One of the things that was worked out over the last few weeks (mostly between Jon and Lora, and they filled me in afterward – I mentioned it in an earlier post) was plans for Lora to go out regularly while she’s not working so that Jon and I do have some alone time. I still feel a bit nervous and anxious about whether or not it’s too stressful to Lora. I keep reminding myself that we’re all adults and that I need to trust that Lora will tell us if going out is too much or too stressful.
That said, we worked out a system where Lora goes out once a week so that Jon and I have some alone time together. Part of what was important to her right now is that she’s actually going somewhere and doing something – not just hanging out in Starbucks for X amount of time. To that end, she scoured our area and nearby towns for the kind of shops that she likes: thrift stores, craft shops, antique/flea markets. We don’t have a HUGE amount of disposable income, but it’s typically possible for her to find a thing or two to treat herself with that’s easily affordable. A bonus effect that none of us anticipated is that she’s quite excited to finally go see these shops (some of which she’d been thinking about visiting for years) and decide which ones should get revisited regularly and which ones aren’t worth seeing again. It’s turned into a fun little hobby and also a mini fashion show/show and tell when she gets home and shows us her finds for the day.
It also gives me a certain amount of peace of mind that this is really OK, even with her anxiety. To see her come home and be happy that she went out and went somewhere she’s wanted to go for awhile goes a long way in reassuring me that going out isn’t too much or too hard for her.
The only downside is that although we talked about her going out once or twice a week, it’s turning out that it’s only going to be once a week. I have mixed feelings about that. On one hand, I’m grateful that she’s going out at all. OTOH, it really does bum me out that Jon and I only get alone time for one less-than-half-a-day block each week. Sometimes I worry if I’m being greedy. I know I’m not; and I pretty much keep my feelings to myself mainly because Jonathan is already aware that this isn’t anywhere near ideal for me, but it is temporary and I’m doing my best to take it in stride.
I hope that she gets a job soon. That would really help our finances and it would also really help Jon and me to feel like we get the level of alone time that we need – both our “Jon and Liz” alone time as well as Jon-being-alone-himself time and Lora-being-alone-herself time. That kind of alone time is big enough that it deserves its own post – so I think I’ll make it the subject of a future post!