One year down, one to go.
Last year at this time I was pretending to be one of those people who Take Things As They Come. I think I have lived long enough now to know that I'm not ever going to be one of those people, but I can do a decent job of acting like it. Sometimes. So I tried not to dwell too much on the imminent loss of time, help with child-wrangling and weekends-as-I-knew-them. And what do you know - that first quarter wasn't bad at all. Thanks to friends, family, an easy course load and my NaNoWriMo-related OCD, the first quarter flew by.
Then winter quarter kicked our cocky little butts all over town, stomped on our faces, taunted and mocked us and threw its neon-colored energy drink in our faces in the middle of the school hallway. MAN. With the exception of my various Anxiety Episodes, this past January, February and March were the hardest chunk of our marriage thus far.
It's our own fault, really. It wasn't just school - though the course load was tougher and more burdensome than fall quarter and this past spring quarter combined. And it wasn't just WINTER, which is always rough, for me at least. It was the start of many unbloggable things at Phillip's job, not to mention the introduction of business travel in our family. The travel, the job stuff and the school stuff meant Phillip wasn't just gone on the weekends, he was gone multiple times during the week and even if he wasn't PHYSICALLY there, he was often MENTALLY there.
And oh yeah, we decided to sell our house. BRILLIANT!
I know I've mentioned this several times before, but I went to this bridal shower long long ago where one of the guests advised the bride-to-be to watch out for the seventh year of marriage. Seventh years, the guest claimed, can tend towards the miserable, and if you have any control over it at all, you should take a break. Don't start anything new. Stay home, enjoy each other. The guest had all this BIBLICAL evidence to support her theory, something about plagues or famines or whatever, I don't know. But she was really quite adamant about the whole set up and I think I was on year three or four at that point and making precise mental notes. "Year Seven: Go On Vacation!" Something like that.
It will be seven years at the end of this month. So I don't know if I'm in year seven already or it starts in a few weeks (thinking about this makes my brain hurt, much like trying to figure out how many months pregnant etc.) but EITHER WAY. Close enough, right? And dude, we were NOT THINKING. Jobs! School! Houses! Tentative discussions re: Third Baby! GAK!
Spring quarter was much easier. SO much easier. In large part due, I believe, to the fact that our house sold lightning fast and we don't have that hanging over our heads anymore. (For real, it's a literal weight off my shoulders. I feel LIGHTER.) Plus school was less work. There was the job stuff, but now the job stuff is just one huge stressful thing instead of one of SEVERAL huge stressful things. Which makes a difference.
And now the first year is over. Amazing! Let's tally up the Initial Fears, shall we?
Fear of being Bored and Lonely: Um, hello, I am a diagnosed introvert with a passionate and undying love for the internet. Phillip having to do homework almost every night means I don't have to feel guilty about writing forty-seven blog posts per week. Possibly I didn't need to worry about this one. WIN.
Fear of the kids being Adversely Affected: I don't see this happening. They seem fine. Even when Phillip is gone for a week, they seem fine. And right before he leaves/when he gets back he dotes and coddles and spoils and YEAH, I think they're doing JUST FINE.
Fear of Jealousy: Hmm. This one is a little more complicated than I thought. Before school started I was worried about feeling left out or left behind. Turns out, though, that I have as much interest in going back to school as I do in going back to work in an office, ie: NOT SO MUCH. I'm not jealous of school. I AM jealous of Phillip's... freedom? ability? allowance? responsibility? to think about things other than running our family, to not have nap schedules etc. dictating his life. I was occasionally jealous of this before school started, but now it's like he has twice as many Important Things going on. While I, uh, manage the daily failure that is potty training. More on my lack of Important Things tomorrow, I think. I wrote about it tonight and got rid of it, because Holy First World Problems, Batman.
Fear of Separate Lives: Well. Also complicated. In some ways, this was totally unfounded. In November, when Phillip was unreasonably excited about every little thing at school, coming home every day with a NEW thing he wanted to be when he grew up, I was unreasonably excited about NaNoWriMo and it was awesome. We were both TOTALLY nerdfully sunk in our own little worlds, yet we were really excited about what each other was doing and super supportive. But then there was a few months ago, when we were sunk in our own little worlds, but depressingly so, and upset and frightened and worried and more confused and frustrated with each other than supportive. So yes and no on Separate Lives. Big highs, deep lows. I reserve judgment.
Fear of Resenting Phillip for Always Being Gone: Yes. This happens. Sometimes it's not a big deal, sometimes it sucks. Sometimes I know I'm being petty, sometimes I get mad when he comes home without diamond earrings because does he know what I put up with all day? WHERE ARE MY DIAMOND EARRINGS?!?! This, I think, is just part of the Grad School Widow business and I console myself by saying, "One more year, one more year, one more year."
Anyway, this is now embarrassingly long and I may or may not have laundry to do. Also, Phillip leaves tomorrow morning for another week (and we leave for Hawaii 2 days after he gets home) and I don't think I've done nearly enough fretting about that. But I have one mantra for this week, and that is the weather forecast for Honolulu. Maybe I won't die of a Vitamin D deficiency this summer after all.