But a lot of it has been emotional. Several of my coworkers have been asking me what it's like to go through a deployment state-side. One girl says she can't hardly go eight hours without seeing her boo, let alone months at a time.
I simply tell them that there are good days and bad days. Good days where life seems quasi-normal, tasks are easy to focus on and accomplish, and contact with Zee is icing on the cake.
But then there are bad days where I feel as though I've forgotten what she's like, there are too many things I need to do but can't find the energy for, and hearing from Zee is a life-saver come just in time.
Today was one of the bad ones. They happen, you know?
But nothing bad happened. I was able to chat with Zee for several minutes while I was shopping in Walmart for her next package. It was fun, easy conversation, with warm laughter and love. I was in a good mood.
I finished her package, but was unable to send it because the silly Post Office likes to close early on Saturdays.
And this threw me off for some reason.
As I can be a very analytical person, I reflected on this abrupt mood swing. It then occurred to me that bad days are not necessarily normal. They are bound to happen, but they are the deviation.
In the first few months of Zee's departure, I figured out a set of ways to cope with her absence. This blog, my emails and letters to her, and some strict(-ish) goal setting have all helped me come to terms with this next year. In that beginning period, my relationship with Zee was outlined for me - here is what it will be like, this is what you can expect, this is your new "normal."
On my good days, I live within those boundaries and expectations. I can cope with the heart-ache.
But if some emotional aberration occurs... It can knock me off balance. That is when the bad day begins.
A bad day isn't sulking, nor is it a pity party.
A bad day is the time period wherein you try to regain your balance.
I noticed this because, when I was experiencing my bad mood earlier, I would go back and forth between two extremes.
In one moment, I couldn't understand my relationship with Zee - I haven't seen her in so long, how much can I say I really know her now, what can I realistically expect when she comes home anyways? It was as though I was trying to push her away from me.
Then in the next, I was feeling needy and clingy. I couldn't help but focus intensely on my emotions for her, running through our memories like a video set on fast-forward.
I realized then that these are both ways of coping. One is a defense mechanism - push her away so her absence won't hurt anymore - and the other is, well, defense through preservation - hyper-focusing to never lose the feeling, the memories, and the relationship.
Neither is how I live my day-to-day. I have my happy balance, but I can see now that, if my equilibrium is thrown off, I will oscillate between these two instinctive reactions. And they are such vastly different emotional approaches to a problem, that it's no wonder the emotional stress can result in a bad day.
And my bad day is only resolved when I've once again found my center, my compromise. That place where I can push my emotions (and therefore Zee) aside enough to focus on my daily functions, but where I can also feed my love, and feed the ache of her absence, so that I never lose sight of how much I adore her.
So I went through all our pictures, I watched a video she made for our 6 Month Anniversary, I cried, and then I slept.
I'm feeling better now.
In fun news, this blog entry is brought to you by my new keyboard. That's right, folks - I officially know how to remove and install a laptop keyboard. If any of you fine ladies (or gents) need instructions regarding the keyboard of a Toshiba NB 305, just give me a holler.