This particular vacation home is my favorite. I've been there more times than I can count, and there is something just so right about it. When I'm there, I can think, and relax, and somehow everything seems clearer. When I'm there, anything is possible, but I don't feel a need to rush around. It's a simple cabin, not too big, not too small, and I love it. There is no WiFi; there isn't even cell reception. I'm usually pretty connected, and the lack of connectivity itself is fantastic. The trip was wonderful, and I really came back feeling refreshed.
I had been back in the house all of two minutes, complete with gift from daughter to ex (my idea, because I'm trying to be nice, see?!) to hear "I hope you brought milk with you. I ran out yesterday." Little statements like that make me absolutely crazy. He's been home, nothing to do, and can't even buy his own milk? And feels a need to mention it within a minute of my arrival?
I did have milk in the cooler. Good thing, because in the morning if I don't have my coffee with milk I can not function.
Seconds later, he spotted the chocolates that had been given to me by a friend, and he lunged for them. "MMMmmmm I like those" he said, and I snatched them away like a toddler, doing everything but yelling "Mine!" Oh dear. My vacation zen can wear off pretty quickly if I'm not careful.
While I was gone I came up with the brilliant idea of forgiving him for everything that's come between us. I have this idea that he is a broken person, struggling in the world, and that he is doomed to be unhappy unless he changes, but that I have a great capacity for happiness, and that is enough for me, and I should just forgive him. There is no "just" in forgiveness, I think it's a longer process than that (possibly millenia, actually), but I do like the idea. It would be easier if I didn't come home to piles of things, a bad smell in the kitchen that wasn't there when I left, and the damn milk. Breathe in, breathe out.....
It's going to take a lot of breathing for me to get past these little irritations, because after too many years of marriage, the little tape that plays in my head (or is it an MP3? nah, mine's a tape) says:
How can he expect me to manage every little detail even when I'm gone a week? Why can't he get off the sofa, even for his OWN coffee? How on earth will he care for Katherine when I'm not in the background taking care of this stuff? Why is he lazy? Why do I have to do everything?
And then the other voice says:
Stop being judgemental. Move on. You're getting divorced, and it isn't your problem to solve any more. Be an adult, don't dwell on the little things.
And the first voice replies:
But it's driving me CRAZY!
Clearly I have some work to do to attain forgiveness. I know. I'm working on it, okay?
But on another topic....
I have a massive love of orca whales. There is something mysterious and beautiful and wise and playful about them - they're like mythical creatures to me, I find them so astonishing. Well, I live in a part of the world where they live wild, and I've seen them, but only rarely. Somehow, I got it in my head that when things were going to be okay in my life, when I was going to figure out the career and the finances and the divorce and find The Man, I would receive orcas as my sign.
On the ferry, there was a pod of orcas. We were with them for at least twenty minutes. I got pictures. And I wept, because they were so beautiful, and so unexpected, because I loved seeing them so much, and because I thought, "Really? My sign? Right now?" The orcas did not come bearing checks or a man, but they were no less sublime.
I don't know if it's a real sign. I'm aware of how cuckoo I sound just for admitting out loud that I think it was a sign, and I don't know if I believe in signs... But sign or no sign, seeing them was a gift I'm unlikely to ever forget.