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This Too Shall Pass

May 21, 2014

Life goes on, doesn’t it? Back in December I had to say goodbye to my husband, knowing I wouldn’t see him again for 4+ months. At the same time, I had 16 weeks of student teaching stretching out in front of me, an experience I knew would teach me a lot, but also be worth it. Now, those four long months have come to an end, and I’m so excited to celebrate the end of a challenging season and the beginning of a new one!

When I got married, I couldn’t have predicted that I’d spend one-sixth of the first two years of our marriage separated from my husband. It’s not the way marriage is meant to be, but at least we had practice from our time dating long-distance. It sucked to have to say goodbye and move back in with my parents, but there have been some wonderful benefits to this unusual circumstance, too.

  1. Quality time with my family.

As much as the short Skype dates strained my relationship with my husband, living at home again provided great opportunities to bond with my parents and my youngest brother, Tweedle-Dum. Tweedle-Dum was cooling his heels at home for a few months as he got ready to enlist in the Navy (he just left for Basic Training yesterday). We haven’t lived together in 7 years, so it really was an awesome blast from the past to get to know him again. I kept discovering things about him that I never knew, or had forgotten. I took him out to coffee frequently, because for some reason those were the only times I could really get him to open up about serious topics. We watched movies and shows, fought over the last of the good ice cream, and generally had a fabulous time together for four months. On his last day at home we watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower together, and we both cried. Those who know my brother will understand why this was the perfect movie for him to watch right about then.

 

The good memories I made with my brother were enough in and of themselves to make the separation worth it, but I also got to hang out with my husband’s family quite a bit during the last four months. The highlight of those times would definitely be seeing my five little nephews and 1 niece (they’re 5,4,3,2,1, and 4 months…crazy!) One nephew in particular is my special buddy. He’s two, but really smart and talkative for his age. Every time he sees me he runs up for a big hug—it’s too precious! Before I left he told me he’s going to miss me lots, and asked me if I will miss him. In truth, I already do. *love*

 

  1. Quality time with friends.

I have a good friend in my home town that I rarely get to see, so moving home was the perfect excuse to spend lots and lots of time at her place. She’s seven years older and has two kids, but somehow we understand each other, and she’s been a long-time buddy and mentor of mine. I fell into a routine where just about every week I’d find myself hanging out with her and the kids at least one day a week after school. Mostly we just sipped coffee or tea and talked about whatever frustrations and issues we were facing. When my friend got laid off from her job, I was able to support her and remind her how awesome she is, with or without a job. Then one day she had to drown one of her chickens because it was dying (she’s one of those NW people), and I gave her a hug and somehow made her laugh. I think both of us needed the kind of friend who can just listen and be there, and I’m so glad we got to hang out as much as we did.

 

I also used this time back in the states to reconnect with other friends. I’ve had lots of quality visits with Snow Whore (yay!), my former roommates, and two friends from high school who both have been teaching abroad for years and finally came back. I even took a road-trip to the other side of the state to visit another dear friend and her husband, something I never have time to do in the short times we’re home visiting.

Getting to spend so much time with my family and friends has made this time pass quickly and given me things to look forward to on my weekends and school breaks. And now, finally, the 4+ months are over, and I have been reunited with my husband, my house, and the steamy heat of the Red Sea. I was actually only home for a day before my husband and I set off for Spain, where we reunited with none other than…Sleeping Booty! It had been over a year and a half since SB and I had seen each other, so it was especially sweet to spend some time hanging out in Madrid and stuffing our faces with alcohol and tapas.

Looking back, it actually feels like the time has flown by. I remember feeling lonely and depressed when it was winter and my student teaching stretched out before me endlessly, but now it’s spring, my Master’s degree is DONE, and I’m back where I belong. I’m just going to try and enjoy it, because I know this season, too, will pass.

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