Perfect Imperfection

So….it’s January 3 today! Doesn’t sound so special to you? Well, then I can inform you that this is the first anniversary of the Original Pancakes on the Third-day! That is, the origin to this expression, that might not mean so much to you (other than maybe as a little tiny wondering why the name of this blog is such a…strange one), but which in this little household over here actually has sort of a great significance.

A little more than a year ago, my three months here in the US were coming to an end. I had come here on an ESTA, as any tourist, to be where Anna was, rather than a continent and an ocean away. We hadn’t really spent that much time together before I came here, so starting with a three month visit to check things out seemed reasonable. However, as the time limit came closer, we were faced with the fact that, well, if we didn’t ”act”, I would have to leave the country, and that quite soon. Hopefully I would be able to come back after a while, again. But did we really want to risk that? No, we didn’t. But neither of us had really ever thought about getting married, either. And we definitely hadn’t thought about already getting married the two of us. A few weeks of processing this whole new possible step (and most, maybe, the consequences of not taking it) followed. My ticket back to Sweden was set for January 2. So, we talked about it in the terms of ”If we get married, we can have pancakes together on the third (and if we don’t…we will be very very far away from each other, not even having our beloved morning coffee at the same times)”.

The days went by, we talked back and forth, looking at our situation from all possible perspectives. Moving between different versions of ”But wow, isn’t it a bit too bananas…?” to ”But the nuttiest of all would be for you to leave!”. Until, one Monday afternoon, Anna texted me from work, with the now famous words, ”I want to have pancakes with you on the third!”. In other words – ”I want to marry you!”. A couple of hours later, we proposed to each other in unison, one week and a day later we got married…on the 1st of January I ignored the text that told me I could now check in on my flight, and on the 3rd – yes, you guessed it. We had pancakes for breakfast. Together. Romantic, right?

So, today is an anniversary! A celebration, of the fact that we still can have pancakes together whenever we want. And, especially, on this day one year ago, we could. Now, both Anna and I have a thing about things like this. We don’t do well with expectations. Maybe especially not romantic expectations, I don’t know. What we really do like however, is to celebrate. Anything celebrateable is worth doing so for, when the feeling is there. So, how did we handle this special day today then, one might wonder? Well, to start with, I don’t think either of us would have actually….remembered it, if it hadn’t popped up in our shared (but rarely used) calendar – a little emoji of a stack of pancakes, with the text ”Wherever we are” below it. Really cute actually. And since we got this little reminder yesterday, we of course decided that we would make pancakes for breakfast today. Bought a box of pancake mix (but it’s so easy to make from scratch??? It seems I’m slowly…adapting, in unknown ways, to the local habits) and smiled at each other.

To give some further context, I have just been on a super intense trip to my other home country. The first visit back there since I came here. And I basically tried to make up for a whole year of missing my family and friends, over the course of three weeks. And being who I am, ticking all boxes in any introvert and HSP-tests you can find (either one likes the ”labels” or not, these tests are always interesting to read, if nothing else because suddenly I realize that other people are not at all functioning like me – it sort of surprises me every time, when I sit there thinking “what, everyone would get all checks on this”, and then it turns out that they…don’t), I am very behind on…down time, alone time, silent time, not leaving the house for days in a row time, and all those things that are essential for my sanity. Most often I am so lucky to be married (wait, what, yes, we did it!!) to a very wise person, who sees these things when I sometimes don’t myself, and help me to adapt and act accordingly (for example ”prescribing” 24 hours in bed and stuff like that). Other times, like yesterday, my wife is in a similar state as well. And, in those cases, we’re basically not so capable to help each other out. Rather, the opposite. This isn’t a super fun place to be in for either of us, and as it happened yesterday, it takes a while to come back up to the surface again – so, in short, the night became a lot later than we had planned for, before we had settled and gone back to kinder versions of ourselves again.

This morning then, Anna suddenly looked up at me, as I still laid in bed, all cozy and sleepy after a not so restful night on top of the late bedtime (this gas heater in this house, it’s living a life on its own and since this is a new experience for both of us, we’ve woken up every time it turns on by itself, wondering if there has been an explosion of some kind – as well as wondering, when it turns off suddenly, if we are now being gassed, or not), with close to upset eyes – ”But, but…..pancakes!!” (yes, we had forgotten it again when finally going to bed, and had not set the alarm at a making pancakes-friendly time).

We still had half an hour before Anna had to leave though. So, we made the batter (thank God for ready to use mixes, so quick and easy! 😀 ), put on the coffee, set the table, and was ready to sit down and start eating the (half burned half smushed) pancakes, at the time when waze told Anna it was time to leave.

Added to all this was also the fact that Anna was leaving not only for the day, but for a couple of nights. To give me some space here at home, to re-root a bit after the travels and all, and rest. So, to celebrate this first anniversary of this to us special day, we sat here, with our imperfect pancakes, with me hardly even able to start eating before Anna had to leave (slow mornings, especially eatingwise, that’s my thing), and with Anna leaving to be away for a while. Yes, that was our celebration of our big, brave and wonderful decision of staying together, to take the big step of getting married in order to be able to continue having breakfast together. And you know what? It was just perfect. In all its imperfectness, it’s all perfect. We had a little moment, celebrating with the thing that has become a symbol for our decision to keep spending time together, living together, staying together – Pancakes on the Third. And, knowing that what was needed now was some space for a few days, we had the opportunity to arrange for that. Without it being a dramatic thing (as in one of us having to leave the country, for example). And wanting to, we can have pancakes together again on the 5th, or the 6th…or whenever we want to.

Hip hip hooray, for pancakes on the third, for no pancakes on the third the times that that will happen, for pancakes whenever we want, for celebrations whenever we want, tiny or big. To celebrate in the ways that we need in the here and now, without formulas or expectations. May we always remember that, all of us!

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