This is going to be a Long Seven Weeks…

Baby's foot, Dad's handThis is going to be a long seven weeks.

I’ll try to avoid being overly sentimental while writing this. Not likely to succeed, so uh… consider yourself forewarned.

For the past fourteen months I have been with my wife all day, almost every day. She works (or worked: she’s now a full-time mum) from home, as do I. I’ve gone for the occasional night with the guys, and business trips here and there, but for the most part it’s been around the clock.

We’re not one of those couples that rattle around one another (not that I’m knocking those, they’re great too; sometimes fighting is part of the fun. I’m just talking about us though). We’re like a freaking BMW, or a Swiss watch or something, only without the fancy price-tag. Smooth running, low maintenance.

We walk the same way to get coffee together every morning, weekdays and most weekends. We try to beat each other at spotting the first feral rabbit in the park. We laugh about dumb shit. A lot.

For the last five months we’ve had a daughter too. I have absolutely no complaints, she’s awesome. Everything is pretty rad (hate us if you want).

But now they’ve gone to Korea for a few short weeks. They’ll be back soon enough, and I’m even going to join them over there for a while in May. Great.

But you see, the thing is, after dropping them off at the airport this morning (without a tear in sight), I realise that I actually needed them to be here. It’s not just that I’m missing them, but that I feel something is utterly wrong in this picture. Does not compute. No comprende. Computer says no.

They were a shield: an excellent protection and support from anxiety. Anxiety surrounding my work, and adult life in general.

*Haha! Oh D.R… You and your adorable first-world-problems*

Over the past few years I’ve noticed a trend: I’ve been growing angrier, more cynical, and more suspicious. When driving. In public. Forget waiting for old-age, I’m already considering taking up residence on the porch with a shotgun and a bottle.

So I realise that I’m probably gearing up for a bender tonight when I finish work. It’s something that happened last time we were apart as well. What I’m deciding though is that I’m definitely not going to do that. Not. This. Time. There won’t be any ludicrous consumption of alcohol. There won’t be any staggering, vomiting or aggression.

Because damn it I’m supposed to be an adult. A father.

So my question to you all is this: – what’s a good way of letting off some steam, something that doesn’t involve leaving a scorched crater for a hundred kilometres* in every direction? So far the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack seems to be some help…

Thanking you in advance.



*Definitely not to be taken literally. May contain hyperbole.

About D.R.Sylvester

A Clinical Research Associate by day (google it), writer by night, D.R.Sylvester lives in Sydney, Australia with his patissiere wife and Siberian Wolf. His interests include travel, music (predominantly Metal), reading, & archery.
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11 Responses to This is going to be a Long Seven Weeks…

  1. DasNuk says:

    Found myself nodding a lot while reading your post. While the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” makes sense in the way that we only realise what we have once it’s gone, you could easily replace fonder with angrier, more desperate or whatever negative feeling takes over once that stability is shaken. Maybe there is something you could do to let go some of that anger in productive ways, like building something for your daugther? That would be the high road. Other possibilities: playing video games, punching a bag, ranting. I think I’m quite good at driving angrily (ranting in my car). No one gets hurt that way. As long as it’s not throwing rocks at old couples, or, well, craters. 🙂

    • I think building a little crafting table for her would be fun. It’d look like the minecraft one, only small enough for a toddler to sit with, and it’d have the leather top and all the tools (little kid plastic scissors, crayons, etc) hanging around the sides…

      Thanks for the most excellent suggestion! And drive safe when you drive angrily, if that makes any sense 🙂

  2. gpeynon says:

    Grab a Game of Thrones box set and do some power-watching ( I recommend 8-10 episodes consecutively). Escapism, sex, violence and somebody else’s strife are all wonderful things to take one’s mind off real life and a great substitute for alcohol. Although a beer or two wouldn’t hurt.

    • That’s a great idea about the power-watching of series, especially gorefest, zombie bashing, all-action series’ that I wouldn’t normally get time for \m/
      I haven’t actually watched Game of Thrones after about the 2nd series, so I have plenty to catch up on

  3. This may sound like the last thing you’d want to do, but maybe you should start plotting and planning your next book. I know you’re not finished with editing the last book, but sometimes working on a brand new project helps with gaining perspective.
    Although the binge TV watching could also work too…
    Hang in there!

  4. MJ Belko says:

    I have the porch, the bottle, the shotgun, and the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. Wicked combo. When the army sent my husband to Germany without me for 7 months, lo these many years ago, I found myself in the odd habit of eating the same thing each day and watching the same movies over and over. Weird way of making the time go faster by making the days blend into each other.

    • Haha, that’s a clever way of making the days fly by! I sort of took a little inspiration from this, and decided to have a routine every day. I’m still doing different stuff if it needs doing, but mostly it’s “get up, wash, tea, emails, walk dog, coffee, cook, etc.” Keeping the order and just plodding through the steps is adding some structure to the day, and it seems to help 🙂
      Damn, 7 months is a long while. My sister has to routinely put up with similar absences, as her husband is Australian Navy. Puts my tiny 7 week break into perspective!

  5. Millie Ho says:

    A definite ‘yes’ to the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack.

    Here’s another feel good playlist for you, based on the fantastic Fallout 3:

    Perhaps try some sports or group activities. I’m in Canada, so I snowboard on the regular when the weather permits. Poker is also fun, along with other card games. But I vouch for sports above all else: nothing beats the adrenaline rush and the long-term benefits to your mental and physical states of being.

    You can do it!

    • This Fallout playlist is fantastic. THANK YOU. For card games I think I’ll have to head to my mate’s place and give Cards Against Humanity a go…

      I did actually get out of the house and head into the hills for the weekend last week. Roaring campfires (that roar even more when you splash a little cheap whisky in them), and clear skies. It was a damn good idea

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