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Known to those my age and older, détente is an easing of strained relations, for us the Cold War relationship between the US and the former Soviet Union. Forty years later, I am experiencing my own détente, and I have to say, it’s freakin’ me out a little.

When was the last time you suddenly, without warning, got something you’d been wanting for a very long time? Out of the blue, it comes…as if someone or something had been eavesdropping on your thoughts and dreams. It’s quite discombobulating.

Even if it’s only the tiniest piece of what you wanted – a noticeable change in the tone and tenor of a relationship – it has the power to knock you for a loop when you’re not looking.

There was a day that I’d have taken that tiniest piece and – out of fear – puffed it up so big, it became unrecognizable as anything anyone would actually want, thereby killing it, in the process.

But I am not doing that with this.

Like someone telling a crowd of onlookers to back up and give a heart attack victim some breathing room, I am clearing space for this tiny little gift of détente in my life. Because this relationship has literally been to hell and back, and it deserves, for a multitude of reasons, a break.

The most surprising thing so far? How good respect feels.

I’m thinking of becoming a respect addict.