Tuesday, February 9, 2016

So I married a Seaman

In anticipation of Pete's upcoming deployment, we went to a pre-mobilization meeting in Virginia this past weekend. It was largely a waste of time. To be fair, the lunch they provided was excellent (albeit slightly tragic, as I got up to go the bathroom and came back to find that the caterers had already cleared away my only half-eaten piece of apple pie). And the presenters were lovely and earnest and very much wanted to be helpful. It's just that we're lucky enough not to need most of the services they provide. We already have college educations and jobs and we don't have financial problems or really any problems at all.

What I really wanted was answers to my questions: How do we stay happily married when we're thousands of miles apart and we don't know how often we'll be able to communicate? How do I not feel guilty going on runs and adventures while Pete is working long, hard days far away from home? How do I keep myself from automatically assuming the worst if I haven't heard from him in a few days? How do I stop feeling such profound disappointment in humanity for always being at war?

Probably these questions are unanswerable, the kind of things that I just have to figure out for myself. Probably this year will be sad, yes, but also funny and challenging and beautiful. Because that is the nature of life.

I don't have the answers. I don't have a plan. I don't think I can even make a plan. I can't bring myself to sign up for races or anything else right now. Because I can't think that far ahead without being forced to confront the fact of Pete's absence. Everything I would normally be excited about will now be tinged with sadness at missing Pete. A sadness made worse by the fact that I know we will be fine. Pete will make the best of where he is and I will make the best of where I am, and yet I will constantly be reminded that whatever good things happen, the mere fact of not being able to share them with Pete immediately diminishes their goodness. Awesome sauce is meant to be shared and so what do you do when your favorite person to share things with is stupidly and pointlessly far, far away?

Probably the answer to this is the same as the answer to every difficult question. Just be. Be yourself, do your thing. Easy to say, difficult to do. Take it one day at a time. Feel the things you feel. Do the things you love. Love the things you do. Find humor where you can. Let all the things make you stronger, wiser, ever more thankful and, above all, more humane.

Lyric of the moment: "And I won't forget you. At least I'll try and run, and run tonight. Everything will be alright, everything will be alright, everything will be alright..." ~The Killers "Everything Will Be Alright"

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