Slowly, oh so slowly, the ice is cracking.
I started the day by signing the Purchase and Sale Agreement for the house, and ended the afternoon by signing the lease on the condo. Yes, the ‘little house for a little while’ has resolved itself into a condo rental. A bit less romantic, perhaps, but a little more realistic as well. That, I think, is the overriding theme of the last few months. Over a year since the disaster, and slowly the drama is draining out of my life. That’s just fine, I’ve already had enough drama for a lifetime already, thank you very much.
Drama is highest in life and death situations. That’s why television is always full of medical and criminal shows. Drama is a lot more entertaining to watch than it is to live, though.
It has taken me months to recognize that the crisis is over, that life-and-death is over, for the moment, at least. It was very strange to watch myself responding to every event like it was a crisis, but that’s how it went for months on end. I wonder if I ever will react to things the same way again. My whole concept of what is critical and what isn’t has been recalibrated. The calibration process certainly wasn’t very straightforward.
I don’t think it was proper PTSD, or anything that serious, but I sure was a mess, and not without reason. I’m not quite all the way to whatever normal is yet, either. But when the worst thing imaginable, the thing you refused to even imagine, happens to you, and you didn’t see it coming, your entire sense of proportion is trashed. You need to rebuild it completely, and until you do, it’s impossible to react properly to anything. Everything is either far too serious to cope with, or far too trivial to even warrant a response. I wonder what I looked like from the outside. From the inside it was weird enough.
So it’s actually somewhat nice to be running out of high drama to write about.
My loss isn’t any less. There is still a huge hole in the middle of my life where she used to be. But I’m getting better at not falling down into the hole every time I turn around. And I’m getting better at assigning an appropriate level of seriousness to the events and people in my life.
Of course there is this odd reality to my life. After spending thirty years intentionally off the fast track raising my family in a wonderful and odd New England college town I find myself squarely back on that fast track. I never defined my sense of self by work, it always took a back seat to being a husband and a parent. I always worked hard, but it was always to support them.
The kids are grown. My wife is sadly gone. I am determined to rebuild a personal life that is not defined by my work…
But in the meantime I have a chance to build something that a billion people will touch. And that is kind of cool.