July 10, 2018
I’ve been thinking about doing this video for a while, but I never really had the chance to, until this past weekend when Martina’s health got pretty shitty. She’s doing a lot better now, today, and we’re hoping to catch up on our filming schedule. At the same time, even though this was a bit of a tougher weekend, we knew how to handle it profoundly better than we did compared to, say, how we handled things a couple of years ago. The more time we spend together the better we understand each other, and a lot of the ways that we grow and change now are with Martina’s condition forcing us to reconsider some aspects of our lives. In the video I discussed three things that have changed in me, in us, as a result, but there are some more ways that I haven’t fully figured out yet, and I think here might be a good place to discuss them and get a better handle on these ideas. Sorry if they’re not well formed, but here goes:
For starters, I think bad health crushes our desire for lifestyles we see advertised in the entertainment industry, of great looks, great bodies, great wealth, and flashy things. We don’t aspire to it because we know that we can never have that, ever, and that’s not a sad thing to say. I think advertising capitalizes on people’s insecurities, and – for us – we’ve become secure in ourselves and our understanding of what we can do, what we can’t do, and what we can enjoy. Mansions and fancy cars aren’t for us. A big house would be too difficult to maintain, and fancy cars won’t be comfortable to sit in. Expensive shoes are too painful. We don’t want it. I know too many people going broke trying to live lifestyles out of their price range. We’ve instead found personal fulfillment in a kind of alternative lifestyle (maybe?), but we do so without the bitterness of “fuck this fuck capitalism fuck the maaaan.” We can’t go out and go whitewater rafting or bungee jumping, but instead we can have a great melon! We can’t travel as much as we used to, but we can enjoy a cigar in our backyard as we look at the stars.
In a related note, Martina’s chronic pain has taught us not to expect fairness. And this is a lesson that’s kinda still not fully sunk in for us. There are still days in which we’ll see other people with good health and think, fuck, why can’t we just do things like normal people? Or some people have terrible diets and do jack shit with their lives and we think, why the hell is Martina the one who can’t get out of bed? The sting of this still bites us some days. Writing that wasn’t easy. But we’re (slowly) learning to accept that the balance of the world isn’t fair, and sometimes bad shit happens to good people. Feeling bad about that doesn’t do us any good in our lives. It doesn’t make our work better, doesn’t make our relationship stronger, doesn’t make us any happier. It’s something we’re accepting, and thinking, hell, we’ve been dealt a shitty hand in some ways, but we’ve also been dealt a great hand in other ways. Let’s do the best with what we’ve got.
The last thing I’ll write about before this whole post gets a bit too overwhelming is that Martina’s health teaches us to be able to make the most out of every situation. I’ve seen in the comments, especially in our last Gion Roiro video, how is it possible for us togo from a fancy meal to convenience store food and be ok with it. If you think we’re food snobs, oh boy, I know some people who can’t appreciate anything that isn’t high end food. For us, though, we find a way to appreciate every situation, no matter how rich or poor, elaborate or simple, in pain or pain free. When we first got married we were super broke, and we made the most out of the discount clearance produce. Now we can have fancy meals, but we still are thrilled to crack open a box of mac and cheese. Similarly, when Martina’s pain isn’t too overwhelming, we can go out and have fun adventures and explore the dark side of Kichijoji and other parts of Japan, but on the days she can’t do much we can still have loads of fun staying at home, playing scrabble, or just watching some Netflix and talking with each other.
I think the common element in all three of these is that we’re happy with what have on any given day. Our days are not going to be consistent, or fair, but we’re happy so long as we’ve got each other.
Ok that’s it!