How are you doing?

Now THAT’S a loaded question.

What I have learned so far about commuter marriage and being a commuter family is that it is … complicated but in a different way than I expected.

I think you’ve been managing remarkably well, my Mom says.

Overall, she’s right. The bills are paid. The kids are happy. Chris likes his job and his new company a lot. He has an apartment. He’s feeling more settled. I am not afraid of this arrangement. I am standing tall with a stiff upper lip. No namby pamby here. Whatever it takes, I’m just getting it done. Period. That part is not hard for me.

Sounds great, right? So, when people ask me, “How are you doing?” I respond, “We’re good.” Because mostly, it’s true.

What is starting to bother me, though, is the nagging feeling of homesickness. Yes, yes, I know that I am living at home. That word best describes the hollow feeling in my stomach. That unsettled queasiness with a twinge of sadness. It is so hard to describe but I bet that everyone reading this knows what I mean.

And I am not alone. The kids feel it, too. They are not dwelling there. We’ve done a ton of fun things together. They’ve spent time with friends and been to camp. They’ve been happily occupied.  Still, they feel it.

And Chris, he is brave. He’s working hard in a strange place. Just like me, he is doing what must be done. He is my hero. But he is counting the minutes until he comes home (which is tomorrow!). And we can’t wait. But he feels it.

Even our cat Henry feels it.

The fact that I am not yet working doesn’t help. I had a written offer for a job very recently. It took 3 interviews and jumping through a lot of hoops to get there. Before I even got to negotiate, poof! The company had a downturn, hiring was frozen and my job evaporated, just like that. After muttering a bunch of expletives, I realize the plus side is that I’ve been home with my kids for the whole summer. This has been wonderful and a blessing in disguise.

I want this hollowness to go away.  But I don’t want to get used to it. Ever.

Have you ever heard of the Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times”? While I definitely don’t think we are cursed, let’s just say that this time has been, um, very interesting.   But I remain optimistic.  And honestly?  It’s all good.

How are YOU doing?  Any experiences or comments that you’d like to share? How do you fight that homesick feeling? I’d love to hear from you!

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5 thoughts on “How are you doing?

  1. I am following your blog and loving it ! We live in a untraditional work situation ourself :0) .. My hubby works several states away for two weeks then home for two weeks at one point it was a 28/28 rotation for 6 years ..lots of missed holidays and birthdays. He started the job when my oldest was 6 months old and she is now almost 17… We planned the birth of the second child around his schedule and he left the day after returning from hospital .. It is like we have two totally different lives one when he is home and when he is gone … We didnt have family close when the kids were younger , and moved to a new town I felt lost at times… But I have happy heathy well adjusted teens that have come to love our very untraditional life style….. Keep the blog rolling , I love it!

    • Hi Mary! I loved your insightful comment … you really know how it is. I can’t believe you have been doing this kind of thing for 17 years (almost). And the part about planning the 2nd child around his schedule made me chuckle. I do think that you get into a groove with anything after a while. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do, right? Thank you so much for reading!

  2. I like the Chinese curse, because it is China (or Chinese) who have given us interesting times.
    Today is Friday! Enjoy!

  3. Pingback: Why don’t you just move to California? | Bridging the Distance

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