Monday morning is a bear. Always. No matter whether you work or don’t work. Monday morning exists to remind you of exactly who you are today, and you can’t run from it.

Our Monday morning was Charlie, long off his birthday weekend and feeling the worse for wear, giving us hell for breathing. Today’s Monday was realizing that a dear friend and sister of sorts is making a huge life change, leaving our life together in Amsterdam to revisit her own life in the Phillippines. When I remembered that this was her week to go I cried with all the pent up memories of when we lived together and co-loved my children during our 5 years in Amsterdam. After the tearfest I heard a bang and the Christmas tree fell flat on its ornamented face - water, glass, soggy presents everywhere.

I did my usual “JOOOOOOHN” and what do you know, he came down the stairs. He’s home to help me deal with domestic mishaps. Moodily and distractedly we mopped up and I muttered how it’s “our bad luck". John stepped on the jagged glittery point of a hanging star. He refused the Neosporin, then left the house.

Today I’m seeing signs. The tree fell - just a symbol of our bleak and jobless status on Christmas. When OH YEAH the phone rings and it’s the Vet confirming Leo the Lion’s 2nd puppy appointment, not a recruiter or an interested employer looking for exactly what John can do. A desolate sign that the human providers in the household are not on the radar screen of anyone, Leo the Lion is the one getting the phone calls.

My friend Suzanne said to me this morning that when she and Bob were navigating these same waters last year she played the role of Desperation Monitor - vetting each interaction (call, email, interview) with the question: “Are you feeling desperate?” Like when we were single, she recalled, when we really wanted a boyfriend, men would run the other way sensing the desperation a mile away.

Can you enjoy it right now? Can there be any down time? Can you find the joy, the silly moment? If not, can you sit and be quiet? Can you light a fire or make a collage or show your Partner or your children something pretty? Thinking we see the signs is pure and simple BUNK. There are no signs. It’s life as usual. We’re just not people as usual. The more sense we can talk to ourselves, the faster a surprise will come.

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