As I write this, my wife is in another city, where she will be until the end of the week. It's the first time we've been apart for more than a day, since we got married nearly a year and a half ago.
A friend of ours needed help getting settled into a new job, so she left this morning, and I'm left to fend for myself for a few days.
It's strange, the things we don't notice until they're not there. I've come to count on certain aspects of my life being as they are.
Although my wife and I have only been married a relatively short time, going back to the way things were when I was single isn't as much fun as it might have once sounded.
When I woke up this morning, I didn't have to be careful not to wake anyone as I got ready for work. I also didn't have anyone to kiss me goodbye before I left.
I won't have anyone calling me, apologizing for interrupting my work, and asking what time I'll be home. I also won't have anyone to welcome me at the door when I get there.
I can eat whatever I want for the next several days - as long as my wallet agrees with it - without having to worry about what my wife wants to have for dinner. But, I won't have anyone to share the meal with.
I can watch what I want, play as much music as I want and monopolize the computer all I want, without worrying about infringing on what someone else prefers. But, it's not as much fun doing those things without someone with whom you can share them.
I can catch up with friends I haven't spent much time with lately. But, my best friend on this earth won't be here.
I can take up as much of the bed as I want when the day is over. But I'm not sure I can even get to sleep without having the person I love to hold onto.
Still, I'm determined to make the most of the time I have while she's away. I can spend time with family, or write letters or e-mails to friends I've lost contact with. I can surprise my wife with something I've done for her when she gets back.
I can do the laundry, or something else that's constructive.
I think the most important thing I can do this week, though, is to learn to appreciate the little things - the kiss before I leave for work, the hug at the door in the evening, sharing a meal and sharing those everyday moments that I sometimes take for granted.
She'll be home in a few days, and I'll survive until then. But it's my job to make sure what she comes home to is worth the trip.
Jason A. Smith covers crime and courts for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.