The morning after….
LOL — that used to mean something entirely different than it does now in my year of turning into my 70th decade!
And still, the morning after has great significance, even if it is just another day that began with my moving with the earth on its continual journey around the sun as the dark slips away to the west in the universe’s endless game of Chase the Sun!.
We shared our anniversary dinner with C.C.’s brother, M and his wife, also an M who are visiting from out-of-town. It was a lovely interlude and opportunity to get to know them better — they were part of our wedding celebration which made it even more fun!
I cooked, we chatted, did not drink copious amounts of wine — we do grow wiser as we age!
It was also a work-day for me yesterday which meant, in between Zoom meetings and writing a briefing note on the imperative of reducing long-term unemployment, I baked bread, made Carrot Ginger Soup and a Lemon Cake.
In the process, I discovered an interesting challenge. — If you put the formed bread into the proofing oven for its second rise, and then forget about it for 2 and a half hours, the buns that should have risen to perfect little individual rolls which butted up against each other in the pan but didn’t overwhelm their neighbours, become one big gooey mass of over-proofed dough.
You gotta pay attention!
It’s like a marriage.
If I do nothing to enrich, nurture and nourish our union, I risk it becoming a big blob of ooey, gooey nothingness that does not feel, look or even taste good to either of us. Without appropriate watching and tending to ensure the rough spots aren’t growing rougher, or the thin spots weaker, we risk losing the connection, joy and love which form the foundation of our ‘I Do’s’.
In between working, when I was cooking, I listened to Julia Louis Dreyfus interview Jane Fonda on her podcast, Wiser than Me (it’s a great podcast btw. She only interviews women over the age of 70). In the interview Jane Fonda, who is now 85, shares how she has learned she cannot be in a committed relationship with a man again. She misses the sex, she says, but she doesn’t miss losing herself into her need to become whomever she thinks the man wants her to be.
In a marriage, at least in mine, the greatest gift I give myself is when I remain as myself and continue to grow myself – and our marriage. That isn’t always easy.
I like to please. I am culturized to want to ‘make a man happy’ and to believe ‘the man matters – more.’
It’s the more that has always tripped me up because, when I let go of being me by believing, and acting, like his needs and wants and opinions are more important than mine, resentment and anger fester.
I’d like to say I’ve learned how not to do that, the lose myself that is, but the truth is, I am, just like our marriage, a constant work in progress.
For our union to work, I must stay vigilant and committed to becoming all of me without losing any of me to all of him. I can give love, commitment, compassion, caring, joy, freely, but in that giving, I cannot give myself away.
It’s a lesson I keep growing into as I grow deeper and deeper into becoming the all of who I am when I stand fearlessly in Love with all of me — and that includes the woman who has created big ooey gooey messes and mistakes. It’s not the messes I’ve made that define me, it’s what I’m willing to do to mop up my mess and create better, every time.