Learning to fight better, accept more, appreciate daily and stay in love with my husband

Posts tagged ‘gratitude’

Jingle Bells Kicked My Ass

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Excuse my language, but it is the truth.  The holidays took a definite toll.

Truthfully, I can’t blame the holidays.  I am the one to blame.  I just took on too much.  So much that it took away from the joy that you are supposed to find during the season.

Frankly, I was excited for it to be over. Sad, I know.  And the second that it was I came down with a horrific cold that I am still battling today.   I literally ran myself into the ground and my body was pissed about it.

Why did I do that to myself? Why do we all tend to do that to ourselves?

A large part of it, I have come to realize, is my incessant need to make sure everyone around me is happy.  Even if it makes me miserable.

I am blessed to have two children, but not so blessed to have both of their birthdays fall during the holiday season.  My son is right at Thanksgiving and my daughter is a few days before Christmas.

We always have a party for the kids birthdays. Unfortunately, I am not skilled in hosting small parties.  I always find myself making things bigger than they need to be.

This year I made the mistake at having both of the parties at our house.  Those parties along with hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve as well as hosting friends and family during the holidays, made for a very overwhelmed and unhappy Mama and Wife.

I think I do a good job of holding it together in front of the kids and friends and family.  Unfortunately, that means my husband takes the brunt of my insanity.

It’s kind of an out-of-body experience.  I run through each day trying to tick off the things on my endless to do list, snapping at hubby at every turn, only to crash at the end of the day and start all over with the same madness the next morning.  I couldn’t even sleep well because my head was so full of what I had to accomplish the next day.

Sure, everyone had a really great Christmas, but would it have really made a difference if I had baked one less batch of cookies? Or would it have ruined Christmas if I hadn’t gone to 3 stores to find that extra thing for the stockings?  I’m sure it wouldn’t have.

Luckily, it seems that husband still loves me, or at least he says he does 🙂 Maybe all of that hard work that we put into the marriage the rest of the year paid off.  It allowed us to cut each other some slack when we really needed it.

Today’s lesson in improving my marriage: My New Years resolution in 2013 is to not pack so much in during the holidays this year. My husband deserves better from me.  I deserve better from me.

Picture from http://www.inkity.com

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Vomit In My Hair, Love In My Heart

I have to admit that when I imagined being married, when I was a little girl, I didn’t picture myself sitting next to the toilet bowl, with vomit in my hair and my husband standing next to me wondering what to do.  It is not the picture of romance is it? . . . . Or maybe it is.

Of the many health issues that I am prone to, migraines is one of them.  A handful of times a year, I find myself at the mercy of pain that debilitates me, has me bent over the toilet heaving, blinded, thinking I am dying, that there is no way to the other side of the pain.

For those of you who suffer from migraines, I know you understand.  For those of you who don’t, I hope that you never have to know the feeling.

Sadly, I had to spend all of Saturday in bed, in the dark, with a washcloth over my eyes, drugs at my beside, unable to keep anything down, praying every second for the pain to pass.

I literally could think of nothing but the pain.  Nothing but trying to stay as still as possible and stop the hurting.  I didn’t think about my kids or wonder what they were doing.  I didn’t worry about if they had food or if they needed anything.  I physically couldn’t begin to think about anything other than pain.

At about 4 in the afternoon, after the pain had subsided enough for me to open my eyes, it dawned on me that I hadn’t given my kids a thought all day.  More than that, I hadn’t had  to give them a thought.  I was secure in knowing that Daddy was there and they would be taken care of.  I didn’t need to worry about anything.

Then I thought, how lucky I am.  I am so grateful to have this person to share my life with, even when things suck.  How lucky I am to know someone has my back.  That someone is there so share in the endless and exhausting responsibility of parenting.

If I had been a single parent, I am not sure I would have made it thru the day. All I could think was, how do single parents do it?  How unbelievably challenging it must be.  To not even be able to be sick for one day.  God bless all of the single parents out there who have to get thru each day without the support of a spouse.  My hats off to you.  You are saints. You are truly amazing.

Thank God, that I have support of a great Hubby.  One that I don’t have to tell what to do.  He just did it.  Without complaint.  He let me recover in the silence of the room, drove 30 minutes away to get me medicine, and brought me french fries when my stomach had settled.

When I was able to think enough to find gratitude, I thought, this is what marriage is about.  It is about supporting each other when you are at your worst. It is about taking over when the other can’t stand on their own feet.  It is about reassuring that everything will be okay.  It is about saying, “Your Beautiful” when they have vomit in their hair.  Now that is love.  Now that is worth fighting for.

Today’s Lesson In Marriage:  Find gratitude for in my most desperate moments for all that Hubby does to help me through.

photo credit: demandaj via photopin cc

My Pity Party In the Closet

Lately I have been standing center stage with the spotlight blinding me at my own pity party. There are only two people on the invite list, myself and my husband.  And my husband wishes he could just ignore the invite all together.  It is embarrassing to say, but it is true.

I am not sure what is up.  I just think that sometimes the stars align just right. They align in perfect order so that I can look at them and find everything wrong with the world.  Just in line to turn a normally positive and optimistic girl into a pessimistic stranger.

That is me.  The unrecognizable girl, laying in her husband’s lap in the closet, bawling for no real apparent reason, unable to pick herself up off the floor.

The stress of a bad business decision, unknown finances, an excess 10lbs that wasn’t there last year,  the undeniable stress of work and parenthood.  Stacking on top of each other all at once and, WHAM!  The once strong and happy woman of yesterday is the dark cloud of today.

I know that regardless of my list of excuses, sitting in the closet checking off all that is wrong is ridiculous.  In my moments of clarity I know that.   I know that I am quite capable of getting up off of the floor, dusting the carpet lint of my clothes and wiping the mascara smudges off my face.   In the heat of the moment though, I need to be reminded.

In comes husband, who provides his clothes as a snot rag, his lap as a pillow and his hands to move the hair out of my face.  Soothing and listening. Reminding me that I am better than this.

When I said, “I don’t know what to do.”  He replied, “Just start with what you do know.”   That simple statement stuck.  Start with what I know.

What did I know?  I knew I needed to get up off the floor.  I knew I needed a little time to myself and I knew I needed to move my body some so that I could start to feel good again.  That is all I knew, but it was enough.

I am still short-tempered and falling into tears easier than usual, but everyday is a new day.  I set new exercise goals, ones simple enough to do with minimal effort.  I cut some pages out of a magazine for inspiration and posted them on my closet wall where I can see them everyday.  I asked my husband to take over with children a couple of nights a week, so I can have some peace to think, I started writing in my daily accountability journal again.  Little steps that move me in the right direction.

Through all of this, there is one thing that I found easy gratitude for.  My marriage.  I am so grateful that husband and I have spent so much energy strengthening our marriage.  What would happen if our marriage was rocky on top of all of the stress that my meltdown has put on us?  It could be disastrous.

But, all of the work we have done has helped prepare us for times like these.  It has given us a real foundation that keeps us balanced when it feels everything else is going to crumble.  That foundation boosts me.  It gives me hope.  It reminds me that I have done something right. . . . .  A strong, loving, supportive, forgiving marriage.  That definitely has to count for something right?

Today’s lesson in improving my marriage:  Keep up the hard work.  It will pay off in ways you can’t imagine

photo credit: Evil Erin via photopin cc

The Alien in My Bed

I am beginning to think that men really are from Mars.  I find it fascinating that after nearly 14 years of marriage and over 23 years together, my husband is still alien to me.

I have been in a very strange depressive funk this week.  Something fairly rare to me.  I am usually a pretty easy going and predictable person.  That was not the case this week.

My body hurts and it has taken a mental toll.  I have been at a one woman pity party for the past 7 days.  It is bizarre to me.  To not feel like myself.  To not even feel human.  I feel out of my body, looking down at some woman I don’t recognize.  It is weird and a little freaky.

If it is freaky to me, you can only imagine how my husband has taken it.  He thinks I have been abducted and replaced with some overly emotional negative being that looks a little like his wife.

Through this week, I have learned something about my husband.  He is a fixer.  I think it is a man thing.  The second something is awry  he feels the need to make it right as fast as possible.  I can respect and appreciate that about him.

But sometimes,  things don’t need to be fixed, they just need a hug.

In one of my self pity rants I start crying about how my body is not what I want it to be.  How I feel enormous and unattractive.  My husband immediately goes into details of what excercise I should be doing or how I should cut out soda.

In response, my eyes bugged out and I felt my head start to spin.  I yell at him, “I don’t want you to fix it, I just want you to listen.”

I might as well have been talking Greek.  I could see him thinking, “What do you mean don’t fix it?  That is what I do.  If I am not supposed to fix it, then what the hell am I supposed to do? Just sit here and listen to you bitch and moan?”

YES!!!!

I admit, I have been a royal pain in the butt this week.  Something I can ‘t really explain, but I know it has taken it’s toll on my husband and my relationship.

Over the weekend, he decided to brave the rough waters and broach the subject again.  Basically, what is going on with me and where is his wife?

I told him talking to him is hard because he is not a very good listener.  Hurtful to him, but truly how I felt in that moment.  He just wants to fix it and that pisses me off.

After going back and forth about it for about an hour and feeling like this is not going anywhere, he decided to try a different approach.  He came over and put his arms around me.

The second he did that, the flood gates opened.

I crumbled into a sobbing mess and he just held me.  He didn’t offer an opinion or a get better tip.  He just held me quietly and let it all come out.  I won’t tell you how ridiculous I sounded.  Let’s just say it was not one of most shining moments.

But, I was so greatful in that moment.  To have such a wonderful husband that could still love me and try to give me what I needed even though I was mean to him and spoke in a language he didn’t understand.   Really who could blame him for not understanding how to handle someone like me.  I can’t even handle me.

But through it all, I have learned to be clear about what it is that I need.  I think he has learned that sometimes trying to fix it won’t help.  Listening can offer it’s own fix.  Feeling heard and supported is a valuable gift.

Today’s lesson in improving my marriage:  Maybe it is not my husband who is alien, but ME!!!!!   Poor guy.

A Moment In Time

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I spend a lot of minutes thinking about “time.” Such a precious yet fleeting word.

I think about how there never seems to be enough of it. I seem to say, “I don’t have enough time,” on a daily basis.

I don’t have time to excercise. I don’t have time to write. I don’t have time to work. I don’t have time to play.

I think about my children. How time has robbed me of the baby years. How much longer will my daughter hold my hand crossing the street or want me to brush her hair? How much longer will I be able to pick up my son or sing him a bedtime song?

I think of my dad. How his 83 years are creeping up on him. How his body is slower than it used to be. How he can’t hear me as well as he used to. How much longer will he be here to meet me for breakfast or to cry at special events?

I think of my mom. How she will be turning 70 next year. How does that feel to reach such milestones? To know that what lies ahead is far less than what is left behind.

I think of my husband’s grandmother who died a few weeks back. How she had lived 40 years after her husband had died. She had had enough time. Time was far too long.

I think of my husband. How his hair is beginning to have more grey than brown. How his knees betray him on the basketball court. How beautiful it is to watch him grow older. What a precious gift to share with him.

I think of how I would give anything for time to slow down. How it flies by so fast it feels like sand through my fingers. If time did slow, would I notice? Would I then stop to take it all in? Would I then find a balance in work, love, family, play? Would I then be able do the things I have always wanted to do, but didn’t have the time for? Would I exercise or call my mom more?

What a precious commodity, time. What would we pay to have more of it? If we did have more, would we use it wisely?

Recent movies and a very vivid dream that I had, have reminded me that there will come a time when my parents are no longer here, when my children are grown and gone, and when I will loose my husband or he will loose me. Right here and now are the best days of my life.

Time . . . even if I was given more, it would never be enough. How could there ever be enough time to cuddle with my husband? To read to my children? To watch them play? To cook with my mom or chat with my dad? There could never be enough time.

Time. . . so incredibly precious. So, I will hold tighter to the time I have and be present in the moments that pass. I must make a conscious effort to make the time for the things that I love. Time will not make it for me. Moments are only here once. Each is a gift. An unbelievably precious gift. How blessed I am with time.

Today’s lesson in improving my marriage: Stop saying “I don’t have time.” I do. Right here and now.

Thank You!

It is funny how there are times in your life when things just click. When you find something, that you didn’t really know was missing that fills a hole that you didn’t really know was there. That is what blogging has been to me. I feel blessed to have come across this wonderful community of people who are supportive and giving.

As many of you did, I started blogging to fill a nagging need I had to write and to share my experiences.  I hoped that someone might read it, appreciate it, and learn from it,  but I wasn’t overly optimistic.  I just wanted to write.

Here I am, 5 months later and so happy I wrote that first post on my birthday.

I wanted to say a very special thank you to Dounia, lovely writer of the blog Next Stop, a beautifully written blog about nature and life from the view of a third culture kid.   I also want to thank Sarah from the blog Anything But Academia, a fantastic blog about a doctoral student trying to take the time to focus on “anything but academia.”  I know I am a little late on these thank you’s, so I apologize for that, but I am very grateful to you both for nominating my blog for the Versatile Blogger award.  It means so much that someone not only took the time to read my blog, but also appreciated what I wrote.

As most of you know, once nominated for this award you are to tell 7 things about yourself.  So here it goes:

Hello, my name is Tammy and I am an addict.  I am completely addicted to Diet Pepsi.  It is one of the true pleasures in life,  an ice-cold Diet Pepsi from tap.  I know, not one of the healthiest things in the world, but I figure it could be worse.  At least there are no calories, that makes it okay . . . right?

I love to dance.  I have been taking dance classes for many years.  Even though, I am now the oldest person in the class, I try not to let that deter me.  Someday, I will be able to do a full split. I will! I will!

I have a recurring fantasy of sitting on a subway ( even though there aren’t any where I live) and I look over to the woman sitting next to me and she is reading a book that I wrote!  Wouldn’t that just be the ultimate?

I love to cuddle up with a good book.  There is little that compares to snuggling in a warm blanket with “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”

I judge all mexican restaurants by their salsa.  No restaurant is worth talking about if they don’t have good salsa, right?  Don’t go claiming to have the best tacos in town if you don’t have a killer salsa to drown my chips in.  I am thinking El Ranchero for lunch.  Now that is good salsa!

I am a total sucker for a great chick flick.  I have been known to watch the same movie so many times I know if by heart.  My recent go to is “Just Go With It.”  It just doesn’t get better than Adam Sandler and Jennifer Anniston.  Ok, maybe it does, but nevertheless I love it!

I have a near paralyzing fear of flying.  To get me on a plane, I need to have a significant amount of Zanax in me so I can black out and wake up when it is over.

As a result of this award it is also my duty to nominate 15 other blogs for the same award.  Since I still have yet to follow that many blogs myself, I will do this one in chunks.  Here are a few of my favorite blogs:

The Smart Cookie Cook –   I don’t know how she does it, but this woman posts a recipe nearly every day!  Not only is it full of recipes, but I have tried several of them with great success!

MommySaidASwearWord – A wonderfully honest, funny and well written blog about life, love and parenting.

Jenny Is Wright – Jenny is a wonderful photographer and writer that has a funny and witty sense to her writing about whatever strikes her fancy.

Mostly Bright Ideas – Charles is by far one of the best writers I have come across.  His random thoughts make me think and laugh out loud.

Raising My Rainbow – An absolutely beautiful blog about raising a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son.

Cheers to the wonderful world of blogging!

My Obscure Husband in Great Shoes

Will I ever grow to fully understand this man who I have chosen to spend my life with?  I am beginning to come to grips with the fact that the answer is a resounding, No!  He is an endless list of things that I may never get.

I will never understand how he can dismiss any exercise other than basketball as not excercise at all.  A jog, lifting weights, the elliptical machine.  None of that counts to him.  If it is not a 3 hour round with sweat, testosterone and fist pumps it is just not worth the calorie burn. 

Husband, “Tam, I’m gonna go to the gym to play basketball.”

Tam, “Okay, but didn’t you go for a jog this morning?”

Husband, “Yeah, but that doesn’t count.”  

 If it doesn’t count than why do it?  I don’t get it!

I will never understand how when we go on a trip, his shoes take up a suitcase of their own.  I am the woman.  Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do? Basketball shoes, jogging shoes, comfortable shoes, dress shoes,  same shoes in several colors.   What is it with him and his shoes?  He can’t pass a Sketchers or a  Foot Locker at the mall without feeling some serious regret.   A pair of flip-flops and tennis shoes and I am good to go.  

I will never understand how Husband can hop out of bed the second the alarm goes off after a mere 5 hours of sleep.  Are you kidding me?  Hit the snooze, will ya?  I am an 8 hour a night kind of girl, and even then, I drag myself out of bed feeling a deep sadness over leaving the warmth of the covers and the sweetness of the quiet.  Not husband!  Loud morning music and singing in the shower is how he wakes up with me begging him to turn it down.  I mean really, there is just something wrong with someone being that energetic in the morning. 

I will never understand why he can set out to lose 5 lbs and  reach is goal in 3 days.  What is going on here?  To lose that same 5 lbs it takes me two months and severe deprivation.  Okay, maybe not severe, but going two weeks without french fries is a travesty.  Truly. 

I will never understand how he can be asleep the second his head hits the pillow.  What is up with this?  I lay there twiddling my thumbs, bitter at his peaceful sleep, listening to his heavy breathing.  Why does he breathe so heavy anyway?  What is he dreaming about?  Is it me or Brooklyn Decker?  And if it is Brooklyn Decker, who can blame him anyway?  Did he say she was hot?  No, that was me.  She is so hot!  How does she get her hair so shiny and stay in such great shape?  Ugh!!!  Counting sheep, 1, 2, 3 . . .  Why is he breathing so heavy?

He will always be a bit of a mystery to me.  But, if I understood everything about him married life would be boring. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Today’s lesson in improving my marriage : Figure out what he is dreaming about!