1. The purchase of plane tickets. What sucked the most when Andrew left in June was that I had absolutely no clue when I was going to see him again. We didn’t know what his schedule would be like, how many days I’d get to talk to him before he had to turn in his phone and embrace the suck and the great unknowingness of it all made me miserable. Things are better now, and until October at least, we roughly know what his schedule will be like and the whole being able to plan a trip ahead of time instead of at the last-minute has been an incredible relief.
2. BodyCombat. For the first month and half that Andrew was gone, I was angry at the world. It’s easier to get angry than to get sad, for my anyway, so I spent most of my time hating everything, but mostly the situation I found myself in. In the beginning I was so busy trying to figure out how to live alone that I didn’t make enough time to go to the gym and I didn’t have my best friend, Andrew, to talk to and then I knocked over my water cup and the DVR didn’t record my favorite show and I had to wake up 15 minutes early and then someone was five minutes late and every little thing seemed like the MOST OBNOXIOUS, RAGE-INDUCING THING EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. But then I’d go to BodyCombat at the gym, a mixed martial arts crazy-ass class, and then I’d leave the gym feeling 10 pounds lighter, exhausted and feeling like I’d just gotten my ass handed to me, and like maybe, just maybe, the world wasn’t such an awful, no-good place.
3. FaceTime. Now that Andrew’s schedule is more predictable, we’ve been able to FaceTime every night before bed and it allows us to say “See you tomorrow” when we get off the phone with each other and when I was trying not to cry at the airport on Monday as we were saying goodbye, Andrew reminded me that it was okay because I’d be able to see his face later that night on the FaceTime. Traditional phone talking is great and all, but getting to see my husband’s face each night before I go to sleep is the bee’s knees.
4. Lady dinner dates. I have a friend who lives just a few blocks from me who comes over every Sunday for movies and beers and a home-cooked meal and really, I can’t even begin to explain to you how nice it is to have someone to cook for at least once a week. It makes my Italian heart happy to feed people and getting to do it on a weekly basis while also getting to try out new recipes I wouldn’t attempt when it’s just little me is fabulous and while it’s great to go out to dinner with friends every now and then, it does my sanity good to have another person in the house once a week. It means I don’t spend every night at home talking to the cats about what to make for dinner or about what to watch on TV.
5. Dogs. And sometimes cats. I don’t think I’d want to live completely alone. Having pets means I’m never alone, that there’s always someone in the house to force a cuddle out of and that, when things go bump in the night, there’s a few booming-voiced huskymutts to make me feel safer. Plus, the four of them – the two cats and the two dogs – are usually so busy either wreaking havoc, causing mayhem or being ridiculous that it’s hard to remember I’m lonely sometimes.