Whenever I spend time with a friend who’s unfortunately having issues with their partner, or whenever I spend time with my openly bickering parents, I think about this Robert Earl Keen song. I’m not posting the lyrics, because he’s crystal clear.
Modern humans tend to do two things that combine to make us unhappy a lot, namely, 1. holding shit in when it bothers us because we think it’s a ‘little thing’ (which I wrote about before here) and 2. focusing on what’s wrong/the negative/things that need to be fixed. Obviously, like Robert Earl Keen, no one wants to hear all the little things they’re screwing up constantly, so yes, sometimes we should let things go, and also obviously, we all SHOULD acknowledge what we need to work on and what’s broken so that things can improve; things can’t be solved if we don’t first see that they’re a problem. But little things can be good too. And we let those good little things go unmentioned a lot too. And I like to focus on good, positive things more than negative things, and it’s my blog…so this is a small collection of little moments with J that made me feel really happy and safe and loved.
I was sort of panicky on a Sunday at the end of last year, and it continued on until that Monday morning. J knew what was causing it, and on Monday morning, he asked about the situation, which had finally positively resolved, as he knew it would. And he said, ‘Jen, it’s not always you, you know? When things don’t go right or how you thought, especially with other people? It’s not always you. It almost never is.’ I know that’s a small thing, and something I shouldn’t have to be reminded of, but it still made me feel really relieved that he DID remind me.
J stayed home from work that Monday, and it was mostly unplanned. He got into a few projects at home over the weekend that he didn’t get finished to his satisfaction, and he wasn’t feeling his best, probably from working super hard and pushing himself to Finish All The Things, so when he did actually finish them on Monday, while our boy was at school, we had a small window of time to be alone together and took a short nap on the couch together. I love sleeping on J. It’s my absolute favorite thing to do and favorite place to be. Of course, it was a really limited nap, because we had to go retrieve the boy from school, and when I woke, J had that amused smirk on his face (you guys know That One), and he said, ‘You fell asleep so fast.’ I notoriously have a rough time falling asleep and staying asleep…but not ever when I’m sleeping on J. That’s the safest and most relaxed and calm I ever feel.
And THIS Monday, he called me on his way home from work, like he does *every single day he works,* and asked if I’d written a lot. I’m working to get another piece of fiction up to publish. This reminded me of the last time he checked on my writing progress, and it was right before last summer, before the longest family vacation we’d ever had the opportunity to take. In fact, it’s the longest time we’ve ever gotten to spend together without one or both of us having to go to work, including right after our son was born. Then, he wanted to make sure that trip wasn’t derailing my publishing plans, and this time, I’ve been having some pretty serious creative hurdles to straighten the story out. I love that he checks in when he knows I’m working to accomplish a goal, and also? It just makes me feel awesome that he cares about my work. It made me so happy to be able to tell him that YES, I have written…I finally knocked that writer’s block down. I actually think I can start seriously editing it next week.
And then, yesterday morning, out of left field, a friend of mine asked after our nephews because there had been a serious school bus accident in their district. (I don’t watch the news because it just adds to my Don’t Need Any Help With More Thanks anxiety, so this was a surprise for me.) Medical crisis is probably my number one anxiety trigger, so I freaked out. J called his sister…found out the details…made sure everyone was safe…calmed me down.
And just generally? I like it when J puts his hand on my knee. I know this is quite literally the smallest of little things, but…J has great big, warm, gentle hands and I have small, creaky, achy knees a lot, and his hand covers up my entire knee so that it’s like this molded heating pad…I think someone should invent a wireless heating pad with a sculpted palm and articulated fingers so it’s shaped just like J’s hand, because it’d be awesome if I could get that pain and anxiety relief when J wasn’t home. But I mean…even if that product existed (it might…we’ve looked up some weird shit on the internet in the past several years), I know it wouldn’t be the same. It’d be inferior. Because it wouldn’t be J.
Just some little ‘everyday’ things in our life together that I appreciate. It’s not all drama and excitement and sexy banter like I read and watch in a lot of romantic fiction. But it is all love. It’s everyday love. But it’s not ‘ordinary.’ I write about everyday love when I write because I think everyday love is extraordinary. I like calling out the little things that make me feel happy and loved and safe. I think love is often found in the little things. The little things with and about J? Do not piss me off. Haha!