We have a routine, He and I. I have written about it before. The morning message, the shared journey to work, the cheerful ‘coffee?’ as we both grab a bit of space mid morning, the ‘lunch?’ reminder, the so welcome ‘tea?’ halfway through the afternoon, and the questioning ‘done?’ followed by the triumphant ‘done!’ as we both leave work. Then we chat about our day until we both head to our evenings to reconvene around 9.15 for the last hour and a half of the day before curling up together and saying ‘night love xx’.
We both know this is remote, believe me we do, but this rhythm frames our day and reinforces our connection as we live separately but together 24/7.
I find this structure to be very helpful. He is much less scattered than I and whilst if on my own I might be more easily seduced to drink too much or have too late a night for a comfortable day’s work the next day by adopting His rising and sleeping times I am much more capable and focused. It has been very good for me.
Our times when we can be connected physically are precious and increasing in their own right but this, this threaded existence is what has sustained us for 6 years. Even when we didn’t meet physically for long periods we had our us in messages, in pictures, in occasional calls but mostly in writing on a screen somewhere. For me this has allowed me both freedom, space and the sense of being loved unconditionally. It has also allowed me to say things I would find too difficult to approach in person or whilst speaking. I still fear rejection and control, I think this will always live with me and whilst I don’t need constant reassurance I tend not to remember that I am supported and loved and I often just assume that I face my life on my own rather than as part of us.
Being apart is what we live with, but when you add the complication of a radically different timezone and my inability to work them out He has to work harder to maintain connection and structure for us both. I appreciate this so much. I really feel His love when I know He has adapted His day to for us to connect. For His unflagging belief in me and my love for Him and us. In the missing each other, and the need for free wifi at the right time, and the determination to be online together we have rediscovered something of the initial charge of our first few months. Perhaps just a bit of mystery about what we are both doing at a certain point in the day has inserted a slight sense of jeopardy that is thrilling rather than disappointing. It has ignited my desire, my need, and driven the photos I created and the words I write.
I want this to continue. I want this to be the marker of us. That we can be apart and connected, and together and intimate. That freedom does not mean loneliness or punishment. That love does not have a price but is more valuable than words can convey.
We are still a work in progress, there is more to come, and that is a joyous place to be in in my early sixties.