I have a song, and perhaps you do too. Mine happens to be by Maroon 5, and I got to see them perform it tonight.
Three years ago, when we first made the decision to get a divorce, this song was my scourge — my emblem of failure to be a good wife and companion, and to hold to my vows of “forever and ever.” The song called up all my negative emotions about that failure, and rubbed salt in the wounds of my separation. Every word made me realize that I was flawed, that I had fallen short, and that my love just wasn’t enough.
As the months after our break went on, I’d often listen to the song…to remind myself to be humble, because I was a woman who had failed at the ultimate task of making a home and a family that worked and was happy. I listened to the song to conjure up all those feelings of self loathing and pain. And sometimes I listened simply to make myself feel when I felt numb and bereft and alone.
Some people say that time heals all wounds. I’m not sure the phrase is correct, but it certainly does make them less sharp. I still miss my traveling companion from childhood to adulthood, and the person who helped me become me. And I still love him, and want him to be happy…even if I no longer have a reason to talk to him often. But I’m more balanced now — I realize it wasn’t all my fault, nor was it his. It just wasn’t meant to be…or perhaps, it was exactly what we both needed for the decade and a half we had one another.
I still cried when I heard the song tonight, but it was also OK. I accept this part of my life. It’s past, and I can move on and put the scourge down.
It’ll always be “that song” though.
If you gave me a choice between buying a fantastic new couch, and taking that money and having an amazing experience with it…I’d almost always pick the experience. I’m wired to be the kind of person who drinks life to the lees. I couldn’t care less whether I own proper white wine glasses (I didn’t until this week…thanks, Amazon) or have furniture that matches. I’m happiest when I am surrounded by people I love and I’m doing something I enjoy.
This week was really phenomenal in the experience category. I got to cook and try new recipes…which is always something that makes me feel happy. Bopping along to some good music while inventing new food is a great way to spend the evening. I got to host a party and drink wine, And now I’m sitting out on my deck, in my brand new patio chairs, and writing this blog while I look out over the bay. All great experiences.
I also got to take a day trip to Seattle to spend time with a customer. It’s been a long time since I took a true day trip…no luggage, no hotel reservation, and plans to sleep in my own bed. It felt like the most luxurious business strip ever. I got to do all the fun stuff – meet people, learn about my company and theirs, and try an awesome new restaurant – but with none of the hassle. It made me think it would be fun to buy a day trip to Seattle completely for fun — visit Pike’s Market, eat at Ivar’s, maybe enjoy oyster happy hour at Elliott’s.
I also got to take a day trip to Napa, to join the district offsite for the first day.It’s really remarkable how close we are to some of the best wines in the world, and how gorgeous Napa is in the summer. I enjoyed the bonding with co-workers and the Napa sunshine all too briefly (I had to head to Seattle on Wednesday) but it was nice to take a moment together as a team. The fog rolling off of the Napa vines and hills on Wednesday morning was pretty beautiful, too.
So, this week is about experience. It’s about connecting, and visiting natural beauty, and taking time to do the things I like…such as cooking or hosting. It might soon be about taking a nap. I think that’s the next experience on my agenda for the day.