I have been accepting, for the most part, of our situation. I once heard a sentiment from a very wise woman to the effect that when you disagree with reality you are incorrect 100% of the time. We have been in a situation where we have very little ability to influence; I recall from a popular book on negotiating from many years ago that there are 3 dominant factors: information, knowledge and power. We are lacking in all.
I am resigned to not departing until Thursday evening - it will actually be Friday morning before we hit the road. I do regret missing out on so much of France - we have decided to do France-lite in order to not sacrifice time in Italy. We will also blow off Spain, unfortunately; we had planned to briefly visit Bilbao and Barcelona and to visit a Salvador Dali museum.
It has been beneficial to our enjoyment of the trip and each other that neither of us went off the deep end during this time and that we manage to come back to equilibrium and acceptance after brief excursions into annoyance and frustration with the situation. I have a tendency to remain on an even keel - a dual-edged sword in my life - while Claire is more apt to respond from an emotional place at first. But, we both accept where we are and gradually come back to center, if not by the end of the day, at least in the morning; then, we begin again to look forward to all we still hope to see and experience. I think we both understand where the other comes from and realize that we are heading in the same direction and are able to let the differences slide even as they are resolved or worked out.
Just before leaving on this trip, I asked one of my teachers for suggestions about how to maintain my (Buddhist) meditation practice over the year. He suggested that I not worry about that since travel itself was a powerful teacher. I am finding that to be true. Patience, for example, is one of my very weak points; since Claire also has challenges in that area, this provides me with opportunities to stop and reflect on what I am doing (or reacting to) and why; I also have opportunities to consider how she sees things and how her filters and reactions are different simply because we are different people with different histories. The differences, thus, become facts rather than problems.
Ultimately, I think the best is yet to come - where have I heard that, before? - and I recall, frequently, Diane's offhand comment several years ago about Claire being the "perfect life partner." I think she just about nailed it; how fortunate I am.
Patience is just procrastination without the anxiety.
Harry Pierce, MI5