Fourth Decade: Sucking the marrow out of life since 1969.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Can I Keep a Keeper?

I have a little more time to expand on thoughts first expressed in A Beef Stew Kind of Love.

It's funny, I used to say "Next!" when the dates and relationships went sour. Now that things are great, I get to say, "He's a keeper!"

It has been a rather profound 6 months for me personally. Adjusting to living with someone again (last time was hmmm 2003 I think?), soaking up all of that love and affection (translation: gaining weight), and rejoicing in that "I'm not alone anymore" feeling -- all of it has been quite a heady experience.

We are settling into our life together. We have movie night. We have I don't want to cook, let's try a new restaurant night. We have morning rituals and weekend to-do lists.

We're finding ways to accommodate ourselves in the tiny 650 square feet shack we rent and occupy with the Chadster, Dunky boy, and Jinxy the Princess. We cook for each other, we clean together, we've purchased furniture items together, and at some point, we'll probably paint walls together. And we'll likely move again somewhere with slightly larger rooms. Yes folks, this is commitment unlike any I have experienced. Not even when I was married did I feel a joint sense of embracing the future together in quite the same way I do now. That fourth decade really manages to pull a number on your grownup genes I think.

With commitment comes familiarity.

One of those little nuggets of familiarity revealed that @Ricos_ and I have vastly different personal clocks. In other words, he's a morning person and I'm a night owl. He's asleep by 9:30 whether he has to work the next morning or not. I'm just starting to feel creative by 9:30 and really don't hit my prime until the witching hour of midnight, and yes, that's despite having to be at work the following morning.

And he's not just being a stickler, insisting on getting a set amount of sleep. He literally tries to stay awake and simply cannot. Meanwhile, I attempt to go to sleep that early and find myself waking up at 3 or 4 am. I'm just not able to sleep that early or that long. Sometimes one of us compromises for the other, and we manage to meet somewhere mid-way, but often I'm crawling into bed long after he's experiencing REM.

I think this difference in our clocks is something to remain conscious about, otherwise a drifting apart might begin. A couple who sleeps together, stays together?

It also took months of finally cohabitating with someone for me to realize, "Hey, what the hell is wrong, I am in pain...nearly every day...." When I was alone, I never vocalized it. But when you have someone deeply connected to you, living with you, noticing your emotions and reactions to daily tasks and hugging you and asking you how you are, it becomes obvious fairly quickly when something is physically wrong.

And now I know that my pain is arthritis, and now I know without a doubt that I cannot stop moving. In fact, a day without movement is a death knell for me. I must move it move it move it. My joints will scream at me if I do not. After all, there is only so much liver-failing Ibuprofen one can ingest.

I went to The Cooper Institute-sponsored site for RA and printed out the stretches and exercises I must do. No wonder I felt so much better when I was exercising all the time. So I have to try to get at least halfway back to where I was exercising/stretching/meditating every day. No longer is exercise about the vanity of losing weight, which believe me, still taunts my fragile soul. But this new exercise initiative is about maintaining mobility, slowing the process of becoming my mother, handling stress, and containing the toxic spillage from the hopeless wreck that is my body.

Luckily, Ricos is on board with it all. Ever the gentle man, he is always ready to help from a simplistic yet embarrassing request with my shoelaces when my fingers can't quite make it happen to the reassuring arm squeeze and encouraging word as I finish 2 miles on the treadmill.

He lets me know in no uncertain terms, that I am no longer alone.

Even, at times, while he is in the next room snoring like a hibernating grizzly bear.

1 love kisses:

Maruska Morena said...

Love this! Though are you sure about the RA? its a little early for you to be having issues.

So good to hear about your relationship working out. Envious.

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