I’m not saying I had true insights today – I mean to imply that an insight will often lead to truth – or by telling the truth, you may be led to an insight. I may have experienced a bit of both today.
Here goes some tough truth-telling. I have to be honest with myself and with whoever is on this virtual ride with me. I feel committed to that.
I’ve been worried about money. We put pretty much everything into this house and, as with all such endeavours (at least in my experience) there are unforeseen costs. There also tend to be costs you forgot to add in. Silly oversights but all too common. At any rate, I’ve been increasingly worried. But not only worried – also unhappy that at this point in my life, I feel that I have to watch every penny. Unhappy that at this point in my life, I feel that I have to cut corners – watch where I spend my money in the grocery store and so on.
I woke up this morning in my darling’s arms and while he was being sweet and loving, my mind was churning. It was then that I had a small insight – small but significant. There are twenty years between us. Twenty years ago, I would have embraced this adventure more fully, not worried so much about the money. Hell, the fact is that twenty years ago I was starting all over again. I embarked on a new career in journalism. At age fifty-three, my marriage fell apart and I really had to start over again. I worked my butt off and saved like mad to have a financial cushion. I didn’t go anywhere or take so much as a one-week vacation for a good number of years. I’m not sure of the exact number perhaps eight?
I did all of this so that when the time came to stop working, I would never have to worry about money. I maxed out my RRSP contributions, bought GICs and all that good stuff. By the time I called it quits with work last year at about this time, I felt safe and happy. I had what I needed to put my feet up, never have to worry about money and still have glorious experiences: travel to the mountains, whether here or Europe – just have fun and adventure. And also, pile it all on now – who knows when you actually start aging and can’t hike or climb as you used to? Do it now!
At an age when most people are selling their homes or downsizing in order to pull money out and use it to travel, I was taking all my funds and putting them into a house. This, I realized with great insight today, was likely a grievous error.
But I was reluctant to tell Simon any of this. First, because he loves this place and I’d made a commitment and second, because I have worked hard at not stressing the age difference. It’s very rare for that difference to rise to consciousness. Yes, it was there at the beginning of our relationship with me not being able to grasp that Simon could possibly want to commit to a woman his senior. But this morning it reared its head and I couldn’t deny it. I was at a different phase of life than I had been 20 years ago. Oh sure, I don’t feel old and I’m fit and full of health and I don’t see the age difference in any other way. But the fact is that there are stages in our lives. At age twenty, I wanted very different things than I did at age forty. And so it is now.
I honestly didn’t think I could talk to Simon about this but being the alert person he is, he noticed a bit of mopishness about me at about lunch time. I don’t knwo how I gave it away – it could have been me collapsing on the kitchen table and saying something about wanting to run away to Nepal.
And so I told him what was going on inside me. And Simon listened and he got it. He understood. Not only did he understand, but he empathized and loved me and helped me open up – and we talked and worked on plan B and C and D – in case all of this didn’t work out. I think this was the first time my fears retreated into the background. And, as always happens when you tell the truth and communicate what’s really going on inside, I felt closer to him – a wellspring of love opening up.
It is only when I hold back and withdraw into myself that I feel isolated and wonder where the love suddenly went. It’s all me. I can’t withhold one emotion and expect others to be there ready to tap into.
I can’t say if this is a universal truth, but I do know that it is real for me, that if I want real intimacy (in to me see) I have to be vulnerable and open and courageous enough to be completely open and honest – it is only then that I experience the intimacy I want. It is only then that I can fully tap into the wellspring of love inside me. And it is only then that I can fully accept all the love that is given to me.
It is a lesson I seem to need to learn over and over again. Today I feel that it is embedded inside me.
What I truly need to understand is that Simon and I love each other. Being together and loving each other is more important than any house or other possession. It is equally important that we love and honour what is important inside us. I need to be happy – and that happiness has been missing the last couple of months. Simon needs to be happy. And I do believe we can both be happy. I don’t think either of us has to sacrifice anything to get there. We have so much common ground. We’re going to find that sweet spot. I have faith in that.