As predicted, things have been hectic since my last posts. School started; the back-to-school season wreaked havoc on my work schedule (since I work in the education industry, it's the "make hay" season of our calendar year); we began the process of pulling together paperwork for the house (who says buying a foreclosure can't be fun!), for taxes (I know you're jealous), and for other fun things like school fundraisers ("just take these 17 easy steps to earn your child a miniature rubber ducky on a lanyard!").
Patrick has been doing some serious career assessment this year, and has several opportunities that look promising, but they're all moving slow as molasses.
My work environment has improved and it looks like some due compensation will be coming my way before the new year, but the pace is likely to stay break-neck.
The house... well we were supposed to close on Tuesday (which happened to mark one year from our first meeting), but the seller (we're not even actually sure who that is) hasn't delivered the deed yet. We're now in a perpetual holding pattern until that happens.
And no, we haven't set a wedding date yet. We've had a handful of discussions around it, namely our desire to be wed sooner rather than later, and our equal-but-opposite desire to not have to cram wedding planning into this fall's schedule or sacrifice the few items that are actually important to us.
Yesterday, Patrick was feeling a bit frustrated over the lack of "closure" for so many big deals in our life. I recognized this as my same need to "write the end of the story". It's a need that has largely disappeared for me, in the face of so much support and stability, and I want the same for him. I pointed out that there's a difference between "closure" (which implies some decision yet to be made) and "delay" (which simply means a change in timing - not outcome). And we talked about how his response - to attempt to know the likely outcome and to try and control all aspects of a process - is an important coping mechanism when you're living in an environment where you have little control.
Co-dependency, bullying, a long stream of traumatic experiences - any of those (or all of them) are enough to make you grasp at any straw of control or planning available. How are you supposed to defend yourself if you don't know the likely outcomes?!
What an amazing joy and unburdening it is to be able to let go of all of that. Now, when we have a string of delays, I just sigh and think, "Okay God, what are you trying to say?" Often, the answer is a simple, lovely, "slow down!"
I no longer worry about the end of the story because the options are unbound, spreading out before me like open sky - not like a forks in an overshadowed path in the woods. I know that wherever we end up, it will ultimately be okay. In all likelihood, better than okay. As Dr. Luz has pointed out, the flip side of the chaos coin is opportunity. Things cannot go "off track" if you aren't limited to living on a track. There is beauty in the open-endedness.