In early April, as The Genius was readying to depart on his trip, we sat down to go over his schedule.
“I have a week off in May and I’d like to spend it with the boys. I’ve ended my sublet since I’ll be gone through August. I’d like to stay here.”
There’s not much I’m sure of these days, but I am absolutely certain that I cannot spend a week in my house with The Genius. I’m a capable girl, but that’s like asking me to fly a plane cross-country with ten-thousand arachnids, sans cages. Not happening.
“I’ll make plans to be out of the house and you can stay here with them.”
“Thank you. I really appreciate that. I want to take every opportunity I can to be with them.”
No problem. I was excited to plan a hiking trip where I could really amp up my training for Mt. Whitney. And I knew that a break would do wonders for my spirit. I could take some much needed down time to ponder while I explored this beautiful coast, alone. Totally alone, except for the encounters. I expected to have many. I pictured myself driving north to see the massive Redwoods and Fern Canyon, bringing my fishing pole to see if I could snag dinner from a stream. Basically I wanted to tap into my inner Grizzly Adams.
I told Mr. Jackpot of my plans and he offered an alternate option.
“Come to Oregon with me. We can stay in Yachats (Ya-HOTS) on the coast or go inland and not see a person for days while we hike the forests.”
Loads of people need a break more than me, and Mr. Jackpot is one of them. Routinely putting in 70 hour work weeks in a very demanding job was taking its toll. I felt it would be great for him, super fun for me, and an opportunity to see the coast with someone who really appreciates nature as much as I do.
“I’d love to go to a place called Yachats. Let’s do it.”
By mid-April the plans were made. Mr. Jackpot secured a house to stay in Yachats, and we would pit stop on the way up to hike Fern Canyon. I was stoked. I hadn’t taken a vacation in eons. And to take one with Mr. Jackpot? He was born to be my kind of tour guide. He can identify every bird, bug and plant – edible, poisonous or root grafted – known to man. He can probably put up a tent and start a campfire simultaneously, all while purifying water. He is faster and stronger than me, able to leap boulders in a half-bound. People pay large sums of cash to have a person like Mr. Jackpot lead them on an adventure.
We looked forward to creating a holiday where we could each decompress and process some of the muck we’ve been stirring up on our own and in each other, and get blown away by Mother Nature. I hear the coast of the Pacific Northwest is brutally beautiful, and I was going to be there in less than 30 days.
Everything was moving along in pristine fashion. Until I texted The Genius on Wednesday, April 25th, to confirm his arrival time so we could plan our departure, 30 days after he asked me to vacate the house for him.
Dates are changing on me still. I have 8 meetings during that week now. Trying to plan it.
Gee, Genius, when were you planning on letting me know this? I was furious. I couldn’t tell if my chest was exploding inward or outward. He casually tosses out there, only when asked to confirm his arrival time, that the dates are changing on him. No phone call to say, ‘Hey, I’m really sorry about this, but I may have to be gone the week I asked you to leave the house. Have you made plans? Are they set in stone? Is there a way we can work together on this?’ None of that. Just what you see above. Which I read as:
‘Dear Puppet Girl, You are under my direct control. I run the show, still. I’ll clue you in as I see fit. Too bad for you, eh?’
I was Puppet Girl, on strings held by the hands of someone who betrayed me. Unsettling, to say the least. I came home and told my Mom, tears welling up in my eyes. But I held it together, picked up the boys from school, and made it a great day. Because bad days suck.
I had crafted a dozen pissy texts to The Genius, but late that afternoon I called him.
I want to talk about our texts this morning and my trip. I didn’t feel good to find out that your dates had changed only because I was double checking what time you were coming. I wish you had told me sooner.
I only found out about it last night.
I could have guessed he would have said that. I told him that my dates were fixed and plans had been made. That it felt like he wasn’t taking into consideration that I have an actual life to lead. Without using these words, I conveyed that I am not his nanny, here to schedule as he sees fit. He asked me to vacate the house and I made plans to do so. So instead of just dumping it on me that the dates are changing, how about calling me and saying, ‘Hey, I’m really sorry about this but…’, or ‘Is there any way you can change your plans?’ I finished with, “You’ll need to alter your schedule to make it work.”
His response? Where are you going?
It got heated from there. It really bothers me when he asks me what I’m doing and with whom.
I’m not really sure why that matters. What I’m trying to express to you is that it’s unfair to just assume that you can cancel my plans without even consulting with me about it. It’s really important to me to have this time away.
I’m not canceling your plans. You must have misunderstood me. I’m doing my best to not miss that week with the boys. And if I have to miss some of that time I will make arrangements to have the boys taken care of. You misunderstood me.
I didn’t misunderstand him and I had his text to prove it. At that moment I felt my Observer Self looking down at me from above, hovering over my car with x-ray vision. I saw my legs, my left hand pressed against my ear, my right hand stretched out on my thigh. I was looking straight ahead. And I was relaxed. Back in my body I felt kind of shimmery. Like I was softly vibrating. My peripheral vision felt goat-like, but my eyes were soft, holding a natural gaze. My whole being downshifted. I became gentle.
Your tone is condescending. I did as I was asked to do, yet you’re treating me like I’m the one who created a problem. It doesn’t feel good. This is something that has happened before and I really need it to stop. Let’s not treat each other this way. It just complicates our ability to communicate.
“I’m sorry. I should have called. I’m really sorry. Let me see what I can do, but keep your plans. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.”
We ended the call and I pulled out of the lot where I was parked. No more than 100 yards down the road the shimmery feeling returned, only this time it was near orgasmic. I caught my breath and smiled at the sky.
Thank you. That felt so good.
I worked through a challenging conversation about how I felt I was being treated by The Genius, and I didn’t become untethered. I didn’t have the presence of mind to invite my Observer Self in at the beginning of the call, but shifted to her vision halfway in. So, 1 point instead of 2. But I took stock of how I was feeling and then re-grounded myself in my body. Then I asked for what I needed and within seconds it was granted.
Holy arachnid. It felt like I just ran an obstacle course designed by the Universe, in a stadium under the sun, and I executed it perfectly. It wasn’t about winning, it was about finishing without getting hurt and then feeling good about how you finished. I felt good. So good I buzzed. And the stadium roared with approval.
I thought of the bird. How he got hurt but fought through the pain to get to shore. I thought of our gentle encounter, and how his hard work was rewarded by a little unexpected companionship. And, yes, nature took its course. It was sad to see him gone. I am just so appreciative that he helped me to see that amazing things can happen just on the other side of pain.
Later that night The Genius sent me a text.
I will arrange for what I need in coverage. Please advise as to your departure time and return expectation when you can so that I can plan accordingly. Thanks.
It’s like dealing with a computer. Departure time and return expectation? Certainly, Robo-Genius.
I was elated to be going to Yachats with Mr. Jackpot.
But apparently I had other plans…