I know that posting here was relatively light before I left for vacation, and I needed a complete break with reality for a while- it is an effective way for me to clear my mind of work and focus on the personal relationships that matter to me. I can not work 7 days a week, alternate late nights at the office/lab with DrMrA such that we are hardly ever at home together simultaneously- and expect that my relationships will not suffer. That old business about the quantity of time together not mattering but instead the quality being important- is true… but only to a point… there does have to be some quantity greater than zero in order for quality to matter. With the schedule that we work, I realize the potential for the loss of intimacy (and I don’t mean only physical intimacy) – in the loss of quiet times (free from work stress, free from arguments, free from refereeing two kids fighting, free from running errands…) to remain connected… to enjoy each others company. I’ve been shockingly fortunate to be in a relationship that has thus far lasted nearly two decades, I’d like to stay in it for DrMrA is my best friend, my greatest fan, and clearly- my better half.
Although I tend to think of myself as perpetually 25, I’ve reached an age where unpredictable and occasionally terrible things are happening to friends and sometimes family. At the beginning of this year a close friend of mine lost her 8-year struggle with lymphoma, at the age of 38. Leaving her husband alone- … he now considers dating again for the first time in about 15 years. In October we lost a family member to a heart attack… he was 48, just two years from retirement after working like a dog, far from his wife and children, for all of his working life (by necessity of the job). In the last two weeks in my own immediate family, we had quite a scare over a potentially life threatening illness as well, that thankfully turned out to be completely benign.
Why do I suddenly feel the need to tell you all of this? I suppose it is because I’ve had a couple of fairly harsh reminders this year that things can go terribly wrong in the blink of an eye. I’ve been reminded that my job, although a lot of fun, means very little in the big picture of my marriage, the daughters we are raising, the parents we will care for, the great friends we have… the human connections. I’m adjusting my perspective accordingly.