Appreciating Your Partner and Establishing a Balance

10 04 2008

I dropped my partner Julie off at the airport this morning. She has a sales meeting in Whistler, Canada. I would have loved to join her, but these annual meetings are “no spouses allowed” events. The company keeps their schedule pretty booked and everyone has a roommate in their hotel room, so even if I tagged along on my own, I wouldn’t get to spend any time with her.

Those of you who are regular readers of my column in the Lavender Lens know that Julie is out of town a lot for work. Her usual trips tend to be during the week and I can easily occupy myself with work, errands, and little projects. Her sales meetings, however, always take place over a weekend. For this trip she left Thursday morning and won’t return home until Monday night.

Because of our usual crazy work weeks, the weekends are typically our time together. We tend to spend most of the weekend together. Julie comes to cheer for me during my softball games. We have made Friday night a gym night (not exciting, I know, but definitely healthy). We have a Saturday morning routine that includes a latte and breakfast at Starbucks. Even if, for some reason, work spills into our weekend, we try to make the most of it and try to at least maximize our time together.

I suppose that is what makes this trip so much more difficult for me. Even when I get to see her during the week, I look forward to my weekends with her. Whether we are doing something as routine as cleaning the house or as fun as taking a trip together, that is our time.

This weekend, thankfully, is filled with activities. I am going out with friends on Friday and Saturday nights to celebrate one of their birthdays. I have softball games on Sunday morning. At some point in the weekend, I will probably stop by to check in on Zin’s mom. (For those of you who haven’t read the latest edition of the Lavender Lens Zin is a friend of ours who was recently killed in Iraq.) I am going to try to catch at least one of the films during this weekend’s FilmOut festival.

As busy as I’ll be, I know that I will still miss Julie, especially since she would normally be doing these activities with me.

That being said, I am glad that I have times like these. These little trips help me to appreciate the time that I do get to spend with Julie. They are little reminders that we need to make the most of the time we have together. That doesn’t mean that we can’t spend some time doing the mundane day-to-day stuff that needs to get done (grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, bills, etc.). It just means that we can still focus on the fact that we are doing these things together.

Let’s face it – the little things are what make up most of our lives. If I can’t appreciate and enjoy those times with Julie, I’m missing out on a big part of my time with her.

These times also remind me of the balance between intimacy and autonomy that we have in our relationship. Yes, I will miss Julie, but that is not going to keep me from doing things without her wile she is gone. Sometimes we get teased that we do so much together, but (especially with Julie’s travel schedule) we do a lot of things apart. Besides allowing us to appreciate the time that we do have together, these times apart allow us to reconnect with the individuals that we are. They remind us that we are two separate people. If I may quote an Alanis Morissette song, “I believe that one and one make two.”

We are two unique women who happen to make a great pair. Intimacy and autonomy – two completely different states of being that, when in balance, help make a relationship healthy.

So, as much as I would love to be in Canada with Julie, all I can do is hope that she has a great time and that she comes home to me in one piece (no broken ankles this time Honey). I can also hope she brings me back a hat.

April is Couple Appreciation month, so show your appreciation to that special someone who shares your nest.

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