Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A family of fisherman

Earlier this year, Bill was lost. I had found a passion with food writing that turned into a career - something that took up my free time outside of the family. Bill didn't have much except for a dying love of disc golf. That difference was something that set our home life in a tailspin, creating resentment and stress. So, he started fly fishing this year. It has changed not only our family dynamics, but our life. With every person finding passion, we are one happy bunch. Bill and I have worked out a great schedule that offers us almost perfect balance. He's able to go fly fishing at least twice, if not three times a week. The river is a sanctuary for him - a break from work, a break from family - something that is only his alone. This addition of fly fishing really opened my eyes as to how important individual passion is for every person. And when that passion is gone, the life in someone dies.

Not only has Bill been fly fishing on his own, but he's been off on some cabin trips with friends to fish and has plans for some extravagant fishing trip for himself later next year - South America, possibly. Fortunately, we're in a place where we can do that kind of stuff now. And, as every father hopes to do with his sons one day (I'm sure), Bill has been teaching the boys about fishing here and there. Granted, they are too young right now for fly fishing, but they enjoy hanging out on the river (or pond) and scaring the fish away so nobody catches anything (which really isn't their purpose, but it's what happens). It's fantastic family time.

Winter is upon us and Bill is itching for spring. I am too. I love that he has something that restores his life so much.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Absence makes the family stronger

Over the last year, things have been magnificent. It has been the best year of our lives. Happiness abounds, success grows rapidly for all of us - harmony, love and peace (between the sibling squabbles throughout the day) fills our home from floor to ceiling. We have achieved perfect balance - for the most part - understanding that it takes constant work to keep the scales level.

The major conflict that poisoned our family hasn't been around to infect me with hatred. A while back, Bill and I had another argument about the in-laws. Basically, I will always feel anxiety and rage around them, the open sore festering without them offering a bandage of healing. Before visits, I will become distant and tear up, on edge and very unhappy. Being around them is unpleasant, to say the least. But, this argument was about Bill understanding that this is how I will feel every time, and I understood that he still wanted to the kids to see them. And that was that. With tears brushed aside and both feeling heard, we hugged each other close and got ready for the obligated visit.

The visit was relatively uneventful, but still as unpleasant as ever. The in-laws have taken to the understanding that I am distant and unfriendly with them because of burnt bridges, and because they refuse to make steps towards progress - we aren't on speaking terms. As in, they ignore me as much as I do them. So here we are, at the mall, with them briefly hanging out with the kids for 15-30 minutes with only a few bits of conversation between them and Bill, and I'm on the sidelines because I refuse to be pushed out of my own family.

There have been the obligated phone calls a few times, but over the last few months, I've noticed they haven't happened at all. I don't dare open my mouth to ask why for fear it might change. I actually don't remember the last time the kids had a grandparent phone call. And, the in-laws were here in town for Cousin B's birthday at the beginning of the month. I didn't know about it before hand, and during an after-work conversation with Bill asking about his day, he said that he had lunch with his parents. And that was it. No visit. No phone calls. Nothing.

We couldn't be happier without them. And it shows.