Sunday, 30 March 2014

Reclaiming My Space

A few days ago, David posted this picture on Facebook that got me thinking about my constant desire to reclaim my personal space.  Do not get me wrong.  I enjoyed doing things with him.  In the last 13 years of our marriage, we did so many things together from playing rugby to planning yoga trips, to praying for the rescue-car to pick us up midway through the half marathon.  All these years, we often discovered new things about each other as "BFFs" should.  We seldom did anything without each other.  We were always "Team Ash".  We had never felt the need for space from each other too.  

Reclaiming My Space

Today, we are at a stage of our lives where we regarded ourselves as "pre-empty nesters" living with almost a figment of imagination of a son who only showed up in our room at wee hours of the morning to steal socks from David's drawer.   We were very thankful for the time and opportunity to re-discover new passions and hobbies. Some, were discovered with each other, and some on our own. Increasingly though, I felt the need to reclaim my personal space. I believe, in many ways, David felt the need to reclaim his as well.   The great thing about marrying my BFF was that besides finishing each other's sentences and pushing each other up the steep and rocky hills of life, we knew when to give each other space, and when to share our respective spaces from time to time.

In recent years, I  pursued a more spiritual lifestyle of practicing yoga and daily meditations whilst running a wee metaphysical business on the side called Sun Goddess Tarot.  David pursued his passion of rock music and photography more ardently than ever, whilst running a wee photography business on the side called Singapore Maven Photography.  For a while,  I felt that there was plenty of space within which we could indulge in  our individual creative self expression.  At the same time, when we were called by clients to "do our thing" at events together, we had so much fun.  This was truly bliss.

Sharing My Space

When I saw the photo posted by David on Facebook, I made an attempt to recollect the times we participated proactively in each other's passions without invading each other's personal space.  These thoughts slowly came back to me, and warmed my heart like a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows on a rainy night.  I would like to share them here:

1) I often jokingly called David my "unicorn guardian", to which he would retort, " Shhh! You cannot go around calling me that. What if the rugby guys heard it?" You see, because I had been pursuing a spiritual life tapping into my intuitive abilities to help my clients, I had exposed myself to a lot of negative energy that drained me constantly.  David protected me from these by encouraging me to get out more to feel the grass beneath my feet so that I could ground myself better.  He sometimes even drove me, before sunrise, to the beach to meditate to the sounds of the wave as the sun was rising.  He knew I was often hardened by my ego and worried about what people thought of my "woo-woo" crazy ways.   So he might join me from time to time, to feel the grass beneath his feet too.   He was in my space.  And I needed him there for a purpose.

2) I sometimes joined him at his gigs when he jammed with friends.  During those moments, I could see that I was but the second wife.  His first wife was his guitar. He held and cradled it with so much love and played it like a teasing Don Juan. He often had that intense look about him when he was playing with the band.  However, I also caught him beaming from ear to ear when I was there, sharing his space.  This was because I had a purpose.  I clapped the loudest.  I whistled loudly when he played some of my favourite songs.  I hopped around the band like a rabid hare with my camera, taking lots of photographs, so that I could proudly post them up on Facebook and Twitter.  I enjoyed being in his space.

3) This afternoon when we visited Mum and Dad, and had lunch with them.  David gave me space to be that 12 year old again, chomping noisily on my favourite food that Mum had lovingly cooked.  Occasionally he would look at me in horror but dismissed it 5 minutes later when I exposed the Singaporean in me by talking and laughing loudly while my mouth was full of food just because I was happiest when Mum cooked my favourite food for me.  He gave me my space to enjoy that semblance of childhood while I was at Mum and Dad's.  

4) Funny enough, this afternoon while visiting Mum and Dad, I had given David space to do what he enjoyed doing - tinkering with Mum's laptop.  He helped her run the virus scan, cleared her email folders and updated her software.  At the same time to my delight, I overheard a conversation between them which went like this.

Mum: Quick.  You search internet. Please compare different washing machine brands that I wish to buy.
David: Ok, this brand here costs only $499. Very good. It has 1 tick against the list of features.
Mum: No, no. I need one with 3 ticks. Must have 3 ticks!
David: Ok, this other brand costs $505.  It has 3 ticks. I sent you link.

I loved that conversation because I gave my very Scottish husband time and space to bond with my very Chinese mother.  That was a special space.  I left them to it because I would not want to invade their space as they created a Mother-in-law-Son-in-law bond that transcended cultural, ethnic and racial barriers.

Do I need to reclaim my space? I think not.  I know when to share it and when to own it.

About the writer:

The writer of this blog post is a 44 year old mother of one, who spreads her time between her day job as a marketing professional at a financial institution, her hobby as a certified professional tarot reader and numerologist, and her family which includes a 20 year old son and 3 dogs with personality disorders.  She's married to a Scot who has been affectionately called "The Crazy AngMo" and prays that he does not find out that the term when translated, has labeled him as a "Ginger Head".   Together, we create a home made up with more nuts than a fruitcake but filled with plenty of love.

His vs Hers

David attempting to be at one with nature

Notice the intense look in David's face when the guitar is in his hands?

David in his element when he jams with the band

That's me doing one of my daily sun salutations in Bali