One of the more fascinating conversations I paid witness to at Burning Man was all about couple time. This woman was speaking about how she and her partner don't ever camp together because, well, that's just too much together time. I glanced over at my Mister, who I had just spent a month living with in a tiny pop-up trailer, every day together ALL THE TIME and I didn't know what to feel. I mean, good for them, knowing what works. But, 24/7 I had been with my husband... for a month. And I still couldn't get enough of him. Don't get me wrong, I love getting some alone time. But after 14 years of marriage and 18 years together, I still LOVE being with this man. I still look forward to long hours of couple time and days where we can just do what we want in each others company. Being with him feels so good, most of the time; it's when we are apart too much that life feels hard.
Sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with us.
But yesterday, a category 3 hurricane hit Baja California, smashing into La Paz, where some of my family lives. My cousin Mike (a.k.a. my Wonder Twin) holed up at CasaBuena and reported yesterday that he's alive and safe and totally numb. He spent the storm with our family and rode out the night surrounded by people who love him. His boat, which is where he lives, is MIA but may have been spotted with 20 other vessels piled on a sand bar. His friends, who planned to stay with their boat through the storm, are missing and their boat looks to be underwater. The city looks like a war zone and there are no services, no potable water and people in shock at the destruction of their city. My heart feels like it's trying to beat itself out of my chest when I see the photos and think about my people there.
snuggling my nephew at CasaBuena
What does this have to do with my relationship? Nothing and Everything, all at once. Here's the thing: I get to spend my life with someone I adore, who clearly adores me in return. Who knows what kind of time we all get for that? My family is safe and for that I am infinitely grateful. But some families they love may not have fared so well in this storm and that breaks me in two.
We get this time, with these people and dammit, if you don't live it well you don't get it back. Does this mean you should spend every moment in service to your relationships? YES. Though part of that is, of course, taking the "me time" you need to feel fulfilled and ready to give everyone else what they need. Whatever works.
In the meantime, I'll be waiting word on my cousin's home and the people he loves. Fingers crossed, everyone. We all need this to end well.
Four years ago on the water in La Paz with family I adore.