Prompt for Dec 24: Everything’s OK. What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

First of all, where do we stand on whether “alright” is one word or two? I am in the two-words camp, which means that, like the misplaced “it’s” in a previous prompt, I look at this prompt with a little inner “grr.”

But. That grr notwithstanding, my response to the prompt:

Husband traveled a lot this year as part of his work in Abu Dhabi and neither of us, I think, at the outset of his journeying, knew how hard it would be. I mean, we knew the logistics would be tough (for the person who stayed home –oh wait, that’s me) and that jet lag would be exhausting, and that he would miss out on stuff happening in the boy’s lives blah blah blah…But neither of us quite realized that there would be intangible difficulties too: simple things like trying to catch each other up on the day’s events, for example, weren’t simple at all, because of the nine-hour time difference.

After each trip it takes a few days for things to settle back to normal, but last summer, after Husband had been gone on a two-week trip, we had more than a standard-issue squabble. We had A Big Discussion. Without divulging any secrets, let’s  just say that things got heated and then got very, very cool. As in cold shoulders and even colder silences.

Neither of us is particularly good at staying angry–well, okay, I am a lot better at it than Husband, actually, but I get tired of being the only one In A Fight–so our typical pattern is to let a big fight fade, let it slip silently under the water of daily life to become part of our marriage’s subterranean landscape–the sharp rocks we step on when we’re not looking.

Last summer, though, instead of giving in to sheer inertia, we carved our way out of our interpersonal Arctic zone. We got to the root of what we were arguing about (which was not, of course, the ostensible topic on the table), and found a solution. A resolution, an answer, a plan.

Would that I could write a happily-ever-after paragraph here, in which I state that as a result of our resolve this summer, we’ve been living squabble-free ever since. If you’d like to believe that, please stop reading here.

In real life, the Bicker McBickersons still visit us each time Husband returns from a trip, but their bitching doesn’t carry much bite these days. Our resolution this summer shows me that, all bickering aside, everything is going to be all right.