I Can’t Think About Afghanistan when I’m Busy with Painting and Exercise and Polka Dot Dresses.
So I cannot, from my head, erase the things I know I need to do. I’ve swept them into a discombobulated pile — tucked somewhere behind the dusty corners of my right temple, I figure, because that’s where I wake up with a headache every morning.
Or maybe it’s because I clench my jaw at night.
Either way, these things won’t move.
And they weigh.
And rather than tackle them head-on and one-at-a-time like any normal, functioning, proactive adult, I sweep. And I stare. And I think. And I watch episodes from Season 1 of Felicity on Netflix and analyze my sister’s love life on the phone and eat artichoke for dinner 2 nights in a row.
Clearly, I have problems.
Unlike the last time Justin was out-of-town when I got all productive and inspired and finishy, this is one of those other times. Those times when I know I can stretch that dirty pair of jeans out one more day — when I think that a disgustingly filthy post-road trip car makes the appropriate statement to the world that I don’t give a sh*t — when I tell myself that watching Felicity is good for my nostalgic mental health.
And all I can think really, intelligibly, is that I hope this isn’t a preview of what will come when he’s gone for much, much longer later this year.
Of everything that happens. Mentally. Emotionally. The stuff that military spouses talk about but never really talk about.
The fact that I relish being alone.
And the fact that I hate being alone.
That I miss being touched.
That sometimes I don’t want anyone to touch me.
The way the leftovers are still in the fridge when I want them.
The way leftovers spoil in the fridge because I never eat them.
That this would be so much easier if I had kids to keep me company.
That ohmygod I could not handle effectively being a single mother for months at a time.
So I know, when the time comes, I need to gear up for productive mode. That lethargy simply isn’t acceptable. That I need to spend those 4 months painting the front porch. Remodeling my bathroom. Advancing my freelance career. Taking Spanish lessons. Or French lessons. Or both. Growing some arm muscles. Revamping this website. Learning how to make a proper gin martini while wearing vintage polka dot dresses and red high heels.
Don’t tell me you wouldn’t do the same thing.