That’s how many hours JP spent at the office last week. Ten hour days followed by a full weekend of slaving away rather than lounging by the pool. And the worst part is that this week promises to be even worse.

That old adage about absence making the heart grow stronger seems to hold true in our case, because we’ve both been lonely and clingy.

Honestly, I expect that to some degree from JP. After all, she’s the one worked to exhaustion. She’s also the type who craves human interaction and is easily bored or lonely. But I enjoy no one’s company more than my own. I love my solitude.

Recently, JP and I were driving at dusk and passed a park with a small pond. Seated in front of the lake, with her back to the road, was a young woman. I couldn’t see her expression, but she looked so tranquil sitting there. “Look,” I said to JP. “See the girl sitting all by herself at the pond? She looks so …” And then, just as I was saying “peaceful” JP completed the sentence with “lonely”. We laughed, because the exchange so perfectly sums up our feelings about solitude.

But this weekend, with JP at work all day, I began to see things from her perspective. In between interviews, I found myself wandering aimlessly. I could have gone swimming or watched a movie or taken the dogs to the park, but none of those seemed as appealing without JP for company. Maybe it’s because I’m so stressed right now, worrying about landing the perfect job. Or maybe it’s just that after nearly two years of cohabitation, solitude has lost some of its appeal.

Either way, it wasn’t peaceful…it was just lonely.