Early on in our marriage, Wes and I didn’t really have to be apart very much. Barring three weeks apart when my dad passed away, we were pretty much always together. Now that Wes is this big-time important software genius, though, he’s in demand. He has to take trips a few times a year to facilitate the projects he’s working on, which means I’m left to hold down the fort alone.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am an exceedingly capable person. I can run a household efficiently, teach my children to read, and do it all with a perpetually clean kitchen. I’m awesome at my job.
The thing is, though, I’m maybe a little too efficient. If Wes isn’t here to insist I settle down and relax, I end up doing overly ambitious things like mopping the garage after the kids go to bed (long story), yard work well past the point when I should stop, or vacuuming the stairs when my post op knee should be elevated and iced after a long day.
Perhaps the best example of the beneficial way Wes affects me is what I am heretofore referring to as the Earthquake Freak-Out of 2015.
Perhaps you read this article earlier in the week? Paraphrased, it basically says the pacific northwest is due for a massive earthquake that will essentially liquefy the ground we stand on and result in a tsunami that destroys everything west of I-5. Infrastructure will collapse! No water or food or shelter! Run for the hills, we’re all going to die!
Now, I am an anxious sort of person anyway. After reading this, I did what any reasonable person would do: I called my best friend and freaked her out, too. But after I did that, I brooded and fretted and ran through various emergency scenarios in my head. I made plans. I rearranged my pantry so bottles wouldn’t come crashing down. I read survival guides.
What I did not do, however, was call Wes, because he was busy and couldn’t break away long enough to talk me down.
For two days I lived like this, always on the alert for the tell-tale dog freak-out that would herald The Really Big One. Thankfully, some earthquake experts on Reddit did an AMA that was comforting, and later that night Wes finally called me. We spent half an hour discussing our emergency plan and deciding on which supplies to keep on hand. We designated our emergency out of state contact. We discussed contingencies. We picked emergency kits.
But seriously, it took Wes half an hour to talk me down to a calm, non-panicked state. Two days is a long time to spiral out in larger and greater concentric spheres of worry, and there was no one here to help me parse my crazy for me. As I said, it’s not so much that I can’t function without Wes than that I function maybe a little too well without him. Brain going a million miles an hour with nary a safeguard in place.
On the plus side, in the event of an emergency we’ll be equipped to survive for a week. Our kids will have food, water, and first aid supplies. Wes and I will be able to coordinate even if we’re in different places when the disaster happens. Providing none of us suffers substantial injuries, we’ll all likely make it out in one piece. So I guess you could say, the Earthquake Freak-Out of 2015 wasn’t an altogether waste of time.
Something good came out of it, and I don’t just mean an excuse to reorganize my pantry!