I have time today.
I will have time most days from now on, if I can help it.
This past weekend was a whirlwind. I was still a little sick and found out on Friday that I had a date wrong with one of my customers. I was thinking her 2 quilts and 4 pillows were due on June 14th, but it was actually July 14th. Whew! I took the weekend off and just rested.
Since deciding to take the business to a different level, we met with 2 website designers. We discussed how it would look, where the ecommerce tools would come from, MailChimp for abandoned carts and some marketing, themes, blogs, etc, etc. All this fun stuff costs money, but you have to spend some when you start a legitimate business right?
After the meetings, I rested a bit, DH picked up around the house, we actually got in the hot tub because I thought I needed a soak - I was freezing to death. We talked about where the business was going, how we could use it to work together, what roles DH would play, what I could do. Really future forward things like we used to do when we were younger with young children and got away for the weekend.
Yes, when the kids were young, my sister would keep them, and we would rent a cabin with a hot tub in the foothills of Texas and dream about our home we would build, how our lives would look in 10 years, 20 years, etc. We were very young (still are 20 years later) and deeply in love (still are 20 years later) and our whole lives were ahead of us.
We had not talked like that in a very long time. The kids' schedules prevent us from getting away and the occasional dinner every now does not give us the chance to get into those really deep conversations.
Usually, we have to get away to reach that point, but for some reason, my meds, the hot tub, the slow weekend, it all added up and we talked.
We were positive and excited about this new adventure - DH was calculating the amount of time it would take to pay off the house so he could quit, it was fabulous!
Do any of you have nightime epiphanies?
The kind that keep you up and change your whole outlook? The ones where see the future so clearly and so wholly, that it somewhat frightens you and causes this type of anxiety that is all encompassing and confusing and affects the whole next day?
I saw the stress. I saw me having major health problems. I saw a distant husband. I saw the tiredness and the overbearing feeling of being tied down. I saw being alone while my husband traveled since my work kept me in one place. I saw a constant feeling of having to perform and not getting time off.
None of these are great for this mostly introverted 40 something who internalizes and doesn't allow anyone to take her picture.
So Sunday morning came slowly. The night was long. I spent most of it in front of the computer, then the other part listening to DH breath and rest so comfortably which in itself caused more anxiety that I could not sleep and the confusion of what to do settled directly in my chest.
I could not verbalize my feelings on Sunday which made a difficult and uncomfortable day with us walking on egg shells and avoiding eye contact. It is not a fun dance we play from time to time, but it is almost needed by me to make clear my thoughts and him to prepare for the blow. I mean after all, we have been talking about this for a year or more, recently putting money and time into it - his eyes sparkled at the thought of it. ( I will add here, there was also a very personal issue at play here - one I cannot talk about as it is just between my husband and me, but also caused great distressed on top of this issue.)
I worked a bit to avoid talking, but the cutting and ironing only left more time for thinking and that is not the best thing when emotions are are running wild and tears keep falling, causing more nasal discharge on top of the sickness. It was ugly, not pretty or elegant in any way. DH left me alone for which I will be eternally grateful.
Sunday night was no better - more futuristic visions of complications and another sleepless night - staring at the smoke detector light wishing it would go out and leave darkness so sleep could overcome my tired self. It didn't and I didn't.
Monday came. Cleaners were coming and a house had to get ready. Kids needed to get up and life needed to happen. Funny thing that life - it keeps moving even when you want it stop and wait - wait for your mind to catch up and get settled. It doesn't though - you have to force your mind to move forward. Mine went to closing the business.
So, I did.
DH freaked out! I had no idea he was THAT much into it. He took it as I was taking away our future and that meant I wanted out. WHAT?!?!?!?! I was tired, I feel the most immense amount of pressure to perform, to succeed, to "Make it Happen"...
I cried, he cried.
We drove around because I did not want the cleaners OR the kids to see us quite like this - this was a very private moment for us and the outside world was not invited. In a way, I think this was a long time coming. A culmination of the last couple of years and so much change, and a lack of intimacy and time for ourselves to rest and get deep. I hate when we go through these times, but in general, we don't fight, we don't bicker, we rarely disagree. There is understanding, support and acceptance in a very quiet and loving manner. However, we are 2 very distinct and different people and I think these inklings build up and explode sometimes in these emotional and very dramatic moments.
He raises his voice - not a yell, but one of frustration and I get so quiet - so quiet he cannot hear me and has to ask me to repeat it which is hard because it took all I had to say it to begin with. Funny, because when the kids were young and I told them to sit down, even adults that were around us sat down - I have a very loud and authoritative voice, but I was so soft then. So soft.
This broke me guys - this decision, the hurt. He thought I wanted to leave him, which was ludicrous in my mind, but this is what happens when so much death and change washes over you and the intimacy is lost. This is how you find it.
I needed to be with them - my family. There was so much separation with the business, the build, we got away from who we are as a family, a couple with dreams, and individuals who are begrudgingly aging.
I need to look after myself. Something I have never done and was never allowed to do (in my mind?), and something that I need to do. I need to rest - they kind of rest that is deep and healing, the kind that I don't wake up with a start every day thinking I am late or have forgotten something. Yes, I have done that for at least 2 years. I am living in an adrenaline vacuum. Fight or Flight. There is no reason for it!
My wanting to close the business - which, by the way - is a very slow process - like almost a year slow. I have to fulfill current orders and give people a little time to order for the quilts. I decided August is the time I will stop accepting any orders - seems appropriate - it is when the kids go back to school and basically it is a change of seasons. In more than one way.
Then starts the selling of inventory, then business supplies - vinyl, fabrics, snaps, cork, patterns, etc. Then, equipment and furniture.
Did DH accept this? He did. Not at first, it took convincing that this was not an attack on our relationship or our family, but a focus on our relationship and our family and on myself. I want to travel with him. I want to be healthier because I want to hike the Grand Canyon and Zion. I want to be able to walk and walk and walk and walk and walk.
We are still soft with each other - I still get teary - there were some strong hurts, but we are actually better now. There were some things said that had been held for a long time - like he is scared about my heart. I have a hole in my aortic valve. About how I could stroke out. These things are real and difficult and we have growing pains like most couples who stay together.
Now, I want you all to know - I do not feel that we were in any way, shape or form close to a break up. I think his mind was full of emotions and doubts and in the heat of the moment went there. It is not a normal thing for us, which is why this was so difficult and uncomfortable and painful and weird.
I think a lot of people give up during these times. It is hard to face some things - death, sickness, the ending of things, an uncertain future, aging. I truly believe this was a defining moment of acceptance of these things on our parts. We may not be so graceful in their coming, but when get through it, we are always graceful because we still can gaze into each other eyes and know that "I love you" means just that. Just beautiful.
So, that is how, in 48 hours - we decided to close the business and discovered a little something else along the way - that we chose our family, always our family that we made and forge. Us. Together.