Just keep swimming

 This weekend is our Spring long weekend and husband and I have lots of things on our To Do list. I’m sure lots of other people have a similar situation. I’m hoping for no heavy rain. Light rain is fine, sunny is ideal, but heavy rain is the only weather that would quash my plans.

This morning husband asked me what he can do to help my mood. I was at a loss for words. I don’t want to think/worry about anyone else’s needs, nothing complicated anyway. I do not want to be hugged or physically restrained in any way, even in a loving manner.  I cringe at the very thought. I don’t want to have to explain to anyone else what my plans and thoughts are. I feel very impatient. The closest approximation is that I feel like a grumpy old man who wants nothing more than to be left alone. And yet, I don’t feel antisocial. I enjoy a quiet sort of company at this point.

Husband and I spend a lot of time together not talking. We have a quiet togetherness that brings us a lot of peace. Sometimes for fun, we pretend we are meeting for the first time. What do you tell someone you have romantic designs on, about yourself? My description of course always includes my midgets. But I am much more than a mother, and so what else should a stranger know about me in the first 5 minutes of meeting? Another useful exercise is to write your own obituary. By starting backwards, you focus on your life’s goals in various categories: relationships, career trajectory, social connections, friends, volunteerism, health, age at your death, athletic accomplishments, and the accomplishments and relationships of your offspring.

When I was 17 I dated a 23-yr old university student who I had met during my summer job in a restaurant kitchen. He was a pizza delivery person. He drove a red Fiero and had a beard. I thought he was hot shit. My parents were terrified, but they need not have worried; I was completely focussed on going to university after high school and nothing could have derailed those plans. I took that relationship seriously, and pursued him with the typical zeal of a 17-year old girl. Of course the age difference was what broke us up; how can a university-attending man be interested in a highschool girl for very long? The point is, there was just no way I was going to do anything but continue school. For me, school was my way into a successful adulthood.

My own children have had the School Continuation Message drilled into them for years already, and I’m not stopping now. University is a wonderful time of self-discovery and intense growth; a chance to study exactly what you are interested in with no distractions. It’s also a time of extreme poverty for the student, and I consider that to be a worthwhile rite of passage too.