It was like a stormy wind, blasting in the door and side-swiping my face before I even knew what hit me. And he didn’t realize he was doing it. It’s just the way it is between us.

Minutes after my ex-husband dropped off the kids after their weekly overnight with him, I felt as though a cloud had settled around my shoulders. What had changed? I’d had a successful day of client work, relaxation and snow-shoveling with my true love Dan…now the children were back and the house filled with energetic laughter and love.

So why was I feeling blue?

He does that to you, Dan said, hugging me and kissing the top of my head.

But he hadn’t done anything. It was the acrid interaction between us that cast a pall over my day. That I allowed to do so. Hadn’t we moved on from this, after the divorce more than three years ago?

It’s amazing the patterns we fall prey to. Yesterday, as Michigan ramped up for an impressive winter storm, the electricity in my house flickered off for a minute or two every hour throughout the day. In the evening, the phone rang.

“Hi, Lynne,” my next-door neighbor said. “Has your power been going out today?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Ours too,” he replied. “Did you call anyone about it?”

Until he said that, it hadn’t occurred to me to call anyone. A storm was coming, so the power lines were being batted around by the wind. Such was life. I dealt with it rather than trying to affect its path.

After we hung up, I dialed the electric company and registered the complaint. The power stayed on the rest of the night and all day today.

It was so easy. Just a simple phone call, a few minutes out of my day. And then everything was right.

Today was a good day. This is a good life! When the waves crest high over the shore, they also pull back away from the sand and eventually, everything retreats to glass-like calm.

Such is the cycle of weather. And of relationships. And of human interactions in and out of a day.

So subtle, but so dangerous, giving our power away.

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