Wow, seems like it’s been forever since I’ve had time to sit and write, to post anything- and looking at the dates, from the last post to now, and thinking of all that has been going on, I guess it’s not surprising.
I spent two weeks in Minnesota, on the island, loving the time off, which was wonderful. When we moved here to New York, we kept the cabin there, with Lynn’s family around, and every year she and the kids have spent the summer there, while I stay here until I can get a couple weeks in. We’ve done this for the last seventeen years, since our second boy Rob was a baby, so it’s very comforting, in an odd way, to have the routine down.
One of the things that struck me hard, this year, is how much I’ve missed Lynn, while she was gone. Not that I ever didn’t miss her, even the last few years- but, it was nothing like now, and nothing like what it was in the early part of our marriage. I guess there were more years than I’d realized, where I didn’t particularly care if she was around, nor miss her if she wasn’t- or at least, not as much. I commented about that to her, and she agreed- that there’s something more in our relationship, again, that was there in the beginning and was lost for a time, and is coming back. Made me feel so close to her, that she was feeling that too.
There were a couple of times when we were talking though, that were a little less than easy- at one point, I had been asking her something, and she burst out, “Are you afraid of being happy?” She was upset because I was asking her about something that was bothering me, but it didn’t bother her- so in her mind, my concern was not something that she’d thought of, not something that she was unhappy about, so why was I?
That one, made me pause, and think a lot. Am I afraid to be happy? She meant it in the context of our communications, of what is shared and not shared, of what is okay to play, and not. I don’t think I am afraid, but maybe I’m blind to something she sees? I don’t know. Something to think about, but I’m not particularly sure that there will be an answer. If there is something that makes me unhappy, am I supposed to stuff it down and bury it, as before? No chance; that path goes straight back to the hospital, the nut-hut, the looney bin- and I am not going there again. Too many crazy people there, ya know.
The other was related to the Emotional Needs Questionnaire, which digger had blogged about back in June of 2007, here. When I had suggested to Lynn we do this, she agreed; but then, she said something to me about not being able to respond to the questions honestly. So, that dropped, and I didn’t bring it up again, I wasn’t going to bother if she wasn’t going to be honest. Another time, she clarified, explaining that I had misunderstood, that what she meant was she didn’t find the rating “scale”, assigning numeric values, to be meaningful. We left it at that, and so it went away.
This summer, though, I was thinking about communication, and ways to work on ours, to keep gaining in our ability to talk and share, and thought of it again- so we talked, and decided that we’d go through it, but in our own way. Instead of going through it individually, and writing it out, we would go through it, and formulate our thoughts; then, when we were ready, we’d sit down together and simply talk our way through it, and not worry so much about the numbers but rather the relative importance as we went.
I’m not going to break down all our responses, but it was interesting to see the areas we agree on, and disagree on, as far as priorities. We pretty much were on the same page for family, financial/domestic support, sexual fulfillment, recreation; slightly different in affection (I need more than she does), and conversation (although that’s a limit of kids and busyness, mostly). Where we were substantially different, was in honesty and openness. I felt it more important, and less satisfied, where she was more satisfied and thus placed less of an emphasis on it.
It was interesting to go through it together, and we talked about ways to move our relationship so that our needs and expectations get closer to the reality of our lives; or should that be that what we do, move closer to fulfilling the needs and expectations? Either way will do, I guess, perhaps sometimes expectations need to be modified to reality, as well as the times when changes can be made to meet expectations.
The two bigger boys, Jeremy and Rob and I, got to put out a fire in the forest when a tree was struck by lightning, so we decided to call ourselves the Island Fire Brigade. Putting out a fire with buckets and a trash can, after traveling to the scene via canoe, is certainly a new experience for me!
I got to take a lot of photos, too, which I am loving more and more, have them posted over there>>> on flickr. Photos of the lake, of birds, of flowers, a set of Lynn, and some really cool portraits of Lynn’s niece Sharon. I was talking with a friend, and decided that it’s a good thing I have found photography again, because the nerve is still keeping me from the other things I want to do.
I try hard to remember that although I can’t do some things, I have so much, and can still do a lot, but sometimes it’s difficult not to feel sorry for myself, a little bit- or rather, to miss the other things, I guess. I don’t want to get all broody about it, so if I do, just whack me around a bit, okay?
I take Jeremy back to college on Saturday, which is hard to believe- he’s going to be a Junior, this year, and working as the RA. Which is great, for my checkbook, he gets room and board, and since it’s a state school, the tuition is actually reasonable- as college tuition goes, anyway, at least it’s not one of the $45,000.00 /year schools that he was thinking about. I can’t imagine how people do that, it seems like all the kids must graduate with a degree in “how to handle 120,000 debt in four short year lessons” or something like that. What’s really hard to believe, is how mature he’s gotten, compared to the first time I took him away. He’s really a great kid, and I’m incredibly proud of him.