Friday, August 22, 2008


This popped up on Twitter today. "change is amazing. change motivates. scares. inspires. forces growth. requires thought. what other concept rules lives so completely?"


I once heard a fashion-minded psychologist say that people who liked wearing stripes enjoyed change. I loved stripes. What girl in the 80s didn't? And when I was a Power Mama, I loved wearing my pin-striped suits. Always felt in charge! I still enjoy a subtle tone-on-tone stripe for fun. But I do not like change.

Well... maybe I do... I don't know... let me think here...

Okay wait... I changed my mind. I do like change. I don't like radical scary change. Like aliens coming down and rearranging my life so that it no longer resembles the one I was dreaming about before waking up. I don't like when good friends move too far away because their husband changes jobs. I don't like when control freaks change the rules by which the rest of us were just playing nicely. Those are jolting changes. Those are uncomfortable and don't inspire anything.

What about the change that motivates us to grow? That can be scary, too.

Late last year, my husband, The Pilot and I separated. It was ugly. But it was good. Now, we are changing again. Not changing back... but hopefully changing for the better. We are slowly reforming our relationship, setting new rules and standards by which we plan to live. That change is also good. There are some old habits that we are both clinging to. That's where we are going to need outside help. Agreeing to the when and how is our current challenge. The fact that it is being discussed shows that we are changing forward... but that we still need to tread lightly...

You know what? Do you want to hear my Dirty Little Secret? The one I think The Pilot is pretty aware of? I really got used to being alone. I mean, yes, it's hard being a single mom. It's just one challenge after another. And answering questions about the husband is only part of the agony. (Ask my good friend, Naomi about those annoying questions... I'm the Little Voice In Her Head, or something like that...) But in the midst of difficult questions and all the confusion, there were things that I really began to enjoy. Not checking in with someone about a possible schedule conflict. Picking out girly colors for the room. Wearing something pretty just for me. These are all things I'm going to hang on to, regardless of the outcome. I guess being apart reminded me about who this girl named Sugar was. And I began to miss her. And there's a lot of stuff that I'm not willing to lose again.

Being alone also meant that I didn't have to worry about rejection, real or imagined.

The Pilot wasn't always wanting to join me for stuff. I always wondered if... if he would go on a hike with me... if he would schedule time off for special days of the year... if he would want to sit quietly with me as we sipped a cup of coffee read the morning news. I used to get so depressed when my invitations were met with indifference. This time alone made me really look at that unnatural reliance on another person... looking to someone to "complete" me. It hit me hard one day. I remember being up on the most thought clearing hike, thinking, "Now, why is it that I always begged him to come out with me?" I was thoroughly enjoying the quiet time alone. It didn't even bother me when a couple walked past me in the opposite direction. It would have last year. But I realized that although they may have been enjoying the hike together, I was enjoying the solitude... a lot! Then I thought, The Pilot likes fishing... he doesn't think I don't care about him if I don't go with him. Every now and then, we do go out on a boat together and we enjoy it. Most of the time, though, he's like Opey with a pole looking for a fishing hole. He doesn't need me to fish with him. Why did I need him to hike with me? That was a big epiphany for me. Silly, I know... but I can't tell you the relief I felt at that moment, right there on the trail.

So now we are semi-living together. He still keeps his Spare Room rented just in case I need to kick him to the curb. Just in case things don't change in the right direction. Eventually, I suppose he'll either move in and get rid of the Spare Room... or he won't. We'll have to take it... (do I need to say it)

... one day at a time.



Rock and Roll Mama said...

Thanks for sharing this. What an insightful, brave post. I love your realization that solitude is nit necessarily bad- it's so easy to come together when you don't feel like you "have" to.
I had some scary stuff going on today (my mom had breast cancer surgery, and my dear MIL is looking at a surgery next week) and I just cried and cried while driving today (smart, right?) literally saying out loud to myself, "I don't want things to change. I don't want things to change..." I swear I'm not usually that crazy, but I'm so afraid of losing them, and love things the way they are. SO thanks for sharing the Twitter quote at the top.

KingdomWriter said...

Oh I still love pinstripes! I read your deep sharing stuff and that's what came to mind... Sorry, deeply shallow obviosly.
Have you heard about the book 'DNA of relationships? It's by Gary Smalley, a christian guy. Got some really good stuff about keeping your boundaries, taking personal responisbility and not letting someone else be in control of your feelings etc. I found it extremely helpful, just thought I would pass that in! Enjoy your peace and freedom, I do know soo much what you mean.

Sugar said...

Wow... yesterday's sermon was about CHANGE. It also touched on a couple of things I've been journaling about. It was really convicting. Damn.

Naomi said...

First, I used to love change. I'm all about going with the flow. But now, I'm old and ornery and I have decided no more change, esp if you're talking technology. I think I'm the only person who still owns a VCR.

Second, you cracked me up with the little voice in my head are so not ghetto or you'd know what I meant LOL. If I ever need a good laugh, I always know to come here (you are and i are probably the only two people that say snarky and that would drive miles away for a drive thru, screw being green).

"Friend in my head" (used more by radio/talkshow host Wendy Williams than anyone else I know) meaning, I don't know them personally, but in my head, their one of my good friends (ie you don't know britney, but you were invested in her getting better and getting her kids back b/c she's your friend in your head).

Third, I've always said their are signs everywhere, you just have to look for them. That Starbucks cup was a sign if I ever saw one.

smiles4u said...

You are being so wise in taking it one day at a time. You are learning so many things about yourself on this journey. I am glad that your having some nice times with the deserve it! You both look very happy in the picture!

Sugar said...

It seems that Change is in the air. I just read this post from a new friend that I met at BlogHer. We connected at the Beautiful Blogging session. She's also the Hope Revo girl. She's awesome. Go read:

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

This is really good, Sugar... it's been so long since I've been to your blog (shame on me) and I'm glad to see all this GROWTH that you're going through.

Growth is painful - no doubt about that - but it's also so cool being on the other side and saying "Wow - look at THAT! Look how far I've come!"

It's really cool to be able to see you on this journey... I'm proud of you, girl!