I went for a walk tonight with my husband. We actually talked, something I think we both realized we haven’t done in a while. The chaotic family life we lead, running around with kids and work and co-ordinating schedules leaves us drained by the end of the day. We just like to veg out. Tonight I pigged out on ruffles potato chips and half of one of the big containers of herb and garlic cream cheese. (That’s primal, right?) Nope, not even a little. I feel sick. Oh yeah, and reece’s peanut butter cups.
He plays video games and I either read or write. While we’re in the same room doing these things, we’re not really spending quality time together. At least when we watch movies or shows we pause them to discuss our opinions on what’s happening in the show. I like to think it’s something quirky that’s unique to only us. Tonight we were heading up to bed, and when my husband was letting the dog out, he half jokingly said we could go for a walk. I agreed immediately.
“What about the kids?” He asked. I shrugged. It’s not like we were going to be out of sight of the house, and tonight was a spectacular night to be outside. So we went. It was freezing out, -25C but the night was crisp and perfect and the stars glittered magically in the sky.
When I look at the night sky on nights like tonight I always wonder about our ancestors. When humans lived in tents or in caves as a community. Did they look up at the sky on crisp, perfect winter nights and feel the awe of the universe? Did they go on moonlit walks, hold each other close under the night sky? Did they see their breaths, in smoky contrast to the clean air? Did they make love and huddle under a pile of furs to keep warm?
“Tonight would be the perfect night for winter camping,” I told my husband, as we blazed a trail behind our house. “But it’s so cold,” he replied. “Exactly! That’s why you bring enough stuff to keep you warm, and then you get to watch the stars and sleep toasty warm, breathing fresh air all night.”
Fresh air. I realized then that I haven’t been outside in ages. This is how I get every January. Seasonal Affective Disorder. Sad. Very, very sad. I keep myself cooped up in the house because it’s so cold and miserable outside.
The girls (MadEye and Kurdles) were over last week and we went for a moonlit walk to the park and it was beautiful. I miss being outside. I miss adventure.
I told my husband how much I loved walking with him, even though it was almost literally around the house. I also noticed a lot of bedroom windows with the typical light blue flashes of television. I couldn’t imagine how much less we would communicate if we had a television in our bedroom. Why would anyone want a television in their bedroom? The bedroom is for sleeping, and loving.
I also told my husband that I wished we could go on more adventures together. He laughed and said, “we’re on an adventure right now!” And although it was just around the house, it sure felt like an adventure. We talked about some of the stuff that had happened today. We fought and he was a giant jerk, and I felt vindicated when he later apologized. I told him that I’m trying to be more logical and less emotional when we fight, and I, as he attested, seem to be doing a pretty good job of it.
We talked a lot, and it came up that he thinks that when I go out to Starbucks he considers it a waste of gas. I told him that it’s unfair that he can go drive anywhere he wants and it’s never considered a waste of gas, but when I want to go somewhere, it’s a waste of gas. It’s also true that I do it considerably more than he does, but I can’t drive anywhere without him thinking it’s a waste of gas. Blah blah blah. He didn’t want me to feel like I can’t go anywhere and it’s not like he’s purposefully trying to make me feel bad. Anyway, the conversation changed and he brought up the fact that in a couple of years our son will be in school and a huge chunk of our debt will be gone and then we can start using the car for more frivolous reasons.
I started to sob. Our son will be in school in a couple of years and then what? What will I do with myself? All I’m good for is retail and I’m at the point in my life where I despise retail. I told my husband as much. He asked me what I would tell him if the situations were reversed.
“I would tell you to pick something that you love and we would find a way to get you the education you need to do it.” I think he was surprised by the answer. Probably also annoyed. We can’t afford for me to go to school.
If I could pick anything to do with my life, first and formost would be writing. I’m working on a story right now, as I can imagine thousands, hundreds of thousands, of other wannabe-writers are too. I really want to work on it, polish it off, and submit it for publishing. I want it. I have to work harder to make it happen. There is literally nothing stopping me.
The second thing I would pick, if money and time constraints were not an issue, would be a wilderness tour guide. I would teach adventurous people how to winter camp, canoe (though I’ve only been canoeing a handful of times in my life), hike, camp and explore. There’s a program at a college that’s an hour away from here but, realistically, I don’t see how I could make it happen. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and when it’s time, I know I’ll be led in the right direction. Until then, though, I’m terrified (yet excited) for what’s waiting for me.
Normally I’m one to say, “embrace change!” But sometimes it happens so suddenly that you’re just not prepared. My husband held me and told me he loved me and not to worry about these things right now because it’s not happening for a few years. He said the exact right thing that I needed to hear.
I really did enjoy going on our little walk tonight, and I’d like to do it again. I think it might be time to plan a camping trip with MadEye and hopefully Kurdles too. Kurdles has never come camping with us, but I really hope she’d be interested in joining us. I think it would be a blast.
My cheeks are still burning from the cold and my body is energized. I really need to start eating more healthy and get more exercise. I bet I’ll sleep amazing tonight from that simple little walk.