Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Content with Company

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Last week was spent in catch up mode, the product of many weeks of days packed to the brim. I shopped for groceries and cooked meals from scratch. I made appointments for health check ups, oil changes, and tire changes. I hung a curtain rod I purchased two months ago. I slept. I returned items to stores from purchases made this summer--barely making it under the ninety day limit. I graded stacks of papers, desperate to finish them for this week--the last of the quarter.

By the time the weekend rolled around I felt rejuvenated, and the sunny clear skies seemed bright as well.

In sharp contrast to my recovery week was Curtis's, where he was slammed from Wednesday on. On Friday he awoke from a few hours of sleep after unexpectedly spending a second night at the hospital in a row. He came out to the kitchen to find a myriad of food items: kale and mango salad, macaroni with creamy squash sauce, pumpkin gingerbread. After the cooking hiatus that has come from my coaching, he probably thought he was still sleeping. We feasted and played card games: me, happy to have him home and awake; him, making corny jokes, and laughing at them in his sleep-deprived state. He was asleep by 9pm on this Friday night, and I lay in bed awake--rested from my generous amounts of sleep, content with my productivity, happy to have a partner, if only for a few hours.

There are many sides of contentedness, I am discovering as my life shifts from a packed schedule to a more leisurely pace. Friday's healthy, homemade feast with Curtis left me just as content as Thursday's date in the hospital cafeteria, and Wednesday's dinner at home with a friend I hadn't seen in weeks. The commonality is not the busyness that I sometimes mistake as fulfilling, but rather the people I am busy with--at work, at home, with friends, with family.

Yesterday, Curtis was unexpectedly home by four in the afternoon, and we headed out into the sunny, cool afternoon to bike for a while. By the time we were finished my legs were weary and my toes were frozen, but the unexpected time together was a gift. Cracking through frozen puddles, slipping around corners on the generous blanket of leaves, weaving around other wanderers out with dogs and children and spouses was all I wanted to do yesterday afternoon. Having Curtis to do it with? Even better.

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