Permission to Skip

Dearest Rachel –

This may seem inappropriate, but I feel the need to address this. Less than a week ago, I admitted to you that there were times when I just didn’t feel inspired to write you, but did so nonetheless. Which, I suppose, resulted in what an editor (were I to have one) would have considered to be a decidedly sub par article.

This past Sunday, I ran into Jan at church, and we discussed this week’s schedule – turns out the one day she could come over was a day I had scheduled a separate appointment, so for the first time in months now, she’ll not be by at all this week. Most of the organizational stuff around the house by now has been reduced to the more penny-ante details of categorizing material that we’ve already set aside, so there’s not the rush that there was before.

But on a separate note, she pointed out – because she reads these letters too, you understand – that I’m not required to write you every single day. In essence, she gave me permission to skip a day, should one come where I was “not feeling it,” as I put it.

That’s all well and good, and she’s probably right that I need to take a break now and again if I’m not feeling inspired. After all, it’s not like I have to tell you everything that’s going on, especially since I know full well that you’ll never see any of this in the first place. If I really haven’t anything to say, why waste my time saying something regardless?

And while I appreciate what she’s saying, and even kind of agree with her that I shouldn’t make myself write you when I have nothing to say, at the same time, it almost seems inappropriate not to. How does that song go? “A line a day when you’re far away / Little things mean a lot.” And I’ve tried to keep up with that, and succeeded for the last two hundred or so days.

Of course, the compulsion to write every single day isn’t a question of whether I have permission, or even from whom. It’s not like I’m writing these for anybody, apart from the possible therapeutic benefits they grant me (and even that’s debatable, depending on the topic). So it’s not like I’m really answering to anybody for these letters – and therefore, any permission that anyone else would give me is kind of irrelevant.

But think about it; if you weren’t far away, wouldn’t we be talking to each other every day? Yes, I realize that most of what we would be talking about would be the everyday inanities of life – because that’s what most of life is. And I sure that, after a week or two of pretty much the same thing every day, this blog would get pretty darn boring, wouldn’t it?

You’ll have to admit, however, that these last seven or eight months have been among the most interesting ones that I’ve had to endure. And I put it that way for a reason – ‘interesting’ rarely means ‘good.’ The old line “may you live in interesting times” is considered a curse for a very good reason.

It’s also, if memory serves me correctly, attributed to the Chinese. Given everything that happened last year, that seems more than appropriate. And I will say no more upon this subject for now: let the reader draw their own conclusions.

But my writing to you isn’t just about writing to you, necessarily. It is, Innoway, a form of deliberately discipline deliberate discipline, similar to mine (and by extension, Erin’s) attempt to train for the marathon (with varying degrees of success). To take a day away from it, and let things slide, could very well cause a cascade of responsibilities to fall by the wayside.

Even today, I realize I need to make a couple of appointments for Chompers – it’s been a while since he’s been to the Grooming Lodge, and he probably should also get his distemper shot if he’s going to hold on much longer – and if I give myself permission to not write you, I’m all but giving myself permission to not do those things either. I could mention that the lawn needs work, too, but it’s going to get pretty hot today, and I’d just as soon put it off. So as you can see, it doesn’t take long before this list of things to do builds up to the point where there’s so many of them, I’ll never get to any of them.

It’s kind of what happened to you, isn’t it?

Darling, please understand, I loved everything about you. You know full well that I wouldn’t try and change anything about you if it would cause you distress, which is why I lived with the mess that we had. But now that things are straightened out, I feel that I have to keep them straightened out, and that means keeping to a sort of discipline – even on those things that have nothing to do with keeping the place orderly. I’m concerned that if I let go of one, I may well let go of everything, and that would bring me right back to where I started. And for now, I can’t let myself do that.

So that’s quite literally the story for today. I’ll keep in touch honey, as long as I can. Until then, remember that I love you, and look forward to seeing you again someday.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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