Other Foot

I just got back from a week long adventure in the wilds of Montana. I was sent there for my day job. Normally, if I’m sent to an offsite location it’s within my home state and I’m sleeping in my own bed that night. Now my husband is sent all over the country a couple times a year. This is the first time the shoe was on the other foot.

My trip was with 35 strangers. We were a mix of males and females ranging in age from college students to grandparents. Half of us, me included, were completely out of our comfort zone. I’m good in the woods or the desert, but I’m not good surrounded with strangers. It’s exhausting to be with strangers that I have to interact with for 14 or 15 hours a day without a break. I had no down time. No time to recharge my batteries.

In addition to my husband being my source of unconditional love and security, he’s also a buffer between me and people. I’m not a gregarious sort. I live in my head. I create mini worlds and I control how they interact. I control the plot, the dialogue and the ending. The real world is all together different. And generally – I’m not a fan.

To me, ‘the public’ is an energy vampire. Being in close confines with others just sucks the life out of me. I was prepared for inclement weather, the back country, long hours and rough conditions. I was not prepared for the toll of being around strangers for a week solid with sleep being my only away time. I came home utterly fried emotionally and physically.

My Love, on the other hand, experienced what it’s like to go about your normal routine with the other half of your soul missing. He’d come home and heat up a meal I’d prepared ahead of time, but he’d eat it alone. He had no one to share his day with. No one to share the chores. Yet, everywhere he looked he was reminded of me and something we created together. He said, if something ever happened to me the house would be on the market in a heartbeat. The memories would eat him alive.

At the end of the week, we both decided we’re no good alone. We’re halves of one whole. I think that’s the way it’s meant to be. We’ve spent everyday of 38 years together except for the occasional solo work trip. Our lives are completely intertwined and that’s the way we like it.

Montana