldn’t be able to do it. And now that fucking bottle is almost empty. I can see the bottom of the fucking bottle.
It’s like hitting the pan on your favorite eye shadow and going, “WTF I just bought this!”
And the best part is I have thousands and thousands of other little moments waiting in the wings to jump out at me.
I turned 34 in February and I’ll be 36 or 37 when we can live together again. Almost 40, y’all. I know 40 is the new 20 but that in itself gives me pause. And like a cat that’s just fallen off of something and doesn’t want to admit there was a moment when it wasn’t graceful and in control of everything around it, I pretend I’m not upset, that that little thing/monster didn’t happen, and I move on with my day.
I don’t know if that’s the most healthy thing to do or that it will keep working but it’s working for me so far and that’s really all I can ask for right now.
Having a creative outlet also helps. Working with characters that I love helps.
My emotions aren’t going to be healthy 100% of the time. And that’s okay, as long as I don’t obsess over them. Obsessing, dwelling on the “poor me’s” or throwing myself a pity party are luxuries I can’t afford. And it’s not just because he wouldn’t want me to be sad. I want to look back on this time when we are together again and say, “Here a list of all the cool things I did.” Not, “Here’s how long I was sad for.”
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash