May 3, 2007

Same Space, Different Time Zone


I can’t find my husband. We occupy the same house, but live in different dimensions. For one thing, when we moved, the size of our living space quadrupled. At least. He was writing way upstairs and I was down in the spare room. We solved part of this by Larry moving down to Ted and Lori’s office, which is right across the hall from the spare room. And during the hours we are both awake and alert, we are within yelling distance.

But there is the time dimension as well. He is living in the realm of normal working folk. I am living in the realm of the tortured artist. He tries to get to bed by 10:30pm. I’m just getting started. In other words, he’s living on Central Standard Time, and I’m on Bikini Atoll time. Or somewhere in the Pacific right before the International Date Line. I should check time.apple.com to see what cities come up on that grid. Probably none.

I was a late nighter before we met. Then we met, got married, and lived in a 500 square foot converted one bedroom. There was no ‘I’m staying up, you go to sleep,’ because we didn’t even have a door on the “bedroom.” Think of a Tokyo apartment.

So we adapted. He went to bed later, me earlier. It was good.

Now it’s not so good. Granted, I just got back from a week alone in a cabin, writing for seven days. That got me onto the ‘write until you can’t, sleep until you wake” mode. I’ve had a hard time readjusting to real life. Even without that trip to the ER.

But I am up. I tried to take my disciplines back with me, like the fact I only checked my email every other day; making sure I have a good quiet time in contemplation, prayer and journaling. Gosh I forgot how great that is, having time alone with God and your thoughts. The trip to the cabin was worth that alone. I did take that back. I haven’t tried to limit my email time except that I don’t’ respond to every forwarded email joke with “hey good one.”

And I’ve hit the ground running. I’m working on another TV special, script due in three weeks. And I took on a script consulting job with a 48 hour turn around. So I have that as an excuse.

But here I am up late and my mind won’t turn off, and I forgot to take the Excedrin PM an hour ago.

I did this last night. I heard that still, small voice, “go to bed with your husband, you need to hang out with him.” I ignored it for, ‘just a minute I need to check out this new website I found …” three hours later.

Well when I finally DID go to bed, Larry was already well into his fifth REM cycle. And you know what?

I felt sad. Sad like I’d missed out on something important. Something so small and easy to miss and ultimately, what life is made up of: Small infinitesimal moments of life that never come again. I felt sad that he was asleep. Sad I wasn't with him when he was dreamy but still alert to hear what was on his mind and what he was caring about at that moment. Sad that I wasn’t there to tell him what was on my mind and what I was caring about at that moment.

As I watched his outline in the dark, saw the faint like of his sideburns and his hair and his skin ... I fell in love him yet again. Loving that soft body and courageous man contained in it, That man who is laying down his life for me, one day at a time, who is still vulnerable and naked and carrying sorrows and hopes in each sleeping breath.

And so I 'think' I heard God say, "Go to bed earlier, girl!" Even if I went to bed when he did and got back up to write. But more than likely I'd like to get back into Larry’s rhythm. Also because we have this great marriage. But tests and trials come. And the weaknesses start with little things, like not spending the time to hear each other, or fall asleep in the same bed at the same time, to the point you have missed out on so much of each other’s infinitesimal moments that you feel alone, living in a different time zone. Guard your heart even in the small things, because even if the Enemy could never make us break, he could steal away the joy of those small things, or mute it.

And with all that I still stayed up too late tonight. And the still small voice, reminding me to go to bed now, wasn't so obvious. Or I muted it.

Please pray for me, and for yourself: that we don't lose the bits of life that pass by unnoticed. Pray that we are awake and alert to apprehend them. And that we sleep when we must.

And now I must go to sleep. The Excedrin PM is kicking in and I can't read my own typing.

3 comments:

Stephanie said...

It's okay to go to bed with a man and not stay til morning ... if you're married to him! And man oh man, did your husband ever find the right woman for him! Can you imagine his trying to get along with a woman who was all "honey, the dinner's in the oven - did you pick up the dry cleaning? - Jenny has a soccer game - and I think my meeting's over by 9 or so - don't forget to take the dog for a walk - gotta run - bye!" .... No freakin way. At least your problem is two peas working out their places in the same creative pod - this is a good problem.

Debs said...

Wow! I thought we were the only ones who struggled with that. Only my hubby is the night owl and I am the one left spooning my pillow......

Anonymous said...

Wow! I thought we were the only ones who struggled with that. Only my hubby is the night owl and I am the one left spooning my pillow......

Debs

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