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A Fire Re-Ignited

The immense power of planned missing (Candace)

I just arrived back in Singaraja yesterday afternoon following my three-day bonding trip with Brad, and couldn’t wait to be back in Andrew’s arms. I had gotten sufficiently weird, partied my booty off, danced the night away, and gotten a third party’s perspective on work, love and life. I felt more energized and rejuvenated than ever and couldn’t wait to share all of these experiences, along with my cute new sailor dress, bikini, and gifts I had gotten, with Andrew.

And as soon as I walked into our cozy little bungalow, Andrew showered me in hugs and kisses, and we were both overjoyed to be reconnected again. We snuggled, made love, went swimming, and then Andrew planned a very romantic candlelight dinner at our favorite venue to celebrate all that we had accomplished while we were away from one another (I’ll explain this in a different post). And as we sat, sipping champagne, we couldn’t stop talking.

We talked about the lessons we are both taking from this trip, the ones we hope to incorporate back in our default life when we return to California, and how we view religion, wealth and the world differently after being a part of so many cultures. We talked about how we finally realize how differently both of us re-charge, and how three days alone were just as energizing for Andrew as three days of partying with friends was for me. We were eager to share what we had read, learned and talked about during our time apart. And we were hungry for the other person’s perspective.

And once again, I can see the value of this travel together in sharp relief. We have been through more in our five months of travel than many married couples go through in years of marriage. We’ve been sick, in nasty moods, out of money, contracted weird diseases, dealt with one person working and one person out of work, moved housing about 100 times. And all of these experiences have challenged us to learn how to communicate while at the same time avoiding (with varying level of success) the four horsemen of criticism, contempt, stonewalling and defensiveness.

And among these lessons, we’ve learned what can happen when we don’t allow time for ourselves to individually recharge, in the way that we each need to. I love spending time with Andrew. But I also love spending time by myself. And I love spending time alone with my friends. And I’m such a cooler wife when I get to do all three.

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