Saved by the bell
Are you in for a joke? Here goes:
So, I had this plan…
I know, WHAT WAS I THINKING?! Planning is so 2019.
The plan was for me and my two children to leave the USA on November 1st to start a new life in Switzerland. With Covid cases spiralling out of control in California, schools closed since March and the feeling that I am building our lives on sand – we never quite know for sure how the visa situation turns out and if or when we will be kicked out of this country – going back to a place where I felt at home and somewhat secure seemed like a smart move.
And then… Switzerland itself plunged into a deep wave of cases and my new job opportunities all but vanished into thin air. The prospect of being locked down in a dark European winter, with no guarantee of how I would fund our life in the mid or longterm, in someone else’s apartment, no chance for the kids to make new friends or see old ones that are dotted around the old world, made me pull the plug at the last minute.
I can’t help but wonder (channeling my inner Carrie Bradshaw here), maybe I have been saved by the bell? Maybe sticking around in Cali a little longer isn’t all that bad? Sure, our routines are all over the place – my eldest goes to one of the handful of in-person schools in a neighbouring county, aka a 90 minute plus roundtrip for this little trooper, and my youngest is being zoom-schooled while I juggle an almost full-time job – but we have got routines. We’ve got a beautiful home, we’ve got the beach on our doorstep, we’ve got an exceptionally mild winter at our hands, and the aforementioned job means I am working for a company that I not only helped fund with my own money, for once I also have the chance to influence where this is going.
I have always supported the Father of My Children in his business endeavours, and while I have benefitted from all the upsides, I have also felt victimised and helpless if things didn’t go so well. I would get all the second-hand stress that comes with trying to get a business onto its feet, but I couldn’t do anything to change it. Weirdly enough, working together is part of what Conscious Uncoupling has done for us. And the only thing we would change about it is doing it earlier.
Speaking of Conscious Uncoupling – our journey has come to an end. There is nothing left to work through, nothing left unsaid. If 2020 would have been different, I am sure that he had moved out by now. But it is what is it. We have needed each other on a very basic level, and I am thankful for the emotional support that has been flowing freely both ways during the past year.
Being bound to each other in lockdown and through a pandemic has made it impossible to distract ourselves with what would have otherwise been available to both of us: dating, weekends away to see friends, going out, getting drunk and doing stupid things have all been largely off limits. It’s been taxing and highly irritating at times, but I am grateful. It has meant we had to face each other and make it work without creating a hostile environment for either ourselves or our children. And we have succeeded in that. I always wanted to remain friends and to keep the feeling of family intact, not only for the kids, but also for ourselves. Of course, there are no guarantees in life, but today, I can say with certainty that I can count on him no matter what. I am not sure I’d have signed that 12 months ago.
Plot twist: one last try
And then last Monday happened. We had scheduled a zoom call with my therapist with the goal to find a way to either make moving out as least traumatic for all involved as possible, or find a way to continue living together for the next months to come, without driving the other person insane. But somehow it has transpired that we are both willing to give this one last try.
I am in two minds about this. It sounds wonderful to start from scratch and be able to fall in love again with the person that I have not only shared the last 14 years with, but who is my home, my family, and most of my life. At the same time, I have doubts. I am exhausted. Working on stuff is the last thing I want to do right now. Just getting through the days seems like a mountain to climb.
Disclaimer: this post might be a little rant-y and even less eloquent than my usual ramblings, but I have decided not to let perfect get in the way of good. Going forward, if I have something to get off my chest, I’ll just put it out there. Life is way too short to fret about editing.