My mother had a saying she was fond of whenever we got into discussions about the ins and outs of marriage over time:
“A man marries a woman thinking she won’t change, and she does; a woman marries a man thinking he will change, and he doesn’t.”
However, I think this is true of just about any relationship between human beings. We get into situations, relationships, jobs, friendships, etc. and think they will just go merrily onward and the way they start out is the way they continue on and on ad infinitum. Only they don’t. One party begins by wanting to change and the other doesn’t. Or both parties change, but in different ways. The permutations are endless, but some kind of change is the key element and not all comings-together can survive change.
On Tuesday, it will be 3 months since G. had her knee replacement. The changes in her are remarkable and amazing, and I confess to be feeling a little bit “left behind”. This is my own stuff and I’m working on it, and it’s going to be fine, I know, but right now I’m in that lesbian “processing” place.
For almost 7 years, since we met, G has been in near constant pain, battling every day just to stay upright and moving. Until we bought our current bed about a year ago, she pretty much slept every night on the living room floor because all beds were too soft. There were days when she literally could not drag herself from room to room. I was (and am) happy to do things for her, bring her stuff, run her bath, do most of the cooking and grocery shopping, get her blankets and magazines, etc.
Now, after only 3 months, it really is like being with a new person. Oh, there is still pain. We both know she will never be completely free of it. But comparatively, she is in a whole different universe. And she’s doing stuff by herself easily that before would have required both of us, or else both of us and maybe outside help as well. So, I guess I’m feeling a little “unnecessary” just for the moment.
I know. I know. She didn’t “get with me” to have a caretaker or a maid. I think my real fear that that on a physical level, I just won’t be able to keep up, and wonder if she’ll still want my out of shape ass around as she gets better and better.
There. I said it. I mean, this is a woman who used to be a body builder and put in a stone patio in former house on her hands and knees because it hurt to much to stand up and do it. This is a woman who DOES NOT GIVE UP.
My job keeps me, literally, tied to the computer. If I’m not typing I’m not getting paid. Oh, I don’t have a boss hanging over my shoulder, but the thought of even tinier paychecks is a real motivator. Plus, I LOVE the blogging and other computer stuff that I TRY not to do during working hours, and that’s sedentary, too.
It’s been warm here in Pueblo for the last few weeks, record-breaking. G. is out in the yard, happily wheelbarrowing and moving tons (literally) of mulch, garden rock, dirt, dead grass, last year’s compost, whatever, already beginning to whip the yard/garden into shape for the coming season. She says, over and over, it’s just “tinkering”, that’s it’s her therapy to be outside and doing. That’s the Aries in her, I guess.
Now, I love the garden. I love planning it, and I even love planting the seeds, and can get out and weed now and then and tend and water when necessary. But I just don’t see the NEED for all that activity. I mean, when I look at the yard, it’s READY. I just don’t see, literally DO NOT SEE what else needs to be done before we put the seeds in the ground. Everything is trimmed and clean and organized. Yet, every day, she’s out there doing more stuff. Today, she moved the basement TV up the stairs by herself (granted, it’s not all that big), and I was down here typing and DIDN’T EVEN HEAR HER.
See, I have to plan when I do things. I know that the largest percentage of my day is going to be taken up by work. Always has been, always (probably) will be. I can’t just get up and say, “Oh, today I’m going to reorganize and re-fit all the soaker hoses!” and when my weekend comes, refitting soaker hoses is WAAAY down on the list.
So, am I feeling guilty that I’m not more “outdoorsy” and yard-work oriented? Yes.
Do I feel like I let her down when I don’t want to spend my days off doing the home improvement and garden upkeep that she loves so much? Yes.
Am I feeling inadequate when we go for walks and now G is outwalking me only 3 months postop? Yes.
Am I feeling somewhat “adrift” now after having been a mainstay and support for when the pain got so bad, now that the pain is about 80% less than it has been for the past 7 years? Yes.
Yes to all of those, and probably more “stuff” that hasn’t surfaced yet.
I KNOW she loves me, there is no question there. And just as strongly, I KNOW that this will pass, we’ll talk about it, and we’ll adjust to the “new” G. I mean, how petty am I, after all, to complain about this? I am THRILLED for her, over the moon to see her dance and skip around the house like a kid. That does my heart good. I love her to absolute bits. Nothing about my feelings for HER has changed other than to grow stronger and deeper every day.
We’re going to a Valentine’s dance at a house party next Friday, and now maybe we will even get to dance more than 1 dance together, and that will be a fabulous thing.
So, I may be losing someone who has been somewhat dependent on me for certain physical things, but it looks like I may be gaining a dance partner.
And that, my friends, is a change I can certainly embrace!
Don’t let a little uncomfortable change mess up a great good thing.