It’s a very forced literary device but whatever.
I took a weekend off for myself! I mean, maybe that’s not really good, because I have way too much to do and the question is always whether the work left undone is, in balance, more important than the feeling of impending burnout. I don’t really have an answer to that question. But my choice this weekend was me.
On Friday I went on a four hour hike to see Ziggy’s grave, and I returned to my car, parked in a pullout overlooking the city lights, at 11pm. It was a relief to get back because I didn’t have a headlamp and the downhill walk was very slow as I carefully found my footing on the rutted-out road. I peed in the grass by the car, fell gratefully into the driver’s seat, and drove home to a deep and untroubled sleep.
Saturday morning I woke up without an alarm at around 7:30 and went to the community garden. It was a little after 8 when I arrived and I thought I was late, but realized when I got there that the planting didn’t start until 8:30. As the day heated up I roamed the squash rows and battled squash bugs while chatting to various other garden members.
On Sunday I met an online acquaintance for the first time in person, a fellow mom going through her own difficult divorce process. We had attempted to meet up on the trails before but it didn’t work out, and after a few relatively recent online conversations with other divorcees who suggested I was naive and easy to manipulate (Pretty harsh, yo. Also, I disagree) I wasn’t super excited to meet somebody whose only known commonality with me was a breakup. But the hike was fun, we didn’t only talk about divorce, and I went away thinking I had met a neat person and potential future hiking buddy.
In the midst of my weekend I got a message from my (ex) sister in law asking how little man and I are doing. We talked a little (FYI I don’t talk about the real reasons for the divorce with J’s family because I don’t want to make J’s relationship with them strained); I said I hoped we wouldn’t be strangers, especially since I would love for little man to know and spend time with his cousins growing up. Due to other recent events (see below) I also said I know divorce makes things awkward for everybody and I understood if they didn’t want to interact with me anymore. To which she said, “Hell no. I want to stay in touch.”
Hiking alone is hard for me these days. Not little around-town hikes of an hour or so, but anything longer than that and anything that takes me somewhere remotely exciting and out of my normal bubble of existence. It’s hard to experience the outdoors without J. But it is what the future holds. How can I punch a beautiful evening sky? What a weird thing to want to do, but sometimes that’s what I feel.
Also, J’s parents are coming to town next month for a weekend. I have kept in touch with J’s mom via phone on a semi-regular basis for a while now– since before the separation. I’m always the one to call but thought we got on pretty well. With the upcoming visit I had a conversation with J about how she wanted to handle things, because I did want to visit with my (ex) in laws but I didn’t want to make things awkward or infringe on J’s time with them. J is living with S and for a number of reasons (mainly J and S’s shared sleeping quarters and my father in law’s discomfort with transgenderism), J wasn’t asking them to stay with her. I suggested they stay at my place, which has enough space and would allow me some visiting time in the mornings/evenings even if they spent the daylight hours visiting J. J liked the plan and suggested it to her mom. Her mom messaged J back saying that they might stay one day with me and the rest at a hotel. That stung, and I am going to have to have a conversation with her soon — A very honest one in which I keep my feelings reigned in while asking her just how much contact they want to have with me going forward. I don’t like slow rejections, and I’d rather address the issue directly before they get to town.
More phone calls from my sis, and it’s like hearing a sequel to my own breakup. B barely interacts with Ann and when he’s around her he’s always texting other people on his phone. He shows very little interest in doing things together and Ann struggles to get him to talk to her. She wants to work on their relationship but is worried that she is coming off as needy. I am beginning to think that as much as she struggles to find a way to improve their communication, B has checked out already.
Crud, I don’t want to end on the bad and the ugly.
How about this? My parents left me after their last visit with a lifetime supply of toilet paper and paper towels and bar soap, and a stocked cupboard that includes a huge tub of Nutella. I love my family.