I'm not gonna lie – part of the reason my husband and I decided to uproot our family southbound was so that the kids could be outside more (that's code for “we could be outside more playing tennis!”). We're considerate parents like that.
None of us envisioned that when the chance to move finally came, it would be piecemeal. We wouldn't be together, not right away. But even then, I thought it'd be a couple weeks only, not that long. Long enough for a working mom to take a breather from the family that always needed something, am I right?
Haha. No. Of course not. Nearly two months ago now, I packed up my car, interviewed a real estate agent with my husband, said goodbye to my distracted children as they watched Chuggington (and then again during Octonauts), surrendered my house keys to my very best friend in life, told him I'd see him soon, and drove to Florida. I would say half of that drive on the first day was done pretty artfully, considering my eyes were just randomly filling with tears. I think my husband and I always figured that when we finally made it to perpetually sunny skies, we would do it together. It just wasn't the same to get there without him, or them.
Regardless, as soon after I arrived here, life went on for everyone else. The French Open came and went, and watching on TV as Serena won it from her knees was craaaazy fun and even before nude Stan Wawrinka came along, watching him play solidly throughout the tournament was kind of a tennis turn-on. (I can't be the only one who thought Nadal's injury in last year's Australian Open final was the ONLY reason he won. Well, I sit corrected.) But still, something was missing. Naturally, it was my tennis spirit-twin who knew it.
“Why don't you go out to the courts and play some tennis?” my husband nagged me over the phone (because that's how men roll).
“OK, maybe after work one day.”
Which I of course didn't do. In retrospect, a lot can be said for my frame of mind when you realize that I preferred leaving my new job and going back to my dark room at the local Travelodge and watching Penny freakin' Dreadful on three Showtime channels throughout the night rather to going to the nearby tennis courts. (Also watched 'Boyhood' at least three different time. Do you understand now?)
An even better commentary on my relationship with my racquets at this time, which had now been untouched for two months – the day I finally went over to the tennis courts, I got out of my car and walked over to the office to find out about the leagues in the area. A man yells over at me, “We need a fourth!” And I say – wait for it – “Oh, I can't right now!”
Yes, of course I could have. It was Saturday for heaven's sake. In theory, the reason I went to those courts was to play tennis. Someone offered to play tennis, and I said no.
The only thing that broke me of whatever the hell this was was my spirit-twin, as usual. He told me he was signing up for a tournament for one last go-round with his partner. And finally, it hit me: If he can still want tennis, even with two small children hanging around his neck at all hours and the stresses of moving and selling a house constantly clawing at his sanity, then what the what was my problem?
And if you wanna hear something hilarious, it was that guy I turned down for tennis who still got me back into it. I've been playing with his Saturday morning group (horribly, but that's what you get for not playing for two months – there ARE NO SHORTCUTS) and doing my backboard penance for about three weeks now. Maybe I thought I would punish myself for not having what I really want right now by depriving myself of the other constant in my life for nearly 14 years. Or of the other habit of mine that's been with me forever – writing. Well, I guess my punishment's over. It's about time for some Attitude to start flowing around here again. The good-bad kind. Not the bad-bad kind. You understand.