Friday, October 19, 2012

on the new routine

5:45.  I opened my eyes just long enough to see the numbers on the clock and his shape shuffling around the almost darkness.  I closed them and listened to his moves, knowing what was next without seeing him.  I rolled over and made a noise as he came to my side, kissed my forehead, told me to go back to sleep and that he was sorry he woke me.  I made another sound, the syllables meant "good morning", and slid deeper into the bed, under the covers, finding that spot that a minute earlier meant sleep.

Our routine is changed now.  Before, his waking up meant my waking up.  His alarm was my alarm.  It meant he went to work and I grabbed the backpack and went to the pool for a pre-work swim.  But it's been nearly two months since I've smelled like chlorine on my way to the office, or read an entire book, or watched the NBC lineup on Thursday night.  Two months since he started teaching and our world shifted in this huge, great way.  Now he's up well after midnight writing lessons and I am either on the couch fielding questions about how well it's working, or not working, or waiting in bed for him to join me, unable to sleep until he's beside me.  And so in the mornings I'm exhausted, he should be too, but this is the thing he's worked towards for three years, he doesn't have time to be exhausted.  But I am.  I sleep in for another hour when I should be on my 20th breaststroke.

I know it needs to shift again, that I need to adjust to our new way of life.  As small as they may seem, the little movements of routine, once altered, are hard to reinstate.  But I miss the pool.  I ache and hurt and need it again.  That thing that months ago felt so foreign and scary has become the thing that's started to bring me back to my old self.  With it I had been feeling better, stronger, more sure of my feet and knees and back than I had in two years.

So on Monday I will force the old routine into the new one. 

Writing it here means I have to.

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