Valued at Worthless

Of course, things are getting better between us. You can tell. When he comes and crawls into bed after a late night shift, he undresses, slips into the sheets, gets comfortable and rests his hand on my shoulder. He knows I’m awake. And with that touch we fall peacefully asleep knowing that things are better in our little world. He’s come back safe, I’m still here.

That is until he rolls over and knees me in the gut. Not his fault. He’s a large person, requires most of the bed and most of the bed moves with him with he tosses. I’m comfortable curled up here in my 1/8th of the upper left hand corner…..

In the last day or so I came to the reality of what was straining our relationship. And you know, it was so hard to see because it was such a pattern that I thought that this was normal behavior.

We’ve been in this apartment for three months now. We were in our last place for nearly 4 years. And in one of our angry arguments he blurted, “I just thought things would be different once we moved!”

“Different how?”

“That we would go out more, do things. But, no! You are ALWAYS at that desk either writing or knitting, or marketing, or doing another graphic for your blog. I NEVER get to do anything with you. I don’t feel like your husband….I feel like a prop in your life story, a pet you just feed then send to a corner to lay down and be quiet….”

Ouch.

After hearing that, I didn’t say a thing. Why would I? When someone is being that honest with you, just listen. Don’t rebuttal. Just let them have their say.

And he was right, after all. I mean, I’ve been working like this for the last ten years. I had nothing, was homeless, and all it took was for my first teddy bear to sell in 30 minutes that I found a way to turn that miserable experience into something that I could treasure in the future.

So, I’m always pushing for my own success, because I think I can actually do something monumental with this. I feel my writing has meaning, my teddy bear’s a symbolism. I find value in all of this. All of this must have some value, right? And when you can consider how far I’ve come, you do begin to realize, this could actually happen. There just might be a place on the stage for me, a spot in the arena where I might actually win.

And I have told my beloved husband repeatedly that once I have our home, once we’re comfortable, then I’m out of this game. Hell, I just want the ability to jump in, cause a splash, dry myself off, win a medal or two, then go home.

And I have told my beloved husband repeatedly that I didn’t want him to die on his feet at 55 working the line in a hot restaurant kitchen. This is why I work so hard, to hopefully take care of us one day, so that we would finally have something of value and not worry.

But, the value of all of that would be worthless if he wasn’t here to share it with me.

There is no way that I could ever imagine finally getting our home, our  “Honeychurch,” our “Howard’s End” and not see him stepping over the threshold with me. If Phillip left tomorrow, there would be no “Honeychurch.” I’d just work my butt off, write write, knit knit, and promote promote just to sit silently in a condo somewhere here in town. Self exiled in a concrete block, devoid of human contact….and loving every minute of it. (And that terrifies me).

Our dream, though, is still the same.

Because, what he was telling me was pretty much the same thing. “I’m not going to go through all of this, finally buy our little dream home somewhere, and you not be there.”

“Of course, I’d be there!”

“But, like this? There would be no reason to go…..”

My husband was telling me that he feels lonely in this marriage. And all of the pushing I do, all the time I spend working, keeps me from him far more than he wants. So, what would be the point of finally having our cottage if I was still….absent, but present? He would still be lonely….

So, tomorrow is our anniversary. We’re going to do whatever we do during the day because he’s working the night shift tomorrow.

But, I do have all ideas that I’m going to wake tomorrow morning, make my coffee, scan the headlines, peek at my emails, then slam this laptop shut. I’m going to bag up all of my yarn, stick it in a cabinet so that my little space is work free and wait for him to wake.

Once he has his coffee, I’m going to ask, “Sweetheart, what do you want to do today?”

I can’t wait to hear his answer….

I promise that whatever he decides on, I’m going to do it. I’ll be right by his side, loving every moment I have with this beautiful man who once said to me, “I was so happy when I met you, because I knew I would never ever be alone again….”

And I want to give that to him. Because our time together now is so much more valuable than any book, blog post or teddy bear I could ever conceive of.

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7 comments

  1. I love reading this progress! I understand both of you. “I will…when”, is a common mistake that we make. Life is to be live now. Fun can’t wait. Love can’t wait. Rest can’t wait. Work. Maybe work can wait. Not that I am not down for work, but we tend to do duty before beauty and never get to beauty because we are always working for it, working for when. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, helped me tremendously to be here now. Free to check out at your local library.

  2. Wonderful plan! It’s very good you realized the problem. Even better that you plan to change, hopefully for more than one day. Your life together is everything. Other things will work themselves out. But I suspect smashing this rock in your stream will fuel both of you with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

  3. You have to decide what’s more important. No one ever said on his deathbed, “Gosh, I wished I spent more time at the office.”

  4. The greatest gift of all is time, time to attend to the other. This may be time to listen, time to watch a movie, time to make that special someone his favorite cookies. There is nothing worse than feeling lonely when you are sitting next to someone you love. It takes will power to get out of one’s head and attend to another and to stop doing whatever is driving you. This practice is not easy for some of us but if we want a relationship we have to relate. Good for you for listening and making the effort. P

  5. I think one of the biggest losses that comes with a home-based job or business is the loss of the defined lines between “work” and “home” life. Those of us who work outside of the home know that when we are not physically at work, we should not be working. But those who work from home can always be pulled back towards work stuff at any point during the day or night. It’s like having a phone that you cannot turn off and are continually compelled to answer.

    A lot of people who seem to have their job-at-home shit together have made a conscious effort to recreate that defined line – they have established working hours from which they do not deviate, even to “just check my email;” they have a designated work space in the home where they are “at work” when they are in it, and not “at work” when they are not.

    That’s probably the answer to most inter- and intra-personal issues, actually: the creation and maintenance of healthy boundaries. 😉

    I hope y’all had a lovely anniversary!

  6. This makes me so sad because not long ago I said the same thing as Phillip, only my partner didn’t listen. Ironically it’s now me alone in my concrete block, alone but out and about, doing things, but lonely. I wonder if he misses me? If he thinks of me as he sits indoors with the curtains drawn. Is it better to be truly alone, or just to feel lonely in a relationship but still have someone to come home to?

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