Whine Number three

My heart is aching tonight.  I’ve just returned from a vacation, and nothing really went wrong, apart from circumstantial stuff with neighboring campers.  I’ve come to accept that stuff – people don’t know how to behave any more.  People don’t understand about community and neighbors and being considerate. But that’s a topic for another post, one that I will probably not write because I’ve explored the topic mentally every time I’ve been unfortunate enough to camp within earshot of the selfish and entitled.  Those paragraphs of thought have been relegated to eye rolls and glances exchanged with my DH. Not worth the effort any more – we live in a fallen world.  People can be awful.

People can also be amazing, so I prefer to dwell on that.  On the heroes, the good friends, the salt of the earth.  I didn’t meet any of those on this trip, but I have in the past.

At any rate, I should be relaxed and happy tonight, but I’m aching. I’m not sure why.  Is it weeks of sidestepping and ignoring the disappointments that have built up to this?  Is it the growing realization that nothing is really going to change, that this is probably the best life has to offer?

It’s not that it’s so very awful.  If it were so very awful, I think I would have walked away a long time ago.  I look at other couples, other people with such bigger issues to grapple with, and I feel almost guilty that my own issues cause me so much pain. But they do.  Maybe I’m the princess and the issues are the pea.  Maybe someone else would hardly notice them.  Maybe I’m making a big deal out of next to nothing, comparatively speaking.

But the pea under the mattress still kept the princess up all night. It still bothered her. And this still bothers me.

We haven’t been to our counselor for weeks – first I was sick, then I was busy teaching seminars, then we went on vacation, and now she is on vacation. Things haven’t fallen apart.  We’re not at each others throats.

But I’m just sad. Things have fallen back into the rhythm they used to be in, and while nothing is awful, it’s still not right. It’s still not the life I want.  It’s still not the relationship I want.  I’m still settling.

But avoiding settling is not enough of an issue for me to uproot the lives of my kids, not to mention my DH and I.  So I stay.  I try not to think about the Almighty What Might Have Been, and I try to find creative ways to fill the voids left by his boundaries of “can’t do that” and “don’t prefer this.”  I try not to take it to heart when again and again, I have to drop my ideas of “Hey, let’s try (fill in the blank)” and settle for the tried, the true, the safe and the economical.

And I can’t help but wonder how many more of me there are out there.  And whether anyone has found a way to dull this ache that doesn’t involve a fine Merlot.



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