During a recent conversation with my better half, she said something that I knew someday I would eventually hear. Today was that day.
We were talking about politics and the military. Obviously it’s common for a conversation to get ‘heated’ when discussing politics but add military into the mix and I had no chance of survival since she is a dedicated Drill Sergeant reservist. As our tone got louder, things were said such as “we have serious communication problems”, “you never listen to me” and the grand finale: “all we EVER talk about is cancer.” When I heard those words, I ended the conversation with “I understand.”
I had read several blog posts about this topic and knew that one day it would come up for me. If you have ever stood by a friend going through a relationship break-up, I am sure you can relate when I say that I always start out as a terrific friend by listening and wiping the tears. But after a while, I just want to scream “GET OVER IT.” There comes a point when I dread answering the phone because I just don’t want to listen to the whining anymore. Now, I am certainly not comparing cancer to a break-up, and I know for a fact that my better half would never tell me to ‘get over it’ but I can completely understand her perception.
Built into my character is the curse of being completely consumed by my projects. I live, eat and breathe whatever project I happen to be working on and this is one character defect that I have been aware of for years. Finding balance between my current project and the rest of my life has never been easy for me. Cancer has been my latest project and now that many of the project goals have been completed, such as surgery, chemo and radiation, balancing my life should come a bit easier.
Once alone, I had time to reflect on hearing those words. Part of me wants to scream “DUH”, this is a life or death project so nothing else matters, therefore there is nothing else to talk about. But as I slow my breathing and sink my feet into her shoes for a while, it makes complete sense to me why we should incorporate more conversation into our relationship. Cancer has been the source of our stress for 334 days. It’s time to reduce some of that stress.
Now the hard part… finding a new project.