written by: Lilly from Germany
If you look at it from the outside nothing has changed from the Before. We are still here. We are still two. Everyone around us became many.
I somehow assumed that it was kind of natural that at some point, we would be three or four or even five. But the past has thought me that nothing can be taken for granted. Now it is us, trying to feel home in the new Two.
For quite a while I assumed I could just keep going and life would still be and feel the same. Like it was during the Before. During my time in ICIS treatment, I answered once to one of my doc’s questions, why I seem to go through this so rationally and clear, that one reason could be, that I am familiar with being just two. Many people say that they “cannot imagine being just two”. Well, I can, because that’s the only thing I know, the only constellation I am familiar with. Being just two.
Over the time I realized, that being two in the After isn’t exactly the same. I know being two in the Before and the In-between with the perspective of becoming three. But to be honest, I don’t have a clue how it is to remain as two.
We are not the same either. We have changed, I have changed, my perspectives on life, my feelings, suddenly new rooms open up, rooms I don’t know yet, empty ones. It feels like moving into a new house without even owing any furniture for it. Everything is new, different, there are even rooms without a name yet. Now it is up to us to decide how we want to “furnish” ourselves.
There is the new room Friday night for example. In the time of the Before a Friday evening was predestined to going out for dinner, meeting with friends, going out at night, and probably sleeping the next day. Or having tons of things to do.
During the In-Between Friday night meant for me going to bed early, taking a breath, trying to get through everything somehow, to recharge my batteries for what would be coming up the next week. Sadness, hope, worrying, again sadness. I kind of dived into standby mode every Friday night.
Being in the After?
I'm not as exhausted as I was for weeks, months, almost years in the middle of it all. I don't need that many rest breaks anymore, because the greatest of all efforts, the hamster wheel has been over for some time, and I slide into what is the After.
But the After is not like the Before.
I ask myself, what do other people do Friday night? Bring the kids to bed, think through the upcoming weekend? The older one needs to go to soccer training, the little one wants to meet a friend, the next children’s birthday will come up soon and the grandparents also want to be visited. One is busy.
I could keep myself busy, the bathroom needs to be cleaned again, I need to get groceries, but besides that? The perspective of going out to eat with friends hardly exists, because our friends are almost without exception busy with the fact that the little one doesn't feel like brushing her teeth and the older one wants to hear a bedtime story.
It feels so empty. That new Friday night room.
The Friday nights from the Before fell so shallow, so little colored. Do I really just want to go out to eat, drink wine, party? And if I wanted to, who would join?
I try to think about little things on Friday night. I feel that I regained my ability to concentrate on just one thing again. During the In Between that wasn’t possible. I discovered books again. I enjoy going for a long walk at the river, riding my bike through town or sitting outside on balcony in the sun so much more than I did during the Before.
Most important of all, I feel how wonderful and precious the time is, I spend with my husband. The two of us, having dinner together on Friday night, telling us about our week, how we feel, what makes us happy. We have this new thing now, every night and especially on Friday nights, we tell each other at least one thing that was good that day and made us smile.
I try to consciously feel the moment, the free time I am having with the luxury that I do not have to fill that time with organizing family members or others. I have the freedom to do nothing. Or anything.
I can just try to be. In the moment.
In the Now.
Well, by saying this over and over again, it might actually feel like real luxury someday.
With the little things, the big ones might follow. The Friday night room is getting some colors.
I will just keep going.