It was a warm day as far as the normal first day of Decembers go. We had our annual Thanksgiving gathering with my family over the weekend. I was missing everyone today thinking how fast the days seem to go this time. It was an added blessing this year to have my grandmother there. Instead of in Florida, she is living with my parents now.
Advent is usually my favorite time to write. I tend to feel more inspired and connected to the spiritual world. I feel pretty dull for the time being, not depressed, just plain. I dropped the kids off at church tonight and then came back home. The elders were counting on having the boys there for the Advent meal to eat the food. I still am staying home from a lot of church these days. Our particular church does not alternate between any of the services in our hymnal, or do anything different for the special mid-week services. It’s Divine Service Three with communion every time. There just is no forcing myself to be grateful about it. I would go for the hymns, if for nothing else.
As much as my word of the year was “community” (ha!) and my main mind activity/ study this year has been contemplating the body of Christ and the practical applications of the theology of Christ’s body as it relates to the bodily communion and fellowship of the saints, I’ve actually gotten quite comfortable this year with being alone. I still have times where the pangs of loneliness will arise. It’s usually when my husband and I are together but not talking. It’s like inside I’ll just suddenly start screaming, “Pay attention to me! Ask me a question! Be curious about my inner world!” or even just saying, “Can we talk or something?” spurred by the feeling of wanting to connect emotionally.
I’m certain this is a common phenomenon in (some) relationships, which is why I don’t feel like I’m crossing any sacred boundaries by sharing it. The trick, I am learning, is not to indulge that overwhelming urge which can often come out sounding angry, which will inevitably sabotage any chance of obtaining the connection I am wanting. I am usually not this calculating in my actions, but the other day, when we were together in the living room and the feeling came upon me, I simply got up and left the room and went into another room to read. I was curious to see if my husband would wonder where I’d went and follow me. It took about three to five minutes, but to my utter amusement, he did!
There is so much to learn when it comes to living truly, or truly living, in a committed, long-term marriage relationship. My sister and I were talking about marriage today and she brought up how she’d once seen a marriage book written by a girl who’d been married a year. I don’t mean any disrespect to this young woman, and would never want to discount another person has having valid life experience to share no matter their age, but I did have to admit that the idea of writing a marriage book after one year of marriage seemed a little premature. Even after 18 years myself, I hesitate to write about it. Marriage has been such a formative part of my life however, the length of a whole other childhood, that at this point, it just feels wrong to not mention it more.
I have no advice. I operate best, and appreciate best, when I take the time to stop and write down a few experiences or thoughts. There have been things about my marriage that have been brutally hard, and things in my marriage that are and continue to be blessed and wonderful. The good news is that I do think, that with practice, time, and dedication, the things that making it brutally hard can actually improve. I’ve experienced some of those improvements this year, and with that, the hardness becomes less brutal, and more soft. It becomes less about what I’m wanting and needing, what I’m not getting, and more about seeing and appreciating what I have. I’m receiving more, yes, and growing to give more, too.