Friday, August 8, 2014

Late Night Thoughts

Sometimes, being happy is terrifying.

I don't say that to diminish some of the awful things that happen in the world.  There is always "worse," as in the kind that people tell themselves they could be going through when dealing with something truly awful such as an illness, a death, or abuse.

But the fear that creeps up when things are going so well, when you question what lies around the bend to bring you back to earth, and know that nobody ever really has everything go well without something going badly somewhere, can be paralyzing.

I am not an optimist, clearly, but I'm also not one of those people who dwells on what could happen.  I don't constantly worry about money or health.  But sometimes, like tonight, something triggers that part of my brain that I've learned to ignore as much as possible for sanity.  In this case, it was reading a Reader's Digest story (and maybe a little bit of off-kilter hormones).

I read about the Swiffer Couple, Lee and Morty Kaufman, who are in their nineties.  They make me smile and laugh...and desperately want to have my husband around at that age.

You see, things are good right now.  No, not perfect, but I'm content.  The two of us are happy with each other, money is tight but manageable, the kids are wonderful, we're expecting our fourth baby (the one we had only ever daydreamed about when having trouble staying pregnant), and stress levels are generally low.  And that simple story of a happy couple who have had each other for nearly 50 years, who still love each other and take care of each other at an age that some people never reach sent me into that dark part of my brain.

We aren't getting any younger.  What if someone gets sick?  What if something goes horribly wrong with our lives?  What if I lost my husband?  I realized that I'm TOO happy -- I'm in a place in my life that I would be destroyed if Chris were gone tomorrow.  There are times that I know I would be able to be strong for my children and survive such a thing, but that's not where I am right now; I would truly fall apart.

Hell, I know I shouldn't be thinking about this stuff.  I know many people have these ebbs and flows in their lives where their reactions to something unexpected and devastating would be different than at other points in their lives.  But tonight, when I should be sleeping and not thinking, I did think about it and I fell apart.  I needed to be closer to my husband, who was snoring away on the opposite side of our bed, separated from me by my Great Wall of Pillows that appears when I'm pregnant.  Sniffling with tears I couldn't stop, I pushed the pillows out of the way and snuggled up to him.  He woke up and looked confused (of course), then asked me what was wrong.  I blubbered that I wasn't really sure but I needed him and he laughed and pulled me closer.

And because things are so good right now, that was all I needed.  Just a squeeze and a kiss and an understanding smile to pull me back.  Which is the point of all of this; I want that be what I need and have for as long as possible.

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