Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Out of my comfort zone

On my way to Southern California tomorrow...leaving here at the obscene hour of 5:40 in the morning.  In fact, I'll get into LAX about the time I wake up most days.  And I'm NOT a morning person.  Have I ever said that before?  And for someone who's terrified of flying I sure seem to do a whole lot of it these days.  Sigh.  So, up to early, spending my morning on a plane, then my 18-year-old nephew will pick me up and drive me up to his home town on crowded So Cal freeways.  Yep, tomorrow I'm pretty much spending the entire day outside my comfort zone.

When I confront such things, I always have to take a deep breath and realize that this is a good thing.  Living outside my comfort zone, I mean.  I spend too much of my time doing what I can control, being the boss of house and husband and life. Fortunately I have a calm, stable family who tolerate my idiosyncrasies; yes, my failings pretty well.  Living with someone in chronic pain is no picnic for the family, I can tell you that.  On the days when just getting vertical is difficult, let alone doing anything else, they bring home Mexican food or pizza and don't complain.  When Beve has to take care of the yard and garden, the dogs and laundry after spending his day with needy kids, he rarely complains. I often think I don't deserve him...

The other day E was telling me that one of the classes she transcribes lectures for is an anthropology class.  The prof was saying that marital happiness is related to the age of people when they marry (older is better), and, interestingly enough, whether the household chores are shared evenly between the partners.  E said she realized what a unique home she grew up in--there are few things Beve won't do around here.  He likes cooking better than I do, loves to shop (go figure!), is johnny-on-the-spot when it comes to laundry and the garbage, takes care of the cars, and is quite the hand with the vacuum cleaner.  I've long said he's a better wife than I am, and I'm not kidding (though he really doesn't like me saying it, sounds weird to him, so don't tell him!). 

When I'm feeling most insecure I wonder what I bring to this family.  In the old days, I took care of a whole lot more, but these days, it feels like I'm ballast. 

You're waiting for a 'but', aren't you?  Well, not tonight.  Tonight you just get my honesty.  I'll go away for a week, and when I return, having had great conversations with my sister and her kids, having feted the graduate, seen artifacts from Pompeii, maybe dipped by toes in the Pacific, I'll be better, will sense a different hue about my life and usefulness.  Til then, see ya.

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