I think I’ve got the part down… I mow the grass, edge the driveway/sidewalk, pull weeds, take trash to the dump, clean the house, continue to have dinner parties and company over, visit friends. And all with a smile on my face [relatively speaking].
When friends ask, I smile and say things are great. And yes, he’s gone. Again.
And really, if I’m being honest, I work really hard to make it all seem so easy.
There’s nothing easy about being perfect. Being perfect sucks. Being perfect is 10 times the amount of work you might think.
Most days, I think I do a pretty bang up job of “having it all together”, at being hardcore. Most days, I feel pretty successful in my attempts. But not every day.
Every day, I give myself a pep talk over coffee. I tell myself it’s going to be a good day. I’m going to get a lot accomplished, even if I don’t really have anything pressing to do. I tell myself it’s going to be easy, no big thing… just get through it. It’s just one more day. And then I try to get on with my day, whatever that may actually consist of.
I can only take so many days of smiling and pretending it’s all great. Once I get through my allotted amount of days, I break. It’s really that simple. Something really simple and stupid will happen and I’ll dissolve into a puddle of tears. I do try and choose my moments wisely though. In line at the grocery store isn’t the place for a meltdown when you’re trying so hard to convince everyone that you can do it all and then some.
I don’t think I’ll ever get used to dropping him off at the airport or watching him drive away knowing he won’t be home that night… but I always get through it. Each separation sucks all by itself whether it’s one week or 24 weeks.
So, for anyone who’s ever been told to toughen up, that does not mean you’re not allowed to have moments of weakness. You’re entitled to them, really. Just choose your moments wisely and then learn from them.