I don’t know if you have noticed this about me, kind reader, but I am a bit of a control freak. Not like a HUGE one, because I do Let Go and Let God sometimes, but I definitely like a plan. And a To Do list. With boxes I can check off. Everyday. That is normal, yes? Anyway, we are five *FIVE!?* months into this layoff thing, and I have to say, I am SO glad my husband found another job for the waiting period this past month. It has been SO nice to breathe a bit financially, and the travel thing isn’t truly awful. Currently, he is in North Dakota. With no idea of when he will be back. THIS part doesn’t make me happy, and rumor has it he will be there about a month. One. Whole. Month. Gone.
We have never spent as little as six days away from each other, ever. I cannot imagine four (or more?!) weeks in a row.
Someone pass me four ounces of wine. I’m allowed to have that.
The idea of him being gone a month makes me twitch. A lot. That is a lot of together time for the girls and me. And it is a lot of me doing things on my own. A lot of it. Four weeks of it. If they say he will be gone more than a month, I may cry. Wait. I already have at the thought of him being gone a month. A month is a long time, yes, but I have to think of it this way: he could be gone a month in one place, or four weeks in other places. Would it really matter? Kind of, because when he is going other places, he does get to come home first. No coming home from North Dakota yet. Yikes. A. Month. Eep!!
Anyway, I will not be so sad about it when he gets paid. THAT part will rock. Ok, hunny, you work 12 hours a day for 30 days, and just make sure the company direct deposits those checks, pal. 🙂 Zero complaints on that. And I can be altruistic and say that money doesn’t buy happiness, and it doesn’t (except for the iPhone…) but I smile a lot more now that I have for four months. And I am surely going to be smiling a lot more once he gets paid for all this nonsense in ND. I like that I am able to breathe, and we are able to get rid of our debt snowball faster, but I don’t like that he is gone. I did not marry someone to become a single mom, but that’s what this feels like. And that’s fine. (DISCLAIMER: Please don’t go all “OH NO YOU DIDN’T! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE A SINGLE MOM!” I am making a comparison. You’re right. I don’t. And I’d like to never truly “know” that. I prefer this marriage gig.) But I have to remember this: I can do ANYTHING for a short period of time. Short. Got that, Universe?! Short.
What I am struggling with is not being able to see him all the time. Or talk to him when I want. He is on midnights, and he works 7p-7a. So, the prime time for me to talk to him without kids around is nil. We are making do, but it would be nice to have a conversation with him without Ellery yelling, “DADDY HAS BLUE EYES! LOOK MOMMY! DADDY!!” and Caelan describing the minutia of her day ad nauseam (that girl will have a blog soon. this is her medium). What I also don’t like (and I am a big enough woman *no fat jokes, I’m pregnant* to admit this) is that I don’t always know what he is doing. Now, that may sound goofy, and that is fine whatever, but I just kind of like knowing what he’s watching on TV. Or what he is eating. Or what he buys at the store. These details are important to me. They tell me the story of his life when he isn’t home. That life I don’t really get a good look at, and I think it is only natural (I hope) to want to know a little bit about that side. I am not talking about whether or not he is cheating on me because that is something I truly don’t believe I need to worry about. Ever. But I am talking about the little things. What t-shirt he is wearing. What he sees out his window. What the weather is like. These are all details that I have interest in. And this could be because I am a writer, and those details help the story, but it also could be because I am a control freak. I like to know things. It’s how I have always been. I don’t like NOT knowing things. It makes me nervous and stabby. I’m a knowledge and research junkie. We all know this. Not having access to knowledge unnerves me.
So, these are the times I have to Let Go and Let God. I have to have faith that I can’t know everything, and as uncomfortable as that makes me, it is also a bit freeing. It allows me to focus on what I can know, and what I can do, and I put the rest out of my mind. I have to let him have the story of his travels, and I have to accept that I am not a part of that story really. It has nothing to do with me. Or the kids. It has to do with him being on his own, doing what he needs to do, and providing for his family back home. It calls for a level of trust that goes beyond what I have dealt with before. I have never really had a long distance relationship, long term or short, and a long distance marriage is a bit weird. But we will get through this together, and he will come home. His company can call ANY DAY NOW (see the date? Yeah. It’s the 7th. Crickets from that company, by the way. Good news coming in slowly, but we don’t know until we know…again). And it won’t last forever. I feel like we have lived for five months now NOT KNOWING much, and that hasn’t helped the control freak in me. But this time has allowed me to Let Go and Let God a lot more than I ever thought I could. And what doesn’t kill us allows us to grow stronger. And I’d like to think I’m one strong, tough cookie (or nugget, as Ellery likes to say. “Mommy tough nuggets.” Thanks, kid, I try.). No one ever died from this. I have to remember that.