In the last two weeks spring has sprung and the world has emerged from hibernation. The trees are all laden with heavy buds or bursts of green. Daffodils are trumpeting, tulips are eagerly awaiting their moment and irises are beginning their spiralic ascent. It is a magnificent time to be alive and to be a New England resident.
Amidst all this opening, there has been an enormous change in my household. After four years of graduate school, my husband is emerging from the depths of study. He presented his thesis now two weeks ago and is very close to finishing the paper version of his graduate requirements. Two weeks from tomorrow he will walk in three ceremonies in celebration of his two masters degrees. It has been a lot of work and I am thrilled at the proximity of his freedom after four years of late nights, weekends spent in front of the computer and a constantly spinning mind across the breakfast table.
But change is change. Before he started at Graduate school we were already filling a schedule of craziness. He was doing Fundraising work and flying all around the country and I was teaching yoga all over the Valley and was out late Monday through Thursday nights. We were both exhausted all the time and could barely come together at all. Then graduate school happened and we completely lost touch with reality.
The first night he didn’t have to work after his thesis we did the obvious human thing—we bickered. The second night we really got into it and fought about what we wanted to do with our completely empty evening. The third night we were too exhausted to do anything because of all the fighting so we watched a 3-hour movie. The fourth night we managed a short walk and peacefully made dinner together. Then we lost all the progress with three solid days of fighting.
Apparently we forgot how to relax together. We haven’t done it in six or seven years. At the mere glimpse of freedom we imagined lots of fun, athletic, exciting activities but our bodies were so stuck in the mud of exhaustion we got grumpy about wanting (and not wanting) to do anything. So here we are two weeks into freedom and we are finally figuring out how to be present with the change. Last night after my last appointment I still had lots of energy. I wanted more than returning home and jumping in front of movie. So I invited him to pick me up at work (on bicycle) and we biked around Northampton for an hour enjoying the warm weather, sunshine, and budding trees. We got to see lots of magnolias and daffodils. Then we went home and made dinner. It wasn’t perfect, because we both are still figuring this out, but it was better.
Change takes time. We have been together long enough that we’ve been through lots of changes, some awkward and challenging, some really blissful. This change will be wonderful as soon as we can stop having expectations about what we are supposed to be doing. Lots of couples work during the day and come together at night, I’m sure we will figure it out. But this messiness of figuring it out is a perfect endeavor in the season of Wood. We are together and separately reaching out for something new. The reaching, if we stay mindful, could be half the fun. We just need to stay present and enjoy the process. And occasionally take some time to laugh at ourselves!
Copyright: huandi / 123RF Stock Photo