Apologies in advance for rambling... it's almost midnight, I just had a BLAST at a fused glass intro class I found on meetup.com, and I'm typing this quickly over a beer before I head to bed. I'm such a crazy woman...
I'm not quite sure what the issue is - only that when the schedule starts to get perturbed, my first, knee-jerk reaction is to hoard the time I have. It's not specific to Xena or Noa - it also happened when he was planning to get together with his friends to jam on Tuesday nights.
My initial thought, if he's going to be out until 10pm down south, then coming up north (arriving at about 11:30pm) is that if we can't see each other (if I'm asleep), then why bother? Why not stay south, not drive when he's tired, and figure something else out. His answer: because he wants to come home (here), which I get, but it's like there's some part of me that doesn't believe it's worth it if we get maybe 1/2 hour to connect and then he leaves early for work the next morning.
THEN the brain starts going down the path of "how often is this going to happen?" and pretty soon, I've got the negative thoughts spiraling down the toilet.
I do know that I need time to process it all and deal with the knee-jerk emotions. Last time, I spouted it all out loud as I was feeling it (he asked), which didn't help matters. My emotions were all over the map, and he ended up feeling a bit resentful, wondering if it was going to be like that every time he wanted to do something for himself.
This time, I got it out here without spouting off too much verbally, which helps.
Also, I didn't really get into it too deeply with Chops. I told him it's difficult, but that I need to work through it. For his part, he agreed to let me work through it and not try to do something to fix it for me (as in, not go - which would then lead to resentment). I think it's the best we can do until we see how it feels.
I'm not a fan of my time-hoarding response. I guess when it comes down to it, I'm worried about losing time with him, to the point where it just doesn't feel like he's my partner anymore. I'm looking for intermingled lives here, at least as much as possible, given that the kids aren't looking for a stepparent (and he wants the same thing I do), but it just barely feels like that at times. And the big time-suck isn't Xena. It isn't Noa. It's the distance, plain and simple... and that sucks because neither of us can do anything about it for a few years.
And after re-reading that, it still sounds like I'm looking for the "what if" and not the "what is". This isn't a mono relationship and I can't fit it in a mono-shaped shoebox to make it kind of look like one if you squint carefully. I really think I just need to quit worrying about the relationship not fitting some perfect mold of what I'd like it to be (or worrying that it's going to deteriorate into something "casual" if I let go of that perfect model) and just try to enjoy what it is, since our relationship is really very good.
As for maybe making it three days, he and I have talked about that in the past and he's not comfortable with that. He feels more than two days apart from either of us is too long. I do agree that the 2 days north / 2 days south schedule does work well when it's consistent. I just really need to work on dealing with the inconsistencies better if I'm going to keep my sanity (and he, his) through all this.
At any rate, I'm actually feeling better about Friday. Not really sure why, to be honest. Noa sent me a really sweet message on FB the other day, and that might be part of it... I guess she and her husband opened their marriage about a year ago, and this is HER first foray into dating. Really sounds like she needed someone to be with her on her birthday (not sure why her hubby wasn't going to be around), and she's over the moon about being able to go out with Chops Friday.
I'm definitely happy to be getting to know her better - we're both kind of dorky, so we mesh pretty well. Still, I don't think the message was the only reason behind my being a bit calmer about Friday. I've got my own stuff going on this weekend, and I've got to get my daughter ready for her dance competition on Saturday, so it's not like Chops and I would have been able to have much in the way of "quality time" together, anyway.
Regardless - if it's the realization that Friday is going to be a zoo anyway, or the fact that Noa has someone to spend her birthday with, or a combination of the two, or even something else (oh yeah - it's Shark Week too), I'm still feeling much calmer about the whole shebang.
Thanks for the input, NYC - I appreciate it.