Another Monday has rolled around, the weekend gone and another work week begun. I have been realizing lately that I am totally part of The Establishment, getting up and going to work and coming home and living for the weekend, just like millions of other working stiffs in the world, and it kind of makes me laugh a little. Back in the day, I was so anti-establishment, thinking that somehow conforming to the 8-5 work week was embarrassing and simply not done by a person of my great intelligence and free spiritedness. The I got sober and realized that most normal people actually work full time jobs even if it isn’t the Monday-Friday with weekends off gig, and they provide for their families, and they basically just suit up and show up every.single.day. Wow, who knew?
Now here I am, over ten years sober and at the same job for nearly six years and I am finally also realizing that this doesn’t have to be all. I have been prompted by the need (not desire, but need) to begin generating some additional income, and what has happened is that a potential opportunity to do some work, from home, has arisen. And this would be work I would love to do, and also that I think I would be good at. To that end, I submitted a resume and spoke with a woman at great length yesterday, and it feels hopeful. Not a done deal yet, but still, hopeful. Another friend of mine is going to help me polish up my resume gearing it toward freelance editing/proofreading, so with any kind of luck I will be able to bring in the income I need without having to leave the home to find a second job. Besides being necessary, though, this could be something I really, really enjoy, and how much more can one ask for, to be able to do something enjoyable and get paid for it?
It was an emotionally trying weekend in that I talked with Steve (after not knowing where he was for most of the week, after being totally blackballed and treated like shit by his family, because it’s somehow MY fault that he left me?), and the short version is that he relapsed, and relapsed in a BIG way. I am almost relieved; not that he drank again, of course, because that is terribly sad and heartbreaking in an entirely different dimension, but in that it clears up a big part of the confusion and some of the anger. Of course, it doesn’t change the fact that he is still gone, and even though I feel very firm in my resolution to let him do what he needs to do without getting in the way, it is still terribly sad and lonely and painful. However, I can’t and won’t carry a drunk, and he needs to figure out what he wants to do with his life independent of me, of Owen, of anything save himself. I am not hopeful that it will work for him, for lots of reasons, but maybe (and expect nothing but hope for everything, right?).
In the meantime, what I know is that life goes on. I was reading a book last week and in in, one woman asked another how she got through her divorce, and the other replied that she spent the evening with a bottle of wine and the Kaddish, and then she got busy. And while of course I can’t resort to the wine and I certainly don’t know any fitting Christian prayers (mine have lately been along the lines of,”come ON, god, are you fucking kidding me?”), I get the whole idea of getting busy. For the better part of my life, that has kind of been the deal, to do the work and let it heal me, one way or another. And I am allowed to feel as sad as I need to feel, and those are valid and appropriate feelings, but at the very same time, I am also allowed to feel exhilarated at the possibilities in front of me that have nothing to do with Steve and everything to do with me and what will make me happy. How odd, to have two such conflicting feelings dwelling in me at the same time, but there they are nonetheless.
I have been working on this post on and off all day, and Hannah called me earlier to tell me that the wife of her principal died this morning. This woman was also the secretary at Sam’s school, and I just saw her, literally, last week, when I went to pick up Sam’s inhaler from the school. She had shoulder surgery, she got a blood clot, she died. And it is terribly sad, and also a reminder that there are no guarantees, ever. I think that I don’t want to waste another single minute of my life. Today, right now, I don’t regret having lived with Steve for this year, I don’t regret making the decisions I made to get to where I am, because I made them in good faith, based on what information I had at the time, and I love him-it wasn’t wasted time, even though it has ended so terribly. These moments are important to me, the good ones and the bad ones, because every single one of them is simply part of the deal of being here, being alive. And clearly my anti-depressant is working, because I feel pretty damn grateful for most of it.
So I work, and hopefully I will work more soon, and I grieve and smile, laugh and cry, keep breathing and keep moving one foot in front of the other.