Abnormally Normal.

We’ve been living here almost four weeks now, and I have to say, I really like it.

I feel the same about the environment and the people that I did last time we chatted – everyone is friendly but slow, and the weather here is very hot and humid.

But it’s not that which has changed my mind.

Tom and I have fallen into such a rhythm of comfort here. Long walks with a cool breeze aren’t an out of the ordinary experience here. Spending my lunch break poolside happens twice a week. We share most lunches and dinners together, just for the sheer fact that we’re both home. A lot.

This is in stark contrast to the first 2 years of our marriage, where we’d be lucky to have 2 meals together during the week. Some nights he’d be working until 9 pm or later. A lot of meals were consumed on the couch — mine around 6 pm watching Golden Girls, his around 9:30 watching Sportscenter. It was normal to us at the time, and we made it work.

And now, this is as abnormal as it gets. It is altogether strange. But it’s wonderful. There are days where I look forward to running errands to have some time by myself outside of the house, just as I imagine he actually looks forward to heading off to the gym some afternoons. But I think that’s the normal part of all of this. I can say we genuinely do enjoy each other’s company, and wouldn’t trade this arrangement in for either of our previous ones.

I am under no illusions, however, that this is the way things will always be. Our situation is delicate. It relies on the decisions of others, namely Tom’s coach, his team’s financial backer, and in the future, organizations that govern his sport, and the US Olympics committee. Things change, people take different routes, one gets chosen over the other. There was a weightlifter who made the US Olympic team four years ago and travelled to Beijing. I don’t know the technical details, but another country’s lifter was disqualified (I believe), and that changed the formulas for the countries sending lifters, and long story short, this man no longer met the world standards to be at the Olympics, and was sent home days before the torch was lit.

Disappointment on this journey is everywhere, success is rare, frustration abounds. But contentment and gratitude…thankfully we have a lot of that hanging around.


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