I spent the weekend helping my partner Susan celebrate her 70th Birthday. It was a weekend of parties, brunches, cake, gin & tonics, laughter and lots and lots of love.
On this, the morning of her 70th Birthday, we find ourselves in our jammies enjoying a fresh cup of coffee, reading the paper, simply enjoying the quiet of the morning. Usually by now – 10:00am – she has been at work for 3 hours and I have been working here at home for at least 2 hours. The joy of a 3-day weekend cannot be overly stressed here!
I’ve found myself thinking a lot over this weekend about how quickly time passes. I met Susan when I was 28. I’m now 58. 30 years have come and gone in what seems the blink of an eye. Parents have passed away, children have married, divorced and married again. Grandchildren have been born and are now in their 20 something years navigating that hard road that will lead them to what will be their future. Husbands have thankfully become ex-husbands and the turmoil of what was once our hidden, unspeakable passion for one another had become a stable, permanent, loving marriage for the entire world to see. Well – it’s not a marriage on paper like a man and a woman can have – but, it is a marriage in the sense that we are committed to one another – we are faithful to one another – and I cannot imagine my life without her in it.
My life before my life with Susan seems like a blip on a radar screen. A faraway blip that doesn’t really register, but still it’s there to remind me of what used to be. A life that was simply about getting from day to day – a life that was mostly about time wasted, running, and lies; Lots and lots of lies.
I try not to look back. I understand now, after years of not understanding – that looking back and wishing will not change a damn thing. Things simply are what they are. And - as bad as things might have been – they lead me to this place that I am now – to Susan and this life that means everything to me. If I had done one thing differently – I wouldn’t be here – in my jammies – enjoying this morning with Susan.
It’s not easy to make the hard choices, and life isn’t always what we want it to be. Sometimes it’s simply what we need it to be. And it’s those times when we feel we have no choice at all that choosing to do nothing keeps up in the muck and mire. The longer you stay in the manure that is your life – the harder it is to find your way out, the harder it is to believe you deserve to find your way out. Choosing to do nothing is the worst decision of all.
I’ve come to understand that as hard as some decisions may be – life is about choice. For years I chose to not disappoint my parents and in the end, all that got me was a life mired down in lies. I hurt people I professed to care about, and I denied myself the life I was meant to live. It wasn’t my parent’s life – it was mine. I lost track of that – and I lost track of me.
When I finally got into my brain that it was okay to live my life, Susan was still there. Still waiting for me to come around – to come out of my big ole closet! To me, celebrating her Birthday is also celebrating my life – so – Happy Birthday to us, my dear Susan…