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December 29, 2009

When it comes to Love we all need back up

One of my favorite movies to watch over the holidays is About a Boy with Hugh Grant. I love the ending where Markus, the geeky kid, who latches onto Hugh Grant's character, talks about the fact that two isn't enough. It isn't enough to just be a couple. It takes a lot more people because you need backup in case something happens to one of you. And Grant, after a lifetime of aimless, self-serving, bachelorhood scamming women to meet women figures out that No Man is an Island and that letting others in is the fastest way to opening up the heart.  It's a great message, seemingly trite and yet so accurate.

I looked around this Christmas and saw that reality everywhere.  In the team of caregivers that look after "my lady". In the way my co-worker works out daycare for her kids. Spending time with my Dad and marvelling at his health at 91, going for a walk with him on his hour-long route. Seeing how a friend of mine is now making connections with the neighbours of a relative who has suddenly experienced the onset of some confusing behaviour that has not previously been exhibited and needs watchful eyes and helping hands around. 

The feeling of lovingness I experience when my phone rings immediately upon my arrival home after work today to be invited for dinner by Tom and Linda so we can catch up. Seeing Konor thriving at 8 months and remembering what he looked like in the ICU at Childrens' Hospital last March. Being embraced by Peggy and Chris as always. Spending time with my sister June and her friend Sheila in a Boxing Day tradition. Meeting up with Dee and catching up. Hearing about Neil and Beth's Christmas at Fairhaven. Circles of connectedness.

I've spent half my life wishing I could be like everyone else who seemed to have no trouble being part of a couple and me thinking that's the way things should be only to discover that in fact, more often than not, being part of a couple isn't really all it's cracked up to be.

I spent half my life feeling that letting people in was too messy and that if I let them in I wouldn't get to do what I wanted. It was an either/or reality; a perception developed from watching my own surroundings while I was growing up. It has taken a long time to recognize it doesn't have to be that way.

I can not deny the irony that after so many years of wishing I could have a long-term relationship, that I now thrive in the awareness that being single has allowed me to be part of a lot of different communities - to slip in and out of those - more easily that I believe would be the case if I had been with just one other person who was consistently demanding, just by the nature of a relationship, a large part of my emotional energy and time.

It's good to finally realize that maybe you really do get what you need and what we all truly need is back up! It can be good to have one loving person for back-up, but it's much better, (a necessity really)  to have a lot of back up; as much back up as possible.

May we all strive for that reality in the new year if we have yet to manifest it to the degree we would like.

Happy New Year.

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