Today marks eighteen Valentine’s Days for Prez and me. I’d say it’s been a strange one so far but we never seem to have a “normal” anything, so let’s just say it was our usual strangeness.
An opportunity may have presented itself (again, I know), and if the stars align we may once more be headed far, far away. If you’re tempted to fire questions at me for more details, my advice is to wait. Opportunities are like passing trains for us—we’re always ready to hop on and ride but sometimes the train is too fast, sometimes it’s headed in the wrong direction, and sometimes we simply decide it isn’t worth the effort. If we decide to jump aboard, my dearest Nutters, you’ll be the first to know.
I mention the opportunity because if it pans out it will be too good to refuse. That will mean selling things, packing things, saying goodbyes, and starting all over again—something at which we are both pros. I mention the opportunity, also, because it’s Valentine’s Day and I’ve been ruminating on love.
After a romantic morning of blowing insulation into an old home for a friend and client, Prez soaked in a hot tub. “Come sit and talk with me,” he said. I did, hesitantly. You see, I knew he wanted to talk about “The Opportunity” and I knew that this time the train looks to be going at the right speed, and in the right direction, and I have no excuses to put off jumping on.
So we sat in our tiny, steamy bathroom, he in the soapy water, and me on the bathmat with my back against the wall. We talked through the pros and cons, as we always do, though after eighteen years we’re much better at spotting the cons. Even admitting the still-distant possibility that my life could be up-heaved—that I could lose the freedom of my work-at-home-in-purple-pajamas lifestyle, that my writing and all the activities connected to it could be forced to take a back seat for at least a few years, that all the friends I’ve finally acquired by standing in one place long enough for people to remember my name—filled me with despair. I feel as if I am just starting to come into my own as a person after forty-five years and now I may have to walk away from all that?
I wanted to cry but I did not. You see, when I look at my husband, my closest companion for almost two decades, my best friend, business partner, and head cheerleader, and he says, “Kris, I’m 53. If I don’t get something going quickly, we’re going to end up poor for the rest of our lives.” I know what I have to do.
He’s right. And I love my husband. And I can’t stand to let another year slip by watching him grow more despondent and frustrated. I say yes. I say, “If you think the opportunity is worth it, let’s go.”
Love is not Valentine’s gifts and chocolates and declarations of affection. At least not the kind of love that keeps you together for eighteen years or more.
Love is the million invisible threads that tie your happiness to another’s.
It’s not blind, love. It’s looking at life with your eyes wide open and realizing that you can’t always be the one at the top of the seesaw. Up and down, give and take, that’s how partnership works.
So, if The Opportunity works out (odds are unknown at this point), I’ll pout and cry and indulge my less noble nature for a little while but then I’ll pack my bags and head off to the next big adventure. How could I not?
If The Opportunity doesn’t work out, I know there will plenty more heading our way.
My friend Deryn messaged me about a week ago and mentioned that she had spotted Prez and I walking down the street holding hands and she thought it was sweet. I think that’s how I always see the two of us—holding hands, always ready to make the leap together wherever the train may take us.