Valentine’s Day…that once-a-year-Hallmark-opportunity to reflect on hearts and flowers, love and chocolate. In the wake of a year that has at times chewed me up and spit me out a bit, it’s sometimes been hard to get in the mood to feel celebratory. From the holidays to the last week of vomiting, asthmatic, attitudinal kids and late night, no-sleep baking marathons…it’s been hard to really feel the magic that holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day are supposed to illicit.
In my 42nd year, I guess I’ve been having something akin to a midlife crisis. My body isn’t as strong or fit as it used to
be. I’ve had to come to terms with the nightmarish realities of what I had thought would turn out to be my “dream job.” It’s been a year of feeling like things just don’t quite fit…from my shoes to my pants…to my career…to my life. There are times that I haven’t even enjoyed being with myself so I’m heading out on a limb to surmise that others didn’t have any interest being near me either. In such moments, inevitably it’s those closest to the epicenter that get hit the hardest, sustain the most damage. So…I’m guessing that there have been many moments this past year that Chris hasn’t exactly been feeling the love.
What I’ve sorted out from all my moody broody moments is that there comes a time when one must reconcile dreams with realities…where one must let go of everything they thought, hoped would happen and embrace what’s actually happening instead. In recent days and weeks, this is what I’ve been working to do. In the midst of such a space, it may sound jaded but—from the perspective of an old married lady coming off of a tough year—the most romantic and poignant thing I’ve heard this Valentine season was uttered by Ira Glass on the February 7, 2014 edition of “This American Life.” He said…
“…one of the things that’s a comfort in marriage is that there isn’t a door…and so if something is messed up in the short term, there’s the comfort of knowing that like, we’ve made this commitment so we’ve just got to work this out. And even if tonight we’re not getting along or something between us just doesn’t feel right, there’s the comfort of knowing we’ve got time to figure this out. And that makes it so much easier. Because we do have times when we hate each other’s guts. And the ‘no escape clause’ is a bigger comfort to me than I ever would have thought…”
So…cheers to love…the new and shiny unsoiled kind…the intense and crazy passionate kind…and mostly—for me—the old and married and comfortable kind. On Valentine’s Day and any day, what more could a girl hope for than a guy who holds her hand and keeps plodding through…even and especially on the hard, grey, murky days.