A mostly sleepless night, with lists and obligations and plans all swirling through my head. I used to call them "night dogs," these scampering, vaporous half-thoughts. But now I have an actual night dog - one who prefers the comfort of my bed...no, the couch...no, the bed. Back and forth with endless bounding energy. Bounding, because he leaps up onto the bed in one bound and bounces a bit before looking for the perfect place to spin a few times, then lay down. Even for a minute. Then off to the couch again.
Normally I think of fall as a prelude to fallow time...time to prepare everything for winter sleep...plow it under and let it go untended for a season. But this year will be different. This year will be a busy time. I am hoping for plenty of friend-time to dissolve the winter blues...hoping to keep the monsters at bay with snow shoeing and xc ski trips and general Using The Season for fun.
I now have a new tab in my life folder: before summer/after summer. "After" began with the Tiny plan during the summer, but they're my tabs, so...
I try to stay focused on the silver linings, these days, and have found that to be such an incredible rush. Let me say, though, that daily life has been Difficult with two people living together that really truly desperately wish the other would just go away. The easiest thing, and the route I've always taken these past too-many-years, is to make nice...to just cross that peace bridge, shake hands, forgive and forget. But guess what? A part of you doesn't forget. A part of you scars and heals over and re-scars. And soon your body starts to chime in, trying to tell you Hey! Take better care of your soul. This will continue till something changes. Or your health collapses. I was in bad shape physically. And I said No More. I blew up the bridge, put my hands in my pocket and turned away. There was no point, that was obvious. I felt abused. Deeply kicked. And so began the Tiny Step Initiative, which was a small way, every day, to make progress toward my Tiny home, but large life. It is crazy amazing, and crazy scary. But mostly the amazing part. But old heart-patterns die hard, and the past week has been exceptionally difficult, and i had a crazy thought that if I just took a step toward the bridge, that maybe just maybe This Time...but the Plan for me is to move forward, apparently. After watching an embarrassing drunken display last night, my heart sealed over and I turned 100% away. On my street, we gather, us women. I am usually the organizer, but still we gather for meals, movies and general enjoyment of each others' company. And I realized at some point how many of us are hugely busy with raising our families...with no help. Both spouses live in the house, but they operate as separate entities. And I have to say...alcohol stands between them in each and every case except one. That one is a workaholic.
This just-passed summer, I was alone while my spouse stayed on his dream boat, refusing to come home and blaming me for my own loneliness ...shouting that I need counseling, when I asked for him to be present in the marriage. And so the Tiny began, as I reached out to women who shared the joy of each others' company, and as I grew stronger in my heart, and as I dusted the corners of my spirit, and saw that it didn't take hardly any effort to be strong and grow straight and true. It was all a lie - the feeling that I could never Be again. I AM. I Will. Of Course.
I had forgotten how enraged I felt when my spouse drinks...forgotten how the white hot flame sears through me and takes this gentle heart and stomps it...forgotten how it makes me want to scream and throw curses and threats, which stay inside my head of course...which stay inside my body, till the poison attacks my bones and joints, and makes me so so tired.
I had forgotten the intensity of that which I felt daily, weekly. And last night I wondered how and why I had put up with it for so long??
I am different, yet again. And I will not accept the unacceptable in my life ever. Again. So the Tiny will continue to be the goal I work towards, but there must be an intermediate step. And the time has come for it.
I am glad for the horror of last night...grateful for the final push that the remembrance gave me, so that I can move forward with no regret and knowing there is nothing to look back at.
On Wednesday I leave for 5 days in Texas , and I think it will be good to gather with women again...good to wake up with no obligations, other than to eat breakfast made by other hands, soak in the lazy river, ride a horse, make some art, and fall even more in love again. With my self.