blank'/> Mirth, Melancholy, and the Mundane: December 2015

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Fourth House...

I love my job.  There are aspects that I could do without, of course; and even the best of jobs has the worst of days.  Sometimes it is frustrating, often it is stressful, it is almost never completed, and it is always tiring.  All in all, however, I truly enjoy teaching classes, connecting with students, and generally trying to make the world a better place in my own small corner of it.  I may not like starting my day when it is dark and ending when it is dark, but the exhilaration – or ‘teacher’s high’ – after that last class is undeniable.

This is not a blog about my job, though.

Some time ago, I made the choice to live in the moment as much as I could.  I’ve refined it to live in the day.  By this I mean that if there is something undesirable coming towards me, I will simply enjoy all the desirable moments in between.  By not letting these dreaded moments rule my life, I’ve come to enjoy the intervening moments all that much more and the interruption of undesired necessity is that much easier to endure.  This means that every evening spent at home I am really, truly, at home.  I’m not thinking about the dentist or that visit from the realtor, or the nine thousand errands I have to run.  I may be grading or thinking about the next school day, but only in terms of preparation.

But this is not a blog about changing my daily perspective.

I only want it understood that the following is not about finally getting free of a job that I don’t like or simply the relief that comes from leaving a necessary, but unwelcome, place.  It’s not about letting go of dread or not taking the moments of my life for granted.  I have a very good life and my workplace is filled with some of the funniest, kindest, and supportive people I know.  No, this blog is not about letting go of worry or about getting away from something, but rather it is very much about returning to something.


One of the best parts of my day is the moment I get close enough to my driveway to see that my husband’s car is already there (and not because it is a nice car, though he’d tell you that it is if you asked him).  That car sitting there means that there are lights on inside, there’s a hug waiting for me, and there’s someone to talk to.  Sometimes it even means that dinner will already be cooking.  It’s walking in the door and instantly feeling that I’m home.

Home is where I am a side of me that I only touch on at work.  It’s when I relax and can be silly, I can wear my frumpiest clothes and feel like the most beautiful woman on the planet.  I can make immature jokes and act like an idiot and it will be met in kind and with laughter.  I spend most of my evenings being reminded that I can be silly and that life is too short to be too serious for too long and too full of love to be wallowing in fear or worry about the wider world.  That part of me is always there, but there’s something about him that makes it that much more likely to thrive.  Our lives are not complicated or enriched by children – though we have three cats and a dog that keep us on our toes in various ways.  For a large part of our existence these days, it is just him and I.

Him and I.

We’ve had some upheavals of late and though they don’t really belong here, it is enough to say that we’ve both made colossal mistakes, we’ve both found our worlds suddenly a little smaller, and we both rediscovered what it means to be in love.  My world is both bigger and smaller, both deeper and lighter, both sillier and more emotional.  I have new dreams and plans to get there.  Not worrying about the future has gotten so much easier because my present feels content and reinforced.  This is where I want to be.

Here.  With him.

He is the light to my darkness – laughing when I try so hard to be serious.  He is the dark to my lightness – keeping my idealism closer to earth with a healthy dose of realism.  He is the confidence to my insecurities.  His height gives him a perspective that I don’t have and yet he doesn’t look over me or overlook me.  We work together well and though we have our troubles, like all couples, we are suddenly becoming much more adept at working through them together.

Together.

A thousand clichés talk about marrying one’s best friend and the importance communication, and a thousand clichés can’t be wholly wrong.  I am more content now than I have been in a long time, though I see the world around us and worry that the End Times are upon us.  I am content because my immediate world is beautiful in all its oddity.  

One of the greatest feelings in the world is my hand in his.  Or the warmth of him next to me as I lie awake at night and slowly will my aching back to ease up enough for sleep.  There is something comforting about the warm weight of a loved one nearby – be it cat or dog or human.  My house is one full of love and it’s a love that extends to the houses of my parents and my siblings.  The world spins around us, and yet I have so much love in my life to support me as I try not to let the emotions and the craziness crush me.   I’m not afraid or ashamed to talk about the love I have for my parents, my siblings, my sibling’s spouses and children.  I am proud and humbled that there are three houses I can go to that are filled with love and where I am accepted for who I am – for all my quirks and mistakes, my talents and abilities.  I am loved for who I am.  And, at the end of the day, the fourth house is the one I call home.  It is my home and my heart, my soul and my life because he is there.

Him and I.

Home.

Together.

Us.