When a relationship is almost the same, but better

new paint

Tonight, I mixed together some of the old cans of paint that my parents had in their garage and I made a new color. We moved last week, and I’m so happy to be in this new place with the girls and with Dave but I’m not too proud to admit that I’m also stressed out and uncomfortable about all the adjustments, the tasks, the boxes everywhere and the decisions that have to be made. It seems reasonable that I am much more interested in spending time painting walls rather than shuffling and sorting boxes of stuff that we probably don’t need but moved anyway. Someone is going to have to decide to keep, store, sell, donate or burn the stuff. But not me. Not tonight, anyway.

I set aside my stress and indecision and put my hopes into the amalgamation of all these little quarts of paint, which once combined, turned out to equal a perfect gallon. I felt like a witch over her cauldron as I slowly stirred the mixture with a wooden paint stick that was left over from a paint purchase. Once I had it all combined, the color was like a creamy, buttery, pale beige cake batter and the texture was thick and amazing. I was hopeful. I painted a patch on the wall and dried it with the hairdryer that I’ve had since eighth grade. I’m sure the decibel level produced by that little hairdryer has permanently mal-affected my hearing over the years, but I didn’t need my ears to see that the new color works and is kind of beautiful. I spent the next hour or so painting the first two walls of the back room and I got them done before dinner. We ate together at our little hand-me-down kitchen table and we talked about the new school and about ways the number 8 can be divided and about plans for Dave’s upcoming high school reunion. After dinner and once dishes were washed and put away, I went to admire my work. The walls look good.  I like the new color, but I had to admit, the new color only looks the tiniest bit different than the original color. I started to feel discouraged, like maybe I had wasted my time. I stayed a little longer and I couldn’t say why, exactly, but I found that I really did like the new color more than the old. It is fresh and a little brighter. I liked that I did the painting and that the paint came from a mix of old samples that would have been tossed.  The new paint color is almost the same, but it’s better.

So much has changed in my life over the last few years. Dave and I have been living apart and I’ve had space and time to get to know myself and him and to sort out lots of things. It has been really good for me and for us. With much support from the many wise people we are lucky enough to have in our lives, for this practice of yoga that continues to help me do things in ways I couldn’t before, Dave and I have both made positive changes and life is better because of them. Now that we are back in a house together I can see ways that our life here is a lot like what we had before the drama and our separation, but like the paint in the back room, it’s not exactly the same. It feels fresh and a little brighter. I have a feeling I’m going to love this life with him even more and that it’s going to be better.


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14 thoughts on “When a relationship is almost the same, but better

  1. I no longer think of Shiva as the destroyer. That’s a short term view, and I’m trying to take a longer view. Existence continues and is always in change. Destruction, so called, is prelude to creation. And creation inevitably arises out of destruction. There’s really nothing new. New things are made up of bits of old things. Your new can of paint is a beautiful analogy. Love and intention are the keys. Heart open, you blend together the good that you have at hand. And you create a new shade, familiar and a little brighter than before.

  2. Thanks for this, today. We’re moving too, just across the street but it feels like a huge change, with new schools and a sea of boxes and no familiarity in sight. So your post made my day.

    1. yep. two boxes a day. That’s my goal.
      I haven’t been able to organize my thoughts about my feelings around moving. When everything is not where it used to be there’s all this possibility, but there’s a lot of uneasiness too.

      Right now, I’m sending lots of moving/new school love to you and yours.
      two boxes a day…

      1. Hey, thanks! I’m just seeing this. I’m also on a 1-2 boxes a day timeframe. It’s lovely seeing it all take shape. Hoping yours is, too.

  3. Reblogged this on Becoming Buddhist and commented:
    Long time. I saw this post today by the talented Amanda Green and knew I had to reblog it. Like Amanda, we’re moving, finally in a new place after what feels like six months of upheaval. Amanda’s post reminds me how much good can come from a new space, a new start. Namaste!

  4. Interesting insight into your home and relationship, Amanda. It is always stressful moving, and overwhelming as well! Relationships are …interesting, aren’t they? My partner of 14 years and I separated at the beginning of the year, and over the past 8 months we have lived separately, coming back together on weekends. It worked really well for us, and still is, as illustrated by this week where he spent all week here. Sigh. It’s hard to work on a relationship ‘in house’.

    1. There were lots of things I appreciated about living separately with the option to spend time together. We lived apart for 3 years and we were dating over the last 1.5. It worked really well for a long time and it was a good way to work on our relationship. After separating, we weren’t operating under the same assumptions. I was able to let go of many of the ideas of how relationships ‘should’ function and what they are ‘supposed to’ look like. I think that should/supposed to thing was a big hang-up for me.

      As you two continue with your exploration separate and together, I bet you’ll learn a lot and I hope it’s great. I have a feeling it will be, Sara.

      1. Yes, expectations…a relationship killer. It’s still tricky sometimes, but overall, it’s so much better than 12 months ago.

  5. That was a beautiful piece Amanda. It was really, really nice to read. Thank you for sharing and baring your heart and soul again and again. I’m *always* inspired.

    I hope yoga school is going well, as well as the new house and better, brighter paint and relationship!

    xo Amaera

  6. Hi, Amanda, So glad to read your words tonight. It is challenging to live amidst boxes and things that have been packed up but don’t get hardly used, or never used, and it does take time and energy to have all this stuff in our lives. Of course our relationships are the most important, but it sure can be handy to have that big dish to put something in when you have a crowd over once or twice a year. I have an awful lot to sort out here. It will take a while. I am getting to be a homeowner “trial by fire,” I guess is how it would be described. My list of issues is lengthening each day, but I hope the tide will turn soon. I do feel so fortunate to be able to afford to do the necessary fixes. There is this bad smell in the studio, though. Wasn’t there until 3 days after I got the keys. Pest control is coming on Thursday. Maybe something died in the walls and that they won’t really be able to get at, but maybe something died that they can locate. Oh well, hopefully the smell will eventually go away. Maybe it’s a smelly ghost because…. The electric wall heater seems to be going on even when it is in off position – just discovered that last night. The orange gold fish has been the only one I’ve seen for a few weeks. Today, it’s not in the pond, but I can see the two black ones for the first time. And something seems to have nibbled down a plastic pipe by the pond and left the pieces nearby. Maybe that something ate my goldie. I called the fish store in Lake City before discovering my loss to try to get a few new friends for Goldie. Now it looks like I’ll be getting friends for the black ones. I was warned that raccoons like to chow down on the fishes. I miss goldie already. My next door neighbor Barbara is fantastic. We went out for Vietnamese dinner last night at a place she likes. It was not fancy and really delicious. Just Vietnamese people were there. And Laurel, who is in 8th grade, is really great, too, she lives across the street. Very insightful for her age. Barbara is making wonderful baskets. She’s retired and an ex-Nova teacher. Barbara and Laurel got the block to do a yard sale this past weekend. I made 33.50! Jill and Molly and Bev and Eb and Rachel and Kim came over for brunch yesterday, my first gathering. Very sweet. Jill and i went to the moon viewing at Japanese Garden Sat night. It was warm and wonderful. Well, I just wanted to say hi and I hope you continue to find the pleasure in your new back together home. Love, Bernice

    >________________________________ > From: Amanda Green YOGA >To: berniceinseattle@yahoo.com >Sent: Thursday, September 4, 2014 7:17 AM >Subject: [New post] When a relationship is almost the same, but better > > > > WordPress.com >Amanda posted: ” Tonight, I mixed together some of the old cans of paint that my parents had in their garage and I made a new color. We moved last week, and I’m so happy to be in this new place with the girls and with Dave but I’m not too proud to admit that I’m also ” >

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