#52 is, as you might expect, the success of last night's event. It was decidedly well-attended, fun and thought-provoking. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there. Imagine: a salon of sorts in my own home! Perfect. I don't take that success lightly, and I am reminded to stock of those things that I do take for granted and then give thanks for them. It's the little moments that make up life, after all...
Also, as I don't expect you to remember, today marks the return of He Who Is In Personal Crisis. It's been one month and one day since I've seen him, so you could say I'm a little jittery. But I'm also apprehensive. What will happen? Will things go well, or will they go poorly? What will happen next? What do I say? How do I act? What should I expect? It's a never-ending cycle of questions.
And then I remember the words of Laura Munson. No, not that we create our own happiness, can commit not to suffer, or shouldn't always take things personally (though all of that is true). It's these words: "I want to take this new me and practice...all summer...Especially on my husband. Especially in light of his disaffection." You see, I long ago decided not to take this personally, and I have long since made the commitment not to suffer and to create my own happiness instead. But I haven't had to practice in weeks. My heart muscles have gotten weak, because He Who Is In Personal Crisis has been out of town and attending to things that, at the moment, are more urgent and important than our relationship. Both that distance and his need to attend to more important things have made it easy to hear from him sporadically, and they have permitted me a chance to relax, calm down and re-focus when I've felt agitated.
But tonight is the first time in a month that I'll see him and not have the chance to distance myself emotionally because I'm already at a distance physically. So, I could view tonight as an obstacle to managing my anxiety about the situation. I could be scared. I prefer, though, to view tonight as an opportunity (and reminder #53): to see his face and feel him close to me, yes; but also to practice. I don't know if he has noticed or if he really believes that I have changed, but I have. This is my chance to practice. I will not worry. I will not suffer. I will create my own happiness. I won't take this personally. I will stay grounded.
Earlier this week my therapist and I discussed my tendency to expect myself to achieve perfection and, therefore, to expect too much of both others and myself in any given situation. This undoubtedly has affected my relationship, which is sad to me. In theory I would never expect He Who Is In Personal Crisis to be perfect. But in reality my unconscious has wreaked havoc, pointing out every single flaw and feeling as though every single imperfection threatened the whole. Not anymore! Tonight I allow this to be but one moment on the "long arc" of our relationship. I don't expect it to be perfect or to resolve everything 100%. Relationships aren't like that. Tonight isn't like that. Life isn't like that. Things take time. I know that, and I hope you will hold me to it.
All of this is fodder for the book I've begun writing and with which I am incredibly pleased. (That's reason #54.) The writing is some of my best -- short, revealing, humorous and sweet, and I have made peace with it being neither a perfect story nor a How To but, instead, a picture of what it can look like to lose everything and still find joy and have faith. It's too bad the subtitle "A Season of Unlikely Happiness" is taken! ;)