Friday, August 23, 2013

"How do you do it?"

As of tomorrow John is off to Cambodia.

Yeah I know he just got home from Laos 2 weeks ago.

For those of you who are playing the home version of "Where the heck is Tatiana's husband now!?" (it's similar to Carman Sandiego...except we don't have Rockapella at our disposal.) Here is a handy cheat sheet of all the place he's gone for work in the last two years:  Malaysia, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Doha, Dubai, India, Bangladesh, Madagascar and most recently Laos.

Cambodia will be scratched off our map when he gets home next Saturday. I should mention this list doesn't include the sheer amount of countries he's had layovers in. He recently had one morning in the Bangkok airport....which isn't as exciting as you would think.

The most popular question I get about his traveling is "Do you ever go with him?" No! There are a bunch of reasons why I don't. Short notice of trips, wouldn't be able to get a visa in time, he's there to work not sight see, some of the places he goes aren't really that safe for me to be wandering around unaccompanied, expense.

The second most popular is, "How do you cope with him gone all the time!?"

I usually have to bite my tongue when this question comes up. Mostly because I don't like the suggestion that I need my husband to cope with life. I know people don't mean it like that, I know they're just picturing having to deal with it on their own and feeling incredibly overwhelmed by the prospect of their significant other leaving for far flung countries with almost no notice. I know that. But that's my shoulder devil kicking in. So if you ever ask me that and I snap at you about not needing to be with my husband 24/7 to cope with every day life...I'm sorry. Let's blame my shoulder devil shall we.

So how DO I deal with John taking off to random foreign countries all the time and getting left behind? I'm going use the answer my mother always uses when people asked her about my dad traveling for work all the time, "I just do."

It's become routine. I leave him at the train station, I go buy a book or something from Starbucks (here a book and a venti something something whatever with whip cream is about the same price as a book....or your liver on the black market) and then I go home and life goes on.

Life can't stop because the boy that I love is far away. And I always remind myself, my mom did this with two kids at home. I just have me to look after. I can't imagine doing this with more than me to look after.

We skype when we can, sometimes his evening is my morning but we make it work. We email when his wifi isn't dodgy. And we survive. I recently packed a stack of letters in his bag that he could open when he was feeling homesick or needed a high five. But being apart isn't the be all and end all. I understand, and I have since day one, this is what we signed up for. We signed up for trips that involve 36 hours of travel. We signed up for him celebrating his birthday with me over skype. We signed up for me having job interviews with no one to come home to and excitedly tell I got the job. We signed up for all this, and we okay with that.

But don't get me wrong, we miss each other when he's away. And not just because I have to make my own coffee and occasionally I have trouble opening a jar. We miss the silliness and the random sneak attack hugs and the routine of our life together. But we both are confident the other is okay.

That's key I think. I know John is okay without me. And he knows I'm okay without him.

Except when I have to kill a spider all by myself....then I'm not okay without him. Then he gets emails about how I had to kill a spider and he needs to come home at once to dispose of it.



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3 comments:

  1. I love your blogs.I always look forward to reading the next one.they always leave me with a smile :) thanks for sharing

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  2. You always seem to blog about the exact thing that's on MY mind. How do you do *that*?
    I have the same situation with my husband. He travels between 25-33% of the year. I really appreciate hearing how you respond to these exact questions that I get. My typical response is "distance makes the heart grow fonder" that and "if he were here all the time, it would drive me crazy." :p

    And thanks for that flashback video, hah!

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  3. Before we had the boys, Paul worked away a lot. He'd fly off somewhere different every month. Truth be told, I kind of liked it. I love peace and quiet and my own company (even eating alone in restaurants). With Skype, you can be in the same room every day even when you're in different countries. Plus, I found the takes of all the countries I'd never been to quite fascinating. It just becomes the way you live.

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