Rhonda and I went out to dinner last night. It was a last minute event brought on by our babysitter calling to see if we needed her. I guess she needed the hours. But we welcomed the opportunity and quickly confirmed. Then we looked at each other. Where are we going to go? It shouldn’t be a tough question really. But realize where we live. There just aren’t many places to go. And, as it was, in the last week we’d already been to any of the three places that we actually enjoy going to. We couldn’t go out of town because Rhonda is on call this weekend. We were stumped. But finally Rhonda offered up a stellar option in another, close by, small town – Delphos, some local dive we’ve been to before called Top Chalet.
The truth of the matter is that we weren’t really going anywhere to eat. We wanted to talk. About everything. There is a lot going on. It’s a pivotal time in our lives. The seasons are changing, metaphorically and actually. It’s my birthday, so I’m crazy, realized or not. Rhonda is going to China for a month in June and the girls and I are going to live in Colorado. Her practice is taking on a new partner. We’re looking at new houses …big ones. I’m considering my post election work options. See what I mean? A lot to talk about. Change is imminent, either because we’re making it or because, well, that’s what change does on its own. And the choices on the table have implications probably until we retire…whenever that might be. Huge.
Last week when I was on the plane ride home from DC, on my birthday, I was thinking about all of this. And in particular, I was thinking about one question – How do you define ‘quality of life?’ Rather, how do I define it? The size of my house? The places I can go? The people I surround myself with? The work I do? Maybe all of it. Maybe none of it. Maybe some other things. Then I started to convince myself that the definitions probably change all the time and I suggested to Rhonda that we have a discussion about how we want life to be looking forward, then reconsider all the options we have in front of us.
But although what I was thinking seemed logical, unemotional and, well, like a good idea – that’s not how it reached her. Rhonda heard me questioning our entire design. To be clear, that’s exactly what I was doing. But I wasn’t suggesting a change or that we are doing anything wrong. I was suggesting a renewal discussion where we (re)define our direction and galvanize the decisions we make and why we’re making them. Conflict ensued, though not interesting enough to write about here. Anyway…that’s what dinner was for, actually having that conversation. So we did. Then we talked about how we talked about the conversation, if that makes any sense. We’re doing well lately. I guess that’s because of our commitment to make sure we’re doing well. God bless marriage counseling. You know what, fuck that. I mean God bless it and all but God bless two people who really want to be together and are willing to weather the trying parts of doing everything with another person and make it work. We don’t think the same way and we don’t behave the same way. That’s a big reason why we ever got together. What made us strong in the beginning is what keeps us strong today – striking a partnership that respects and includes both of us as individuals and as part of the other one.