It was an interesting weekend. For many years now XDO and I have had a tradition of getting together at some point after Christmas for a holiday celebration with two close friends. It began when we still lived in the Big City, and continued when we moved to Little Town on the Prairie. This year of course, being the First Christmas Apart there was a bit of a conundrum about how this would be done. Initially we had decided that the most comfortable thing would be to have two gatherings, one with XDO and the friends and one with me and the friends. But schedules being what they are, that just did not prove feasible, so this weekend the two of us found ourselves spending the weekend in two separate guest rooms at my sweet friend J's house.
To say there was some tension would be an understatement. For the most part I think XDO and I have done pretty well with civility and even beyond to a level of understanding and friendship that allows us to interact pretty well most of the time. But to expect that we could maintain that in close quarters in a setting that brought back memories of an earlier time when one of us has so clearly moved on and the other has not....well, perhaps that was pushing the envelope. My friend J and I had talked earlier in the week about trying not to say too much about that "moved on" part of my life. In short, I was going to try really really hard to stifle myself all weekend and not act like the really happy, contented, joyfully grateful, totally blessed, newly in love woman that I am. Yeah. Especially in the presence of two of my oldest and dearest and friends who just might want to know something about this new person in my life. But I gave it my best shot. I was pretty quiet when we were all together. I answered the questions about R in generalities. I showed them his picture discreetly and tried not to gush about him and how great he is. Fortunately there were some respites. There were times in the car on our shopping jaunts when I could talk to J. And on Saturday night I drank too much wine and took the dog for a long walk and called R and kvetched. And on Sunday morning, the weather was looking dicey, so I begged out early and headed off for home earlier than planned.
I think it was hard on XDO as well. I noted I was not the only one who was doing disappearing acts. I was not the only one who was snappish at times. Clearly we need a new plan for the post-Christmas gathering for next year. We have moved on and times really have changed. I can remember many years ago knowing some folks who broke up who were determined to stay friends. I wondered at their motivation. I wondered at their ability to do this difficult thing. I wondered at their sanity. As with any decision we make in life there are pros and cons. There are some unique things about our situation that makes me fall on the side of still thinking that the pros do outweigh the cons for us to continue to struggle with this. But what shape it takes, how it evolves, especially now that I am clearly "with" someone else and not just casually dating changes things. Particularly since I am not sure how clearly XDO has or wants to apprehend that fact quite yet. Saying you are happy for someone and living with the reality of seeing them live into a new life can be two quite different things. I don't want to be insensitive, to flaunt my happiness. But on the other hand, I don't want to have to keep censoring and stifling either. I have worked too hard and fought too long to stop people pleasing to take it up again. Somewhere here there is a balance. There always is. And if I can be quiet, and wait patiently in the now, curiously compassionate, listening to my heart, trusting myself to know....it will come.