One of the final nails in my marriage coffin was a swimming pool.
And Hama beads … but that’s a story for another day.
Have I told you the swimming pool story? I can’t remember. I’m so vague at the moment that I wrote my name on an official document as “Ala” yesterday. Yup, totally forgot the “na”.
Anyways, writing my acquisitive “I want it so bad” blog post sent me down memory lane, back to the year before my husband left.
I’d decided happiness was to be found in a 6m X 4m piece of moulded fibreglass. I was utterly and completely obsessed.
My ex grew to loathe my swimming pool fixation, in much the same way a noisy eater becomes like fingers on a blackboard.
I literally never shut up it. Should I get an inground or above ground? Should it be on the side of the deck or in front of it? Was our house suitable to have a fibreglass pool craned over the roof or would it need to be built on site? Should I get one repurposed out of a shipping container or water tank?
I suspect his love for me died a little more ever time I banged on about it.
I remember collecting him from the hospital after an operation, just before the first time he told me he wanted out of our marriage. He was still a bit groggy and sore and I spent the whole drive home babbling about that bloody pool.
He simmered with rage beside me. I prattled on obliviously.
Last week, I walked past a prefab pool sitting in someone’s yard, waiting to be decked in. And I thought to myself: what the hell was that pool obsession all about?
I don’t even like swimming in pools. I certainly wouldn’t fancy maintaining one on a daily basis.
And yet I made such a big deal out of it that it drove the wedge between us even deeper.
Hindsight is a useless thing. Although I suppose it provides an awareness of what not to do next time.
I still have my obsessions – as exhibited by my desire for a derelict waterside cottage – but they don’t possess me the way they once did.
And I think I’ve become better at seeing the signs that I’m crossing the line.
Part of that awareness comes from (slowly) learning to look people in the eye and see more clearly into their souls.
It’s a tough one for me because I find looking people in the eye completely terrifying.
It’s such an intimate act, don’t you think? DD makes me do it sometimes to make sure I’m listening and not la-la-la-ing when he tries to tell me something important.
I also think I have my priorities a little more in order.
Number one – of course – is love. It’s such a precious thing. If you’re lucky enough to have it, cherish it. Don’t get hung up on stuff that puts it at risk.
I often think to myself: is the thing that’s creating tension worth losing everything you have?
I’m learning to weigh that up more carefully before opening my mouth and saying things I might regret. I’m not always successful … but I’m getting there.
Song of the day: U2 “All I want is you”