Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Roller coaster

When I first married Bill I had trouble adjusting to his inherent highs and lows. The family dynamic that I had come from was fairly stable. Bill was from a solid, nuclear family but one that rode an emotional roller coaster most of the time. And, they liked it that way.

Much like Bill is addicted to the endorphin kick of hot peppers, I think he needs those extremes in his life. He likes excitement, a challenge and appearing in front of a large audience. I'm told that public speaking is the number one fear inducing activity in human kind... Bill lives for that stuff. He can't wait to teach his buisness law classes at UB. He also loves speed, small private planes, playing in a band and tough opponents in a legal case. He was born to be a litigator - he thrives on conflict.

I have a dim recollection of a college psychology/sociology class which focused on relationships. The professor taught us that there are some relationships that are actually centered on conflict. I believe that Bill's parents thrived on the conflict that they created. And, they did create it for themselves. That was Bill's incubator.

Although Emma protests that she doesn't like the highs and lows of life, I believe she may also live for them. She likes the drama: she was the the front(wo)man in the kid's band even though she said she was shy; she's on a roller derby team in Toronto where the whole idea is to create a 'scene'. The difference with Emma is that she is self-realized. She understands this about herself.

Today she excitedly told me that she won a coffee at Tim Horton's (yes, she, too is addicted). Later that afternoon she called, almost in tears, to tell me that some jerk stole her bike wheel so she was stuck without transport. A half hour later she told me she had a job interview. She was elated. During that last phone call she explained to me that it was karma at work:  you're up, you're down  - you win, you lose.  You just have to find your center.

I remember talking to my friend, Molly in my first years of marriage. I was still having trouble adjusting to the pace of married life with Bill -  as well as the highs and inevitable lows. She had travelled this road herself. She said five simple words: Get off the roller coaster.

It's been the key to success in our marriage. I let Bill enjoy the view as he rides the Crystal Beach Cyclone while I watch and wave (and smile) from the pavement below.

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