I'm on the high speed to Frankfurt, clipping along at 185 mph, the outside scenery is nothing but a blurr, it's 8:30 a.m. My phone is ringing. It's my wife. It took a moment for me to realize that it was 2:30 a.m. in the US, I could hear my youngest son talking in the background. What in god's name is wrong now?
Turns out a field mouse was in the house making noise roaming around and it woke my son who then woke my wife and both of them freaked out. In their infinite wisdom, they decided to call me. Now what I'm supposed to do about a cute little field mouse when I'm 4,000 miles away, I have no clue. But clearly they were both upset.
We all want plan, a guide on what we need to do next, a map of how things are going to turn out, some comfort that you're heading in the right direction. Like a good doctor, I listened carefully, gave them some quick things to do and told them I'd send a detailed plan via email. They both seemed quite happy, but the reality the mouse was still someplace in the house and (what I didn't tell them) there were likely more of them (as they rarely travel alone – kinda of like me).
After so many years together, my wife just depends on me, our roles are all worked out. As much as I write about me and my travails, she's left holding the bag. Big house, kids, and picking up the load of things I used to do. She's got a lot on her plate.
I wasn't a bad partner, but perhaps I was a bad husband after 16 years. I'd forget her birthday, a classic one year all the relatives were calling and I asked why all the noise, seems it was our anniversary. I didn't bring flowers home, or surprise her with a night out, my Christmas presents were expensive jewlery but often without a lot of thought. I'd burden her all of my crap and her own issues, got 2nd schrift. An I had you all fooled right?
If someone has made an investment in you, with their time, their love, and perhaps more importantly — their patience, I hope you'll do something crazy, thoughtful or loving for them tonight as a surprise, maybe it's out of character for you, but do it anyways – it will make me feel better. and as we know, it's all about me. 🙂