One of my favorite commentators, the old guy, from Romania who now lives in New Orleans, did a piece about jet lag and trying to figure out what day and time it is, but it becoming irrelevant. (I'll add a link later. He's smart and has a great voice.)
Neil, my amazing 31 year old brother, did the Iron Man Race in Australia yesterday--December 2, 2007.
Justin and I are flying to Chicago today, December 2, 2007.
We thought we'd miss tracking Neil's race on-line because we'd be in transit, but instead we missed it because I was at work and Justin was in Los Angeles visiting his step-dad.
And now it's 5:30 a.m. and I'm supposed to have gotten a whole lot more done by now, but waking up at 4 a.m. is hard to do.
A friend of mine said something interesting yesterday, at work, when I told him we were going to Chicago and I was stressed out because I have so much work to do.
"Why are you going?"
"Because he asked me to go. He needed the support and that's what you do when you're married. You support each other emotionally, financially, physically."
"But when it affects your finances maybe you should say, 'no.'"
At the time I think I said something like, "Yeah, well..."
But now, when we are to leave our house in just a couple of hours, I am reconsidering these words. Both Justin and I, in our mere five and a half years of marriage have almost died. He got sick the first month of our marriage, and I got sick about four years into it. Never, during those hospital visits, did we want anything more than to be with each other for a lot more years.
I'm reading Tuesdays with Morrie right now--my brother recommended it and I dug it out of the recycle bin at the library across the street, a perfectly clean not even cracked hard back copy--and I'm getting ready to travel with my husband. While we are gone, I will miss out on making minimum wage for walking dogs and serving restaurant customers.
I don't imagine I will ever remember these days as an important time if I didn't spend them supporting my husband by actually being with him.
I don't imagine we'll miss the money more than we would miss each other if we couldn't be together.
I've been to Chicago once for a journalism convention and I can show him around, I also could rely on my memory to know it's a nice place where I wouldn't completely mind living--not like the South, which I've endured and which I forbade him to even consider applying to residency programs. But as Justin said, "You were there with kids in Chicago. You weren't there with your husband looking for a place to live."
In marriage, our lives are intertwined around presence, not money. This being together is what matters. Maybe I can get some work done there--maybe just taking photos, maybe some mounting of photographs while he interviews. I just have to remember that life has many opportunities and, the real question to ask is, "Am I being the person I want to be?"
Am I being the person I want to be?
Right now, perhaps more so than ever before in my life.