Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Friday, December 17, 2010

I Discover a Life Management Principle--The Hard Way

One of the things I am looking forward to this weekend is the reintegration of my internal clock.  I have been living in two time zones for the last month, courtesy of my husband's temporary residence in a city across the ocean from where I live.  This has made for some serious communications gaps, and a soupçon of schizophrenia.  

There have been some pleasant moments, like our dinner hour a couple of days ago, when my son and I were joined at the table by a laptop containing the image of our husband and father, ensconced in his hosts' guest room, getting ready to go to sleep.  It was one of the most peaceful dinner hours in our home in recent memory.  Maybe my husband's Skype persona is on his best behavior.  Something about being on camera, perhaps.

I can't really say the same for my own.  I have at times been my dark and overwhelmed self, less shy about letting him see the consequences of his absence than your average woman's magazine would advise.  

As I write this, I am still easing into the morning.  He has had breakfast and lunch, and is wandering the Scottish streets in search of the gifts he plans to load into his sleigh, err suitcase, to pave his way back into our hearts.  

Later today, I am planning an expedition to get our Christmas tree, followed by a boozeless Happy Hour dinner with my sons.  My significant other will probably have already turned in.

On Sunday, when his plane lands, we will re-enter the world of coterminous time.  It will be early afternoon for both of us.  But, unless he follows my sage recommendations, which he hardly ever does, he will have been awake for about 20 hours.  My day will be only five or six hours old.  Judging from past experience, I'm guessing we may be in synch by Christmas Day.  Or not.  

But at least I won't have to stay up late to catch him in his continent's morning.  Or to cram a contact into the busiest part of my day to find him available and conscious.  

Even though our normal everyday arrangements include his working in another state, occasional nights over, and some travel within the country, the resumption of this pattern will be a relief.  I am looking forward to ending the mind- and day-bending exercise we have been engaged in. 

Here's a little lesson in life simplification--a lifehack, in modern parlance--that I have discovered.  Life is less work when you live on the same continent as your spouse.   

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