After the fiasco of Sunday, I decided to get back to myself on Monday. I did a good hour of yoga and stretching, getting out of my head and into my body. This always helps me. It’s been so hot these last few weeks, even getting out before the sun is up is nearly impossible, but down in the basement, with the fan on me, I can bear it. I stretched, breathed, stood on one foot, supported myself on my hands, balanced, contracted and expanded. I forgot about the silly stuff and sent my roots down into the earth. Then I laid out a few Tarot cards for myself. As always, the Zen cards speak so strongly to me. They make me focus. They tell me it’s okay to be right where I am at any particular moment. They reinforce what I already know but keep forgetting–that I’m strong and that no matter what is happening, it’s the perfect thing for that moment. Then I put all that away in the back of my head and went to work. When I was done, a plan had formed in my head.
I went up to G’s computer room and sat in the chair by her desk. I told her I had a proposition for her. One of her recent ongoing projects has been to get all the carpet out of the first floor of the house. It’s a mission. Hardwood, after all, is easier to keep clean. We started with the living room, and had those floors refinished. Then she took the carpet out of her room and the floor looks great, even though it’s the original varnish. I held out for our room because I don’t like to put my feet on a cold floor first thing in the morning, and because we have this massive captain’s bed that sits right on the floor and I was just not up to taking it apart, so I told her to just cut the carpet from around the bed if she had to have it gone. And so she did that. But then the remaining carpet was ragged and raveling and shedding enough fibers to make a CSI agent crazy. So this was my plan.
Tomorrow, I told her, meaning Tuesday, we could get up early, and I’d turn my bookcase around and she could slide her nightstand into the closet and we could tip the mattress up to stand against the closet and I’d help her take the bed apart and get the carpet out of there. See, again, I need that plan. Taking the carpet out of the bedroom is not a project that occupies my mind at all. I need to say, “Tomorrow, we’ll do this.” It gives me time to plan the whole event out in my head. Then I’ll get up, all ready to do it. And I know that the BEST way I can get things back right between us it so do some kind of project with her. That’s the best gift I can give her–to say, here, let me help you with this, I know it’s hard for you to do it alone, I’ll give you an extra hand or my added inches of height, or hold your hammer or whatever. For HER, that’s the thing that most shows her that I love her. It’s her “love language”. So I proposed that we finish this project together. Afterward, she laughed and said I’d been playing around in her head again because that was just what she had been wanting to do.
So, Tuesday morning, I got up, made coffee, and because she had moved into the living room some time during the night, not being able to sleep, I started stripping the bed, movrf the bookcase, got everything out of the way, etc. By the time she was up and moving around, the room was ready. We stood up the big king-sized mattress and surveyed the platform. This is not an easy piece of furniture to move. Even with all the drawers (6) empty (she did that the night before), it’s a huge piece with a couple of tongue-in-groove pieces that hold it together at the head and foot and a base over that held in place with about 14 wood screws on each side. So, we got that unscrewed and took the base off in 2 pieces, then removed the footboard. That left the two halves, each with three drawers. We tipped those up so the drawers wouldn’t fall out and ta da! There was the bed-sized piece of carpet all ready to take out. So I came down here while she took it up and got it out of the house (because of the dust–I’m heavily allergic and had already taken a double dose of allergy med before we even started). But that was the easy part. Then I came back up and we vaccumed the bottom side of the mattress, wet-mopped and dust-mopped the floor, cleaned the furnace return which resides under the bed, and let the floor dry and managed to jigsaw the bed back into place, replace all the screws in the right holes with none left over and get the mattress back on. Working together, the whole process took probably a little over an hour. She was ecstatic and I have to admit, it’s nice to get a project done. Oh, and we went to Lowe’s in between and got some of those furniture sliders and set the bed back on them so now if we need to, we can move the bed without tearing up the floor. Mission accomplished. All through it, she was practically giggling, she was so happy that we were doing this TOGETHER. Okay, I get it.
And afterwards, we had a lovely lunch with an old work friend of mine and when we got home, it was absolutely too hot to do anything except lie on the bed and read, and because it was Tuesday, we then had to go to our favorite pub for their 2-burger Tuesday which is the best deal in town and everything was fun, and right and easy between us. We talked without getting defensive. We cleared the air. Best of all, we realized that there really wasn’t anything wrong in the first place–we were both just rubbing each other the wrong way. We got it. We relaxed. We let things go. We do it in different ways, but yesterday we did it together and we learned from it.
That’s what I think this whole tenth year is going to be about out. It’s going to be taking everything we have to a deeper level, to learn even more about ourselves and about each other and how to keep going together while still maintaining our separate integrity. I’ve never been in a relationship this long, so this is a whole new place for me. I have to learn how to be more open, more vulnerable, more directly verbal about what I want, what I need, how things affect me. It’s hard for me. It’s always been hard for me. But because I know how much she loves me, I’ll be able to do it. Baby steps. Even at 55, I’m taking baby steps, because there’s no textbook for anyone’s life except the one you write for yourself along the way. It’s good to be back.