My husband, Judah, is a dreamer.
I am a planner.
In 2016, Judah declared that he wanted to go to Japan. Not just go there, but live there.
In our then twelve years of marriage, this was the first I was hearing of it.
Every time he talked about going to Japan, my body got hot and tense. My mind became an expert lawyer, developing a fool-proof case for why every idea he had was terrible.
“Why can’t you just dream with me?” he asked.
I felt like such a Debbie Downer. He was so excited, and I was so aggressively against even thinking about it.
We were on a long walk in our neighborhood when I was able to uncover the source of my resistance.
When I talk about something, it’s because I’m making plans to do it. When he talks about something, he’s just playing around with ideas. They may or may not ever happen.
Because of this fundamentally different starting point, when he talks about something, I start making plans, at least in my head. When he was talking about moving to Japan, he was dreaming about where we would go, and I was packing boxes, planning the move, finding a place to live in a country we’ve never been to, and figuring out how to safely get our cats halfway around the world. His head was in the clouds and mine was under a pile of to-dos. His heart was light and airy, and mine was weighed down and gloomy.
Once I was able to let go of a responsibility that was never mine, I could breathe more easily. I could take a small step toward imagining us going to Japan. To visit. For a month.
Maybe we will move there one day. But I don’t have to plan for a move. For now, I can dream with Judah. And we can plan a vacation.
That I can handle.