It’s been a weird day.
J has been preparing almost non-stop this week to give a conference presentation based on his thesis work. Today was the day of his presentation, and he stayed up almost all night last night finishing his slide show. I fell asleep on the couch as a gesture of support, and woke up at around 4 a.m. to the sound of J practicing his talk out loud. I got up then, and J ran through his talk again for me. Then we turned out the lights and went to bed. It was about 5 a.m.
At 7:30 this morning we got up again, and I drove the two of us plus Ziggy over to our favorite bakery, where we bought muffins and coffee. Then I drove J to the other end of town to where the conference was taking place. He went in. I left the car parked nearby for him to drive home at the end of the day, and began the long walk back home on the Greenbelt with Zig. It was grey and drizzling the entire time, so we were pretty wet when we got back home. I dried Ziggy off with a towel (something she loves), took a shower, and fell asleep on the couch for a few more hours.
When I woke up again in the afternoon everything felt “off.” J was still at the conference, the day was still grey and rainy, and the apartment felt too dim and quiet. The internet wasn’t working, either, and I was waiting for a response from one of my committee members about some data. The waiting and lack of internet didn’t mean I couldn’t be productive on my thesis, but I found myself sitting on the floor and brushing Ziggy instead. While I was brushing her, I found a lump in the skin near her ribs that shouldn’t have been there. It’s a little worrying, and I’m going to call the vet tomorrow about it. Ziggy is eight years old now, which is getting on for a dog, but she’s still young enough that I hope she won’t have any serious health problems for a few years yet. Also, financially speaking, this would be a really bad time for her to have health problems. She’s my other baby and taking care of her is very important to me, but J is not the animal person I am and I worry that the prospect of large veterinary bills at this time could lead to some difficult arguments between the two of us. I’m over-thinking things, of course, since Ziggy hasn’t even been to the vet yet. But the most serious arguments we’ve had as a couple have been over pet-related things, and as caring, generous, and fair as J can be, I still find my lack of a job somewhat jarring to my sense of security. J and I have been together for nearly a decade now. During that time I’ve always worked, I’ve always contributed my share towards the bills, and I’ve always had a lot of independence in my money management. J and I both have. To couples who are used to pooling all their money our system may sound cold, but for us, it worked. This new system where I am reliant upon J for financial support is unsettling to me, and while I fully intend to be an involved mother to our new human baby, I am looking forward to the time when I can work again and regain my independence.
It may be worth noting at this point that messing with my sleep schedule makes me moody, and can lead to an increase in the number and frequency of things I worry about. I generally recognize when this is happening (like today), and I try not to take myself and my worries too seriously until I catch up on the zzz‘s again.
This evening was nice. J seemed happy about how his presentation had gone, and I checked out a movie from our local Redbox. I curled J’s hair while we watched it, and when I was done I flopped on the couch in front of J and he rubbed my neck and back. The movie wasn’t bad, but it could have been the worst movie of the decade and I would still have happily watched it if it meant getting a back rub.