A true glimpse into my life would not only include the beautiful places we explore and the freedom we have found out here on the open road, but it would also include how Jon and I are stretched on a continuous basis. The day that has caused us years of conflict is moving day.
Moving day shows a traveler’s true colors, the nitty gritty of just how different one is from their spouse. It is a day where fantasy collides with the reality of where one is at in their relationship with pet peeves and communication or lack there of!
When we first started this life, moving day went something like this:
I would rise early to greet the day. The excitement of the journey would rev up my thinking and soon shift into overdrive with my first cup of caffeine. I was off! Meanwhile, I looked at Jon still soaking up the snuggles from the comforter on the bed.
I talked to myself (in my head of course) about how that was up to him, I needed to concentrate on my jobs. I took action -taking down the fruit hanger, putting the tension rod across the clothes in the back closet, finishing up the dishes, moving the kitchen cart, and stacking stuff by the side of the window so we could slide in. Meanwhile, Jon flipped over in bed.
I noticed my eye began to twitch.
The conversation in my head began to sound a tad bit like resentment. This is why we can never leave on time! I am true to my word. When I say we are leaving at 9am, I want to leave at 9am! Jon turns off his alarm and burrows in.
By the time Jon rises I can’t look at him, much less talk. And so would begin the moving day dance.
It took YEARS for us to finally understand what was going on, and for me to accept the reality. Jon was dealing with anxiety. And he is a night owl, while I am obviously a morning person.
While I couldn’t wait to see what new adventures were ahead, Jon’s essence wanted to hold on to where we were, in the known. I love variety in my life, Jon ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch every day for 20 years. It was as if we were in a canoe midstream and I was ready to dig my paddle deep into the water to help the current take us. Jon was happy taking in the view as he gripped the foliage near the bank. Can you see the problem here?
I am not going to lie, it is still really difficult for me to go with the flow on moving day and not have time expectations. I deal with my anxiety about the unknown by getting there to uncover its mysteries as soon as possible, while Jon would rather meander or avoid the ordeal all together (opposite coping). I also don’t like feeling out of control or trapped. For a long time this dance would trigger me into feeling controlled by Jon. I understand now, it was really about his inward journey with anxiety and not about me. And once again, we were on opposite sides of the cycle, triggering each other into a rolling snowball downhill.
After communicating with each other where our feelings of frustration were coming from (AGAIN), I told Jon I would be willing to stop this lifestyle if it was not good for him. He responded by saying it was a healthy exercise for him. “It prevents me from having dependence on a stable environment and helps me believe in a loving God, in abundance, myself, friends, and relationships. It really helps me to stay focused on acknowledging how finite this life is and helps me be deliberate about living it. I am forced to acknowledge the essence of life that’s transient.”
And I am forced to take a painful look each time at where I am in acceptance and impatience. (twitch)
Moving day. Just another therapy session on the road.
(And then this happened..The Conflict of Moving Days Part Two)