A little while ago, my husband damaged his back. This has meant a stay in hospital, followed by therapy and rest. After six weeks, he's finally returned to work full time, but he's still exhausted; this healing business takes time.
You'd think that I've been upset, anxious and afraid – not to mention exhausted, frustrated, and annoyed. But to my surprise, I wasn't, not at all. Cool, calm and collected more accurately described my state of mind. 'Right,' I thought, 'honeymoon's over. Time to get to work.' So I ran the household. We usually split the childcare, but I took on his kindergarten and school runs, and the hanging round the park between pickups. He usually cooks one night a week, but that couldn't happen, so I've done that too; and he usually does the grocery shopping, but not this month. The cleaning, washing and everything else are my responsibility anyway; and to cap things off the kids first got a virus, then threadworms, which meant washing extra linen and scrubbing the house.
On top of that I read a bunch of books and articles and wrote almost 5,000 words for university, and penned a couple of columns, and drafted and recorded half a dozen short pieces for a new project. So you could say I've been busy.
And it all felt fine.
Our relationship kicked off fifteen years ago, during a time of tumult. He was getting divorced, my mother was dying, we fell out with first one church then another, I had an abusive employer, he stepped up to a major new role at work, and so on. The first couple of years we were together were really, really hard. Things were just settling down when we had a couple more significant deaths, and our first baby, which really knocked us around; but the last seven years have been a breeze!
And at some level, I've been waiting all this time for the next thing to happen, because living on an even keel can't be normal. Now that something has happened – thankfully nothing too major – I realise I've experienced the last half decade as a honeymoon period.
So instead of being upset, all I can think is, what a lovely thing to realise about one's relationship!