My husband and I have been together since the dawn of time. Literally since January of 1986. It all started so innocently. We had the world at our fingertips. We were young and in love. We got married in June of 1993.
"Now I smile and face the girl who shares my name. Now I'm through with the game. This boy will never be the same. And even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you honey, everything will bring a chain of love. And in the morning when I rise, you bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me, everything is gonna be alright."
In 1995, we made a decision that changed our lives. Since then, Dan's life has not really "been his own." That is to say, in order to follow his dream of becoming a doctor, he had to succumb, for 12 friggin' years, to the demands and requirements of someone else---teachers, preceptors, bosses. Those have been the years of medical school, residency, and now, a service obligation for a scholarship he received in medical school.
During these years, we had our babies.
"Now I see a family where there once was none. Now we've just begun. Yeah, we're gonna fly to the sun. And even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you honey, everything will bring a chain of love. And in the morning when I rise, you bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me, everything is gonna be alright."
An ongoing issue for us has been the amount of time this man works. He works a LOT. This week, for example, a typical week, he's putting in 90+ hours at work, not including his commute which is an hour each way. Some weeks are worse. Some are better, but not by much. He hasn't had a full weekend off since early August. And he won't have another one until late December.
The position he has now has been crazy. There is always a shortage of docs and there's always more work to be done. On Thursday, for example, my DH called me and told me he's been "asked" to be on three new committees. Three. At once. Additional work. Probably somewhere around 6 additional hours per month. Might not sound like a lot to some, but when you already work as much as he does, it's asking a lot. And he hates meetings. Despises them.
We argued. I insisted that he decline these lovely offers for additional work. He talked about how he really felt he had to accept and that really, it wouldn't be much additional work. I countered that he'd have less time for (a) family, (b) exercise, (c) sleep. The man gets no sleep! It was not a nice conversation.
We've argued about these same things many times. We've cried. We've yelled. We've loved. It's not been easy. But soon his service obligation will be over and he will be a "free agent." He'll be able to select a job on his own terms. There are a lot of decisions to be made. But the bottom line is always the same. We need more time together as a family. He needs to be home more. We want this badly. Very badly.
Later in the day after we had argued about his new committee responsibilities, he called me to tell me he was sorry we had argued and that he had some good news. He had a potential new job offer. He has to wait 8 months before he could take it, until the end of his service obligation, and I don't want to jinx it by talking about it, but let's just say it would let us stay put in this town we love, it'd be doing something he really loves, with the same benefits, more money, and for a guaranteed 7 shifts per month.
Seven shifts per month! That is still approximately 48 hours a week, but trust me, this is like never working compared to what he does right now. And for more money? And the same benefits? It's like a dream!
It was like he had called to tell me, "Everything is gonna be alright."
Afterwards, in the car (damn that satellite radio), I heard Danny's Song. At the time, I didn't know it was titled Danny's Song, which is pretty awesomely coincidental since my DH's name is Danny. And of course, I cried. What else is new?
"You bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me, everything is gonna be alright."