Friday, May 29, 2015

Slaying Dragons and the Tranquil Island

Bridge to the Tranquil Island?
When I was a younger man, a partner to my lovely, late wife, and a less experienced professional manager, I’d heard something about the “Tranquil Island” as it pertained to married couples who divided and conquered to achieve the kind of life afforded by personal and financial stability. In summary, the Tranquil Island was the home which, in most cases, a wife made for her working husband. So, while the husband was out slaying dragons, he could return to the love, safety, and tranquility of the home where he could tend to the wounds of battle, take sustenance, and then return, refreshed and re-armed, to the fight.

I also recall that special interest groups denounced the idea of the Tranquil Island as sexist, demeaning, and stereotyping women, but frankly, it’s a person’s right to choose the sort of life he or she wants to live and how he or she wants to live it. I believe, in a true partnership between a man and a woman, there exists two individuals but there also exists one entity through the commitment each individual makes to the other. What is good for one is good for both.

Anyway, in my and Lori’s case, we both worked before we started having babies. After The First Beautiful Daughter was born, Lori took care of the babies and created our Tranquil Island. I battled the dragons and mowed the lawn. It was our plan, when our last baby was out of diapers who as it turned out is The Favorite Son, Lori would go back to work. I would have enjoyed that chance to create a Tranquil Island for her, although she really didn't like the idea of me as a stay-at-home dad.

Ironically, she didn't think I had it in me.
Islanders: Lori, Jordan, & Katie

As a widower single father, like all varieties of single fathers, I have found it a challenge to battle the dragons without the Tranquil Island. A couple of years after becoming a single dad, I tried to return to the workforce only to discover I wasn’t able to serve two masters. After a few months, I stopped. A couple of years later, I tried, and failed, again. About a year ago, I returned to the outside-the-home workforce for the third time. Three appears to be the charm.

What's changed? Well, for one, the kids are older and more independent. That certainly doesn’t mean that the Two Beautiful Daughters and The Favorite Son don’t sill need attention, but their increased self-reliance has been extremely helpful. The other part of the equation is what I call the Artificial Tranquil Island.

Stay tuned for next week’s post when I describe the Artificial Tranquil Island.