My husband and I had what I will refer to as 'dynamic tension' on the car ride to the airport. I read a travel blog before we set out, and it had me thinking about the future, what should our lifestyle be like? When should we seriously consider retiring? What do we want to do when we are retired or is there something in-between - a sort of, working gracefully idea that let's us live in a transitional state (which is maybe a permanent state) that is something between what we do/have now and something more nomadic?
Now, I know to broach these topics more thoughtfully than I did. I know how Mike likes to consider new ideas, thoughts about change and I disregarded that and started a conversation that was best held for another day. It didn't go well. We got through it in the end, but we properly argued, which is not something we do often. And as is so often the way, something meaningful got figured out.
I would say this has been the best part of aging - or maybe it's just a regular meditation practice - the ability to more quickly get past an emotional reaction and to observe what just happened and to try to figure it out. And what I came out with was - I like change with stability and Mike likes stability with some change. That may be one of the most important synthesis of an argument we've ever had - because we can work with that. When I think about sitting down to have this conversation again, we can start from a better understanding of what we each are striving for and agreeing on something that will work for both of us. I will probably get frustrated when there is too little change and he will get frustrated when there is too much. But being in this relationship requires us to compromise on this fundamental truth in our natures. I think 20 years ago, it would have been cause to end a relationship. Now I think it will just allow us to co-create something more interesting.