Some things I’ve been thinking about.
Today I decluttered the spare room. Technically, it’s one of two spare rooms. But the other room isn’t really spare, it’s my room. With my bed. And I use it when I’m on shift; I sleep in it during the day and sometimes at night. As G is a light sleeper, he doesn’t like being woken at 5am when I have to get up for work, especially if he has to get up an hour and a half later to get ready for his work–if he wakes with me, he won’t go back to sleep. It’s a little better on weekends if he has no specific time to be awake. So at times, I sleep in my room.
I’ve just finished reading a book called Cat Lady. In it, the MC likes to sleep in a separate room to her husband, so she can sleep with her cat. Some friends overseas are buying a new house so that they can each have separate bedrooms plus a spare room. A former work colleague shared that he and his wife have separate bedrooms, too. I don’t have a separate bedroom because I like it, I have it out of necessity. I would much rather sleep in the same bed as my partner. But I have recently started to wonder about permanent co-sleeping; when it started, when it’s deemed ok and when it’s not. These thoughts were prompted by a friend who’s split from her narcissistic ex and whose child still co-sleeps. After her most recent weekend, the child informed my friend that she sleeps in the same bed as her dad and her dad’s new partner.
This made me think about children and co-sleeping because I took every opportunity to sleep in my parents’ bed when dad was working night shift. And I never once considered whether my mother wanted to share her bed (her only alone time!) with me when dad was at work. I would have been well into my teens before I stopped doing this. But parents co-sleeping with their children is still viewed as a bit fringe, and most people expect it to end before the child turns 10. I have always hated sleeping in a bed by myself. And that was what prompted these thoughts. Adults are often questioned if they do not want to sleep in the same bed as their partner. Their very relationship may be called into question if they prefer sleeping alone. And yet, children are expected to do it from a young age.
I like sleeping next to someone because it provides me with feelings of safety and security. That feeling is the same, whether I remember sleeping in my parents’ bed as a child, or whether I think about sleeping next to my partner now.
There are so many things children are expected to do that adults aren’t. Children are expected to know how to regulate their emotions even if they’ve never had a good example of that modelled, they’re supposed to know how to generate their own feelings of safety and security when banished to their own dark bedroom, they’re supposed to only speak when spoken to, play quietly and not be raucous, not interrupt when other people are speaking, always be polite and remember their manners. (Or perhaps that was just in my family?) And yet, these are often things that adults are not required to do.
I want to sleep in the same bed as my partner but I do wonder–why is it ok for adults (actually deemed “normal”) and not for children (deemed “abnormal” especially after a certain age)? And why do we struggle to understand or offer acceptance and compassion to those who want to do something different?
When I work, I tend to go “off-grid” for days—almost a week—at a time. My work pattern consists of 12-hour shifts from seven until seven. These times are for both the night shifts (7pm until 7am) and the day shifts (7am until 7pm) on a 10-day repeating cycle:
night, night, (24 hour break/zombie day), day, day, off, off, off, off, off – repeat
While I am off, I can be called for overtime, at any time, for any of the day or night shifts that I’m not already rostered. Our resourcing has been cut to a minimum over the years and with people getting covid or taking summer recreation leave, there is a lot of overtime. I am called for multiple shifts during my break. But I try to only accept one.
I’ve often described what I do as 95% routine and 5% panic but with the plant and equipment now ageing into its 50s, that ratio has changed. It’s more like 80% routine and 20% panic.
To be fair, panic isn’t a great way to describe it, either. In those moments when things are going wrong, or you need to respond to certain plant conditions quickly, or safely shut down a unit, the last thing you must be doing is panicking. But it does require extreme concentration and urgency in decision-making. It’s one of the things I like about the job. Situations that require analysis and reflexive responses under pressure are my catnip. Perhaps it is that I enjoy that low-level of anxious arousal, the flutter of my nervous system, and the adrenaline that’s generated when something happens.
All shift long, I make megawatts of electricity. When I finish, I go home, eat a simple meal, and sleep. Between night shifts, I sleep until approximately 4pm. Then I have about an hour and forty-five minutes before I need to leave for work. On zombie day, I sleep til noon-ish; wash work laundry in the afternoon and finish any other small jobs that need doing. After day shift, I do much of the same, only I try to sleep until 5am. If I’m not working overtime, the first day off after my round is decompression day and I don’t like to do anything. But tomorrow I have scheduled some appointments—a medical screening, a beauty salon appointment, and lunch with a friend. The rest of my time off will be spent decluttering the house, discovering what art supplies I have hidden away in storage boxes under beds, and preparing for my mother to visit. It’s been four years since I’ve seen her, and this will be her first trip to our home since I moved here in 2014. Somehow, despite my best efforts to have everything stored in its place, labelled, and easy to access, entropy always wins. It seems that nothing is where I left it.
I have been searching for days for a mantra I listened to relentlessly in 2020 and still cannot find it. YouTube seems to store history. But not all history. I don’t know why. Did I mention my mother is coming to visit?
The day G was anaesthetised and had his brain biopsy, it was almost 9pm. I put on my noise cancelling headphones, played some music at a supposedly calming frequency and went to visit him. I found him in a dark room that was not, in fact, a room, it was more like the centre of a galaxy. Though it was mostly dark. I grabbed his hand, told him he was safe, and asked him where he wanted to go. Everest, he said, and in milliseconds we were rugged up and standing on the top of the world. At which point, I turned to him and said “What are we doing here? You don’t even like the cold!”
It wasn’t the first time I’d had an out of body experience; the first was when I was 12. I was riding my cousin’s pony and jumping a gate, and on my fourth jump, the saddle slipped around as the pony leapt. I know this because I watched it. The girl slid with the saddle off to the left and I watched from behind. I bounced back into my body at the same time I hit the ground, winded, and gasping for breath.
I think of these things when I’m at work. I think about energy. Enthalpy. Entropy.
Did I mention my mother is coming to visit?
I do not understand any of it.
The generator is a magic box. I rotate a turbine using steam power and at the other end of it, electrons are forced down wires through substations into homes to power televisions. Or computers. Or phones.
Did I mention my mother is coming to visit?
I will not get a decompression day this week. So instead, I’m going to try to play some other music–Grae Moore makes music for ADHD brains. I’m not diagnosed. I don’t think I quite meet the criteria. Nor do I quite meet the criteria for autism. Though the main complaints people have made about me tend to sound like some complaints about autistic traits. There is a family history there. Perhaps my masking is just that good. Or perhaps it’s not, hence the complaints.
Did I mention my mother is coming to visit?
The 24 hours between the end of our second night shift and the beginning of our first day shift are a blur. You must sleep enough in the morning so that you can function in the afternoon and evening but not sleep so much that you do not sleep that night and therefore cannot function the following day at work. This is why I refer to this 24 hour period as zombie day.
In the last few years, I have expended considerable effort to improve my night-time sleep as a means of managing and maintaining my mental health. I have had years where I’ve slept as little as three hours per night for months on end and the occasional five hours of sleep seemed a blessed miracle.
It is well-known that shift work is damaging to your health and this is largely due to the fact that shift workers tend to sleep two to three hours less per sleep than their dayworker counterparts. But I was born to be a shift worker! Sleep has always felt better for me during the day than at night; I feel safer sleeping during the day, therefore I wake less and spend more time in deep and REM sleep (so says my fitness watch). On zombie day, I try to go to sleep earlier than I do after my first night shift, around 7.30am, and only sleep for about four to five hours. Without an alarm, I would sleep all day—a full eight hours plus. And if I get more than six hours on zombie day, I’m ruined for the following day as I will not sleep at all that night.
Historically, I’ve had a difficult time sleeping when alone in a house. This dates back to before my teens. I have needed another person in the house to feel secure, and when alone, I’ve sleep with the lights on. But a couple of weeks ago, G went interstate (north, almost 20 hours to Queensland) to look at apartments and holiday homes. I had to stay and work. This would normally cause significant anxiety, further inhibiting my ability to sleep but I was surprised to find that this time, I enjoyed the time. This is not something I’ve ever experienced before and although I was looking forward to G’s return, the week and a half I had on my own was refreshing.
When I feel safe, I rarely wake to even the loudest of noise. The surrogate dog can bark and bark, the hoons can rev engines and do burnouts at the intersection by our house, the person learning to play the drums next door can bang as loud as they like and none of these things will wake me. But when G required full-time care, and I slept in the room next door so as not to contaminate or infect him, he barely had to whisper my name and I was awake, alert, and ready for action. It is remarkable what the body and brain will do when necessary. Now that he is well, I have reverted to more sound sleeping patterns. But I still wake often in the middle of the night. Research shows that sleeping in a solid single block for eight-ish hours is a relatively recent development and may not be as beneficial as the previous bi-modal sleep pattern.
G, on the other hand, is a very light sleeper. The slightest sound, minutest movement, or beam of light will wake him no matter what stage of sleep he is in. And yet, he still seems to sleep more than me.
Today, I did not go to sleep early. I messed around until about 9am after arriving home at 7.15am. And then slept until 1.30pm. Which isn’t a lot of time but it means I rose later than I normally would so now–at 11.15pm–I’m not tired. G has already gone to bed but I often sleep in my bedroom while I’m on shift so that I don’t wake him when I get up to get ready at 5am. Otherwise, if I do, he will not get back to sleep.
A few months ago, we read a book by Olivia Arezzolo about sleep types called Bear, Lion, or Wolf. I am a wolf, and the only positive thing the book said about wolves is that they are pre-disposed to being great shift workers due to their alertness overnight. G is a bear these days but used to be more of a lion. We are practically opposites.
When he was in hospital, and my stress levels were so high I went to the hospital myself to make sure I wasn’t having a heart attack, I tried everything to sleep. I tried listening to special frequency music, I tried herbal sleep teas, I tried meditations, and I tried night noises. Eventually, I settled on a routine where I listened to a meditation mantra and then played 12 hours of “night noises” like crickets chirping by a crackling fire in the forest. Light rain falling, frogs ribbitting. Anything to calm me down.
There are things I want to say about sleep–about dreams–about the places we go in our subconscious. But it is almost midnight and I need to be up in five hours. So it will have to wait.
Yesterday, I had a video call with a friend in the USA; the same friend who, in 2020, would zoom me daily for a shake session while I was in Melbourne caring for G through his treatment. These days, we frequently end our calls with tarot or oracle readings.
In 2010, two weeks before leaving my then-husband, I had my cards read. Not a coincidence. I keep the scrap of paper that I wrote out from that reading, with the cards and their layout, in a small crate of keepsakes. Perhaps I will revisit that spread this year, now that my understanding of the cards has deepened.
In 2012, I went to a circus-themed costume party as a fortune-teller and conducted card readings for any party guests brave enough to sit opposite me at the table. I began all my readings in the same way; the cards cannot tell you anything you do not already know. Just as I had already known in 2010. Two weeks later, the couple who hosted the housewarming party broke up. And he moved out. Not because of my reading, however, as it turned out, the reading had exposed and brought to light some inconsistencies within the relationship and he was not prepared to continue.
Despite these outcomes, tarot is not a tool for predicting the future. And it did not do so in either of these cases. Instead, it is a means of finding deeper insight and self-awareness. The cards provide prompts to examine specific areas of our lives, patterns of behaviour, or parts of ourselves we keep in the shadows. Sometimes for good reason. The deck my friend used for my reading was The Wild Unknown Archetypes Deck and I drew two cards; The Bridge and The Mask. The Mask was about flipping the usual script; instead of a mask hiding our true nature, what if particular masks reveal more authentic parts of ourselves? But the main card was The Bridge. In summary, The Bridge relates to connection and it came with a short exercise to “go deeper”.
Lie on the floor, it said, and listen to Bridge Over Troubled Water. So we did. I rolled my teal velvet chair back from the desk and pushed it into the gap between the bookshelf and the filing cabinet. Then, I crouched down beside my desk, squeezed myself into the gap between my bookshelf and the desk, and stretched out on the floor. She hit play and the tinny sound of the song blaring through her iPhone was beamed from her lounge room in California to my office in Victoria through my laptop speakers.
I grew up listening to Simon and Garfunkel. Between the two of them, Dire Straits, and Beethoven, there was rarely anything else on my father’s record player. Or on the tape in the car. So it wasn’t so much that I grew up listening to them by choice as it was I had no say over what played on the radio. I was familiar with Bridge Over Troubled Water. But it has been years since I really listened to the lyrics.
The goals and intentions section under the category of social relationships in my planner is blank. I could speculate at length about what it means but I won’t. Whether it’s the pandemic or age, my tolerance for people, people around me, and especially people near me has diminished over the last few years. Previously the social co-ordinator among my friends, I now just want to stay at home. I want a slower pace of life. I want to move more slowly. I want to take my time. I want ease and flow and peace and stillness. I am going inwards. Growing inwards. Growing more aware of my own desires, my own wants, my own needs. And I am not willing to give them up. This is a deliberate choice I am making. It may be time to set out my goals and intentions for my relationships, my friendships, my everythings. I want to be as intentional about the social connections I build in my life as much as I am about my health, my career, my creativity and my finances.
My eldest stepdaughter turns 25 later this year. In my keepsake crate, I also have a journal from when I was 25. In it, I write that I am having a quarter-life crisis. My first question about that now is, when did I decide I was living until I was 100? My second question is what made me think I was running out of time?
The journal contains a list of things I wanted to achieve. Some of which I have. Many of which I haven’t. And while I’d love to believe that I still have plenty of time, the last few years have shown me that life can change in an instant. It seems, right now, that I may have plenty of time. But life does not offer us these guarantees. I may be–no, am–running out of time. And I have realised, despite this, there is no reason to rush.
Sail on Silver GirlSimon & Garfunkel
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
Today is decompression day; I’ve worked my normal round (4×12 hour shifts on a night night day day roster) plus an additional day of overtime this last week–for a total of 60 hours from 7pm Tuesday night to 7pm Sunday night. On my first day off after work, I can barely summon the energy to read, much less write. So today’s Music Monday is short and I’ll be back tomorrow.
Because in the end, only kindness matters.
For those following along at home, today H saw the feline internal medicine specialist. The vet, upon hearing his history regarding the progression of the symptoms as well as listening to several recordings of his breathing at rest, was also concerned that there could be some sort of laryngeal paralysis present (for which I felt validated and vindicated). The vet performed an upper respiratory endoscopy to determine if there were any blockages (growths, cancer, polyps) or paralysis that could be the source of his breathing issues.
Thankfully, his oesophagus, trachea, larynx, and pharynx were ok. No blockages and no paralysis. What wasn’t ok was the back of his nasal passages. He is creating a significant amount of mucus which has been sampled and sent to the lab for testing. Results will take approximately a week as they will culture the sample to see what, if any, viruses or bacteria show up.
He’s woozy tonight and keeps flopping over when he tries to walk but he has eaten, been to the toilet, and is now snuggling in a bed on the floor. He doesn’t know it, but these are the last tests I am going to subject him to for these particular issues. Since they have showed only inflammation, infection, and asthma for which he’s already being treated, there is nothing else to do except perhaps give him some additional medication depending on what the cultured sample shows.
The relief is real.
When the only thing that’s sure is this unsteady groundHein Cooper
Listening to certain types of music often gives me the same strange sensation of yearning I have when I look at the stars. As if I belong somewhere else. Or perhaps, rather, am from somewhere else. When I was a child growing up in the church, I believed this was because I belonged in heaven–out there, in the stars somewhere. Now, though, I know it’s because all the elements in my body were forged in the heavens; hydrogen and helium during the big bang, while heavier elements were made by fusion in a star’s core.
My affinity for out there is also a way to dissociate from right here. Right now.
I am trying to remember that, as Rumi says, “You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop.”
Standing at the side of the hospital bed, eyes closed, having rubbed my hands together the way we’d often done in yin yoga, I moved my palms towards and then away from each other, allowing the pressure and heat from the friction to grow into a sticky thread between them. In my mind’s eye, I imagined shaping this thread, forming a growing, glowing ball of white light between my palms. As G lay in the ICU, machines beeping and blinking all around him, I created ball after ball of white light and stuffed them into his comatose body. Later, I worried that I hadn’t been able to ask if he minded if I shoved basketball-sized shimmering lights into his organs. What is the requirement for consent to perform magic when someone is dying?
In reality, I don’t believe what I did healed him. That was done by a team of brilliant doctors. But it made me feel better to do it, and isn’t that what matters? I wasn’t hurting anyone. I suppose that is the purpose religion or prayer can serve, too. To make people feel better? I am not religious. Not in any recognised way. I do not subscribe to any of the world religions and while I grew up Christian, neither I, nor the Christians I still know would ever call me that now; the Bible is not the inerrant word of God. There may or may not have been a real, live Jesus. There is no such thing as sin, heaven, or hell; these are all constructs of control. But once, I used to be a fundamentalist. And the problem I now see with fundamentalism is that it does hurt people.
When he came out of the coma, he was awake and alive but not here. Not himself. He was on a train. He was in an ambulance. He was a 60-year-old school teacher from a neighbouring town. He needed a cigarette. God, he needed a cigarette. Hold on, he said, hold on, hold on, hold on as he tried to grab my arm with the only one of his that sort-of worked, his movements slow, stiff and erratic.
“How long has he been teaching?” a nurse asked me.
“He doesn’t,” I said. “He’s never been a teacher. He doesn’t smoke.”
Sentences were coming out of his mouth but they were just a word in front of a word in front of a word. Unrelated. Until he said “I need to learn another language!”
“You learned another language,” I said. “Remember when we went to Paris and I taught you French? Let’s practice!”
“Un,” I said, expecting him to repeat it.
“One,” he replied.
“Deux,” I said, trying to encourage him to repeat the French.
“Two,” he said.
I counted to ten in French as he repeated the English number after me.
“That’s English,” I said, “not French.” And started counting again.
Half way through the second count, I realised he understood. While his sentences made no sense, he knew exactly what was going on.
“Can you understand me?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said.
“Do you know I’m having trouble understanding you?”
The speech pathologist who’d seen him earlier in the day popped her head into his room and asked if she could see me for a minute.
“I’ll be back,” I told him. “Just a few minutes.”
She asked if he’d ever had any issues like this before the coma; struggles to communicate, not making sense, difficulty with speech or memory. No, I said, never. And then I asked the question I didn’t want an answer to. Is this…going to be permanent?
“I don’t know,” she said.
I shook my head. “I don’t know what he’s talking about. He’s not 60, he’s never smoked, he’s not a teacher. None of what he’s saying is true. They’re sentences. But they make no sense.”
She nodded and bit her lip. “Ok,” she said, “thanks. Could you make something for him? When people start to have communication and memory issues like this, we ask their family to make a memory book. Put in info like work, family, life, etc. Sometimes, it helps their memory.”
I left the hospital after dinner and returned to the Leukaemia Foundation where I stayed up until 2am making “The Book of G” from the template the speech pathologist had emailed me. I filled it with info and pictures for the staff to read, and read to him, emailed it to the nurse-in-charge of his ward who printed it and stapled it together. “You can come in today from 9am,” she told me, when I called to check in that morning after shift handover. Covid restrictions were still in effect and hospitals only allowed visitors in very specific circumstances. A patient not being able to communicate was one of those circumstances.
When I arrived at his bedside at 9.05am after presenting at security for screening, temperature checks and confirmation I was allowed to visit, he was no longer a 60-year-old school teacher. He was himself, as if the person he had been yesterday never existed.
For the last four years, I’ve used a beautiful planner made by Magic of I. At the start of it, there is a yearly planning and intention-setting segment covering categories such as inspiration and creativity, work, health, relationships, spiritual, mental, social and wealth. Last week, when goal-setting for this year, I wrote: practise my French on Duolingo for a minimum of 10 minutes per day.
This afternoon after logging into the app for the first time in many years, I noticed a change. Ads. Ugh. And every time I completed a lesson, it launched into an ad to upgrade. I messaged a friend who is a Duolingo aficionado. He has a 1051 day streak. I’m only aiming for 30. My friend is in Brazil at the moment, practicing his Portuguese and Jiu Jitsu. I’m not sure he needs Duolingo when he’s in the thick of it. And yet, every day, he completes his lessons. I asked if the upgrade was worth it, because it said 60% off. But it didn’t say off what. After 15 minutes of the free version, though, the ads became obnoxious. That’s how they get you. So now I’m a super Duolingo user. I’m hoping the cost will compel my commitment. As I perused this new version of the app, I was astonished to discover you can now learn languages such as High Valyrian.
“Didn’t realise we could learn fake languages!” I texted.
“Why do you call it “fake”?” he replied.
“Because it’s not from a real country.”
“Not all languages are from countries…”
“Perhaps I should have said fictional language. That would have been better.”
It prompted a conversation of language. Languages. Fictional, engineered, and invented languages. Semantics. I asked if he had heard of the Pirahã tribe from Brazil, who have no words for colours, numbers, or past or future tense. Some linguists argue that it is the only language that does not subscribe to the theory of Universal Grammar as there is no recursion. Others argue it does contain recursion, albeit, tangentially. The Pirahã have also been described as the happiest people on earth because, without tense, there is no past or future. They live fully in the present. I scrolled through the Duolingo menu for the possible languages you can learn, and while you can learn Esperanto, you cannot learn Pirahã.
It is possible, perhaps likely, that I have PTSD from this time; from the time spent caring for G both while he was in active treatment, and then while he was in rehab and recovery for months afterwards. Because while my patient was (remarkably) ever-patient and compliant, and caring for him was comparatively easy, the anxiety I developed due to the uncertainty of the situation has not dissipated. At any shift of energy or fatigue, any new would-be symptom, my nervous system moves into uncomfortable overdrive. While he cruises along with a “whatever happens, happens” attitude, I remain hypervigilant to any changes in condition, absolutely not living fully in the present; trapped somewhere in the ether between the trauma of the past and anxiety for the future.
The last six months have seen me dedicate my time to pushing all the medical terminology and understanding of PCNSL out of my brain and replacing it with work again. Just before Christmas, I sat my simulator assessment for work and passed. I am now a fully qualified Unit Controller, in charge of a generating unit. When I began my traineeship, within our group was a former ICU nurse, which on the surface, seems like quite the shift. But as I explained to my mother the other week when I passed my test, it is different, but also the same.
Whenever a patient is intubated and ventilated in Australia, they are assigned a private nurse who is with them for 12 hours at a time. G was ventilated and on dialysis for almost two weeks and his nurses monitored the pumps and valves and machines and equipment, as well as all his bodily systems; blood test results, blood pressure, heart rate, and more, to determine what the next course of action would be, what steps may need to be taken. Any fluctuation of conditions requires an immediate response or their patient could die.
My new role involves me monitoring pumps, valves, equipment and systems of both a mechanical and electrical nature to ensure the unit operates efficiently and within set parameters and limits. It’s same same but different.
I think of the electricity I generate as magic. White light. Invisible to the eye and critical to almost everything we love to do on this tiny blue and green ball, spinning around a dying star. I cannot say what happens when we die. I don’t believe we go to Jesus but I don’t know where we go. I used to think we went nowhere but after the last couple of years, I’m not so sure. Cosmic connections or events appear to exist whether we are aware of them or not, whether we respond to them or not, whether we believe in them or not; we do not understand enough about the butterfly effect, quantum entanglement, or the physics of subatomic particles. And until we do, sometimes, it’s just easier to call the things that happen magic.
I am in bed with my poetry and my books. And my cats.
Tonight as I was stacking the dishwasher, I had a strange sensation before an image from the film Nell shot back to me; of a wide-eyed woman, alone in a cabin in the woods.
How nice to live alone in a cabin in the woods.
But a woman, alone in a cabin in the woods, must be a witch.
How nice to be a witch in a cabin in the woods.
At the beginning of my senior year of high school, when I was 16, my parents separated. My mother never re-partnered. And, to this day, I don’t believe she ever even dated. My father. My father, on the other hand. I don’t speak of my father. Or to him.
But my mother.
When my parents separated, my mother was four years younger than I am now. She had two teenage children; me, and my brother, three years younger than me.
In my memory, I assume she was too busy to date. But that can’t be true. Because she danced. Many times a week. In a line, with others. She took up this type of dancing because it did not require a partner. Perhaps, neither did she.
In my memory, I assume she never stopped loving my father. Even though she left him. But I know my father; so this can’t be entirely true, either.
In my reality, what is perhaps most true, is that I didn’t think any of these things about my mother. I didn’t think about her or her happiness at all.
When G and I moved back home from the Leukaemia Foundation apartments last year, we had G’s elder daughter over for an outdoor dinner. At one point, the conversation became morbid and I shared the fact that if G dies before me, I do not intend to re-partner. His daughter, still blissful in the first year of new love, was shocked. But won’t you be lonely? she asked with genuine concern.
But I wouldn’t have to take care of anyone except myself. And my schedule and time would be entirely mine.
Perhaps that is why my mother didn’t re-partner. And if that’s the case, I may have more in common with her than I thought.