We had a cheesy ole Date Night last night. It was nice – a stay at home dinner and movie and time together in clean, kid-free sheets. We both endeavoured to stay off additional devices for the movie – which was not the easiest thing to do given the movie that we picked. We’ve tried this before, and I’ll call this one a success as we both stayed awake through the entire movie!
I don’t know how sustainable it’s going to be.
We’ve picked Thursday evenings, each week. Isn’t it telling that one evening a week spent together and not on any individual projects or needs feels like a lot. You know, we obviously spend a lot of time together, we sleep in the same bed, we have lots of outings in each other’s company, we run the business of our household together, but … we’ve both always been the type of people to go out for a meal together and both bring books, or to sit – together but separate – in the same room working. It’s actually something I really like about our partnership. However, since the advent of children, that existing inclination towards separate-togetherness has slipped a little into parallel lives rather than together lives.
Anyway, I think it will work okay for the remaining five weeks of Summer, when just one of us will feel the unbearable weight of work pressure, and we don’t have to be concerned with morning timetables of school and child-wrangling. We will have to be pretty dedicated to protect that space for us once September rolls around.
The later part of my evening was marred a little by Death Fear. I kept it inside my own belly – although I could have shared. G. suffers from the same syndrome, and is sympathetic and would have done and said the right things. Maybe I should have shared? I don’t know … I just felt a little tired of how constantly it’s part of my life at the moment and I didn’t want to give it any extra breathing space. It might have been a counter-productive decision. Maybe airing the damned feeling out might have exorcised it.
I am tired of running over the same old anxious ground though. I wish I could make a quick kind of triage decision about worries:
Q: Is this worry something I’m going to do something about?
Yes: Add reminder to calendar for when to make an appointment, or whatever I need to do.
No: Stop worrying about it then!
But yeah, I guess we all have that going on. I do feel like I’m a bit worse of a culprit when it comes to rumination and running the same concerns through my mind over and over. I know what the excuses are that I can use to justify my constant worrying. However, the whole thing really does boil down to this:
It is affecting my quality of life. Nearly. Every. Day.
But what do I do? Recognising that I want to feel differently doesn’t immediately make it happen! In fact, it’s nearly guaranteed that if I try to reject a thought, or thoughts, or mode of thinking, all it does is feed it and make it stronger. It’s all very “Don’t think of Pink Elephants.”
Acceptance. Maybe it’s not about getting rid of the worry, but learning to live with it so that it doesn’t impinge on my existence so completely. “Yes, that physical feeling is triggering the worry about death and reminding me of all my young friends who’ve died or been diagnosed with life-ending diseases and I hate the fact that we’re all mortal and I not only want to see my children grow and everything that they become, but I want to see their children grow, and I want to see myself grow and I want to try and do so much more I just need the time to do it all because the days are short and filled with necessary but evil trivial and repetitive tasks.”
Can I live with that track on repeat in my head?
I suppose that’s a pointless question; I do live with that track on repeat in my head. So how do I live better with that?
Maybe if I stop trying to run and hide from it it’ll get so that whatever part of me is so afraid of it will stop feeling like it has to shout so loud about it.
Well, for today, I’m going to start the next phase of my morning with a little reading of Tara Brach as doing so seems to nudge me a little more towards the path of self-acceptance.
After that, I guess we’ll see!