Incredible Weekend

November 18, 2002

I had an incredible weekend. I had tickets for the Peter Gabriel show in Chicago, Thursday, so we left during the day and drove up to Joliet. We had stayed there one night on our honeymoon 5 years ago so we wanted to re-visit it. That afternoon a friend came by and we visited for a while and then my buddy and I headed into town for the show.

PG was awesome as always. I haven't seen him live in over a decade so this was a real treat. He played for over two hours, played old songs and new, and as always gave an outstanding performance. It was well worth the time and trouble to be there.

Friday we had planned on staying near Chicago for sightseeing or maybe some shopping. However the weather was dreeky, and our room was less then perfect (dirty and not non-smoking) so we headed home a day early. Michele and I had a good discussion on the way about why we had set the weekend up the way we did. Since we only spent one night in Chicagoland it basically meant that she had to spend 8 hours alone in a motel room waiting for me to come back from the concert. If she'd stayed at home she would have been alone longer, but with her things and in her home.

Saturday we talked most of the day. We uncovered and dealt with some issues around needing time alone, time apart, and time together. One of the big new understandings we came to was the difference in our need for alone time, and how we express that need. I also got to a deeper level in my understanding of the emotional legacy my parents left me with. We ended the day with a long hot bath together. It was a fantastic reward for a tough, rewarding emotional day.

Saturday was also the close of my latest attempt to sell the Audi TT by eBay auction. This time, instead of trying to sell the car for the high lease buyout price, I just sold the "right" to assume the lease. This is complicated by the fact that the buyer must be an Illinois resident. Despite having this clearly indicated three times in the auction listing I still had more than a few bids from people outside Illinois. In the end I did get one serious bid from someone in southern Illinois. This meant that I had to deal with giving up this car. Letting go of it is a public acknowledgment that we need to focus our money on bigger financial issues.

I had to face that that there is a high cost to personal integrity. We could keep the car but that would mean not meeting a financial obligation as quickly as possible. It is more important in the long run to pay off our outstanding debt than to have a car that is less than practical. This doesn't mean that it isn't extremely difficult to let go of its ownership. Dealing with the inevitable questions will be tough as well.

Sunday was a lazy day spent at home. In the mail Saturday we got our Hawaii Cruise tickets so we spent some time talking about and getting excited about our trip. We picked a couple of excursions but kept most days open so we could just relax. Our goal for this trip is to be as relaxed as possible. By talking about our expectations and desires for the trip mow we are able to give ourselves permission to do as much or as little as we want. This is our trip and we want it to meet our needs. It is going to be awesome.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.