Apr. 10th, 2011

tafeanorn: (Gil-Galad)
Well, here it is, April of 2011.

I haven’t done much blogging in the last year and half, have I?

There’s some good reasons for that, and I’ll go into them here in a bit, but first let me say that I’m going to try to do more writing here.  I think I ought to be able to get in three posts a week.  Maybe not long ones or insightful ones, but I should be able to write something three times a week.  So that’s the goal.  And if I’m not successful at that pace right at first, it should become easier in a couple of months.

So what’s been going on?  What’s kept me from writing?  What’s kept me from wanting to share?

::sigh::

It’s kind of a long story, but one I’ve been wanting to talk about.  It’s also somewhat difficult.  There are parts that I’m very proud of, and parts that I’m not happy about at all.

It started back in October of 2009 (oddly enough, that’s where my semi-regular blog posts stop).  Our rental house needed an entire new roof and part of a side wall rebuilt.  To the tune of $26,000.  We had some savings, but nothing like that (and we had been planning a European cruise with that savings).  It had to get fixed, so we paid for it on credit.

That debt really started getting to me.  I was basically a wreck November through January.  I couldn’t sleep, which, for those who know me, is _very_ out of character.  It made Thanksgiving tense, which led to additional stress between me and my parents.  I made an emergency flight down to Southern California to smooth things over with them (which went very well, but amped up the stress another notch).

By February, I was sick of feeling bad and sorry for myself and was actually able to _do_ something.  I put together a plan that would get that debt paid off in a year.  It was hard work.  Damned hard work.  I took on a second job.  I sold off much of my game collection.  We made sacrifices to cut down our expenditures. 

It worked.  In eleven months, on January 5th, I made the last payment on that credit card.  It was a very proud moment.  Despite numerous obstacles (such as: a leaking water heater, a leaking shed, a 16 year-old needing to learn to drive, two computer disasters) we did it.

But there was a price.  Several, actually, that took a while to see and realize.

By the Fall of 2010 it was becoming obvious that there were serious relationship problems between my wife, Christine, and I.  Not obvious enough that I couldn’t ignore them, and so I did until she thankfully brought them to a head in January.

I was not the same person I used to be, she said.  I was distant and cold.  I took love and encouragement and gave little in return.  My life, my emotional life, no longer seemed to be linked to the rest of the family.

She asked me to see a therapist.  Now to be honest, I wasn’t too keen on that idea, but once I figured out that our health insurance would cover nearly all of it there didn’t seem to be any good reason not to go.  It would show my commitment to fixing things with Christine, plus it might actually help.  I started seeing Bob back in February.

And wow!  Has it made a difference!  I’ve always been a worrier and anxious in general, but Bob has really shown me how to put that all behind me and relax.  I can talk more about what he has taught me and what things really work for me if anyone is really interested, but for now I think it’s enough to say that all of that stress that had been going on back at the end of 2009 never really went away, and only just now am I getting rid of it.  We’re working now on feeling more comfortable expressing myself, and writing this down is a step in that direction.

Christine and I have had a lot of very good, very hard, very emotional and very draining talks over the last few months.  We missed one of our favorite trips -- a road trip to Eastern Washington for RadCon -- to have a long talk that at varying points seemed to be going either poorly or terribly, only to have it turn out very good.  We got away last weekend, just the two of us for the whole weekend, and had a very good time.  We talked a lot, a just did a bunch of touristy stuff together -- some we enjoyed, some we didn’t -- but we did it together and have those experiences to share.

We’ve also decided that nobody hates the other and that we’re in this for the long haul.  We’re working this out together and even if things are difficult in the short run, we’re looking past that to the future.  Together.

I am so lucky to have her in my life.  I am so thankful for all that she does and all that she is.  It took a lot of strength to begin this process and I admire her determination to pull me through it -- kicking and screaming at first.  I love her deeply and I am devoted to addressing her problems and getting us to a place where they are no longer an issue.

And so I’m still working the second job and I’m still selling off the remainders of my collection.  But not to pay off a debt or to fix something that’s broken.  This time it’s for fun.  We’re putting that European cruise back on the agenda, in July of this year, and are going to have a great time.  It’s part reward and present to ourselves for putting up with the last year, but mostly just doing it for the fun of it.  We’re all very excited about it and looking forward to it -- 14 days sailing around the coast of Norway.

And I’ll blog from there too.

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