Making the most of my "Dash"

Posts tagged ‘Marriage’

An Unexpected Hiatus

Hello!  Hello… Hello… Hellooooooo (echo, echo, echooooooo)?!

While I certainly didn’t plan to take any sort of break from blogging, I just looked and saw that my last post was March 16th of 2012… 301 days ago.  7,200 hours ago.  432,000 minutes ago. 25,920,000 seconds ago! (Just in case you needed it broke down like that.)   Time has just whizzed by for me.  So, I will do a brief (well, as brief as I am capable of being) post of what has happened since March of last year.

Grand Canyon

Taking a ride on The Grand Canyon Railway!

First of all I did NOT forget my anniversary on May 7th.  Mister planned a great little trip for us to Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon and we took that in late May.  The landscape in our desert states are simply beautiful, and surrounding myself in it was a feast for my eyes, heart and soul.  We went to the Grand Canyon via The Grand Canyon Railway, and it was so much fun!  I absolutely love to travel with Mister.  So many new experiences and lots of laughter shared between us!

Mister's son is an expert on how to efficiently relocate to another state!

Mister’s son is an expert on how to efficiently relocate to another state!

In June, some of my favorite people in the whole world, Mister’s son and daughter-in-law and granddaughter, moved to Havasu!  We are thrilled to have them here, even though we tried to warn them off.  Really, we tried to tell them not to come here.  Not because we didn’t want them to move here, but because the beginning of summer is the absolute worst time to try to acclimate to the desert.  Particularly when previously living in Oregon.  However, they did great and sweated through the Arizona summer heat like champions.  I think they’ve acclimated pretty well, because now we are all freezing our patooties off as it’s currently 39 degrees outside.

In July, we had the monsoon season to beat all other monsoon seasons.  Frankly, I’ve made a rather disturbing observation about our weather.  First, this past summer was one of the most humid in a LONG time.  All the local-yocals were talking about it (but not in front of the tourists… no, we buck-up and tell them that we’re used to this sort of heat and frown down upon them for complaining).  Then, we have this crazy monsoon storm that tore out roads, washed cars away, and created havoc all over town.  Now we’re having the coldest winter in a long time.  My only conclusion is that Mister’s family moved here from Oregon they brought some of the weather with them.  This crazy weather is all their fault.  And THAT is unacceptable.  I’ll have to have a chat with them to send it back.

People 'round these parts don't really make the best decisions  when a monsoon hits.  Obviously.

People ’round these parts don’t really make the best decisions when a monsoon hits. Obviously.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving with Mister’s family here in Havasu.  There’s nothing like spending the day with a loving family to help you appreciate all the blessings we are given.  Christmas was lovely as well.  We had a pre-Christmas celebration with the family here and then Mister and I spent Christmas eve and day together in Laughlin, NV (the kids were with their dad for the holiday). We have so much fun together, and this was no exception.  Plus, how can you go wrong playing three and  a half hours of slots on one twenty-dollar bill?!?! Tons of laughter, love and hugs; that’s what our life together is about!

Now it’s January and you may be wondering what prompted this rambling catch-up post.  I suppose it’s that I started to miss writing.  I am one of those people who learn something new and go gung-ho at it for a while.  Then, I see something else new to do and attack learning that with a vengeance.  The other “interest” tends to go by the wayside.  This blog was also  my therapy for a while.  I  had things built up inside my head and heart and I just needed to release it.  Once it was out, I had nothing more to say.  I felt lighter, and happier, and freer than I had for a long time once I had cleared out my head.

I started this blog to remind me to fully live my life.  To enjoy every moment with my husband, children, and his (now MY) family.  And, I found my groove…  I did my thang!  I am living my life!  And it is flippin’ WONDERFUL.  Seriously!  I think another reason I stopped blogging is because, honestly, how many posts could I write about how amazing life is being married to Mister before I drove you all nuts?!  I think we all know there would be A LOT of posts.  Because it really, really is amazing.

I remember a friend of mine asking me how another person (that we both know) could keep writing about her absolutely adoring and incredible  husband, and her super-fantastic life, incredible kids, and blah, blah, blah…  That made me hesitate about writing more things like that here. While I don’t want to sicken anyone with constant sugary tales of Mister mushiness, I realized that it doesn’t matter what other people think.  I don’t write about the salty-teared tales of the “discussions” between Mister and I, but they have happened.  Not every relationship is a rose-garden of beauty, and of course ours is no exception.  It takes hard work, and communication (reluctant tho I may be to “communicate”), and it’s not always clear or easy to make that happen.

I suppose I said all that to say that despite the “discussions” Mister and I have (or maybe because of them!), he and are are living a beautiful life together.  I am spoiled rotten, and I hope he feels the same.  We spend a lot of time in The Love Shack, mainly because now I’m learning to quilt.  Remember the jumping from learning one thing to the next I talked about up there ^? Yeah, basically it went from Crochet to Blogging to passing my Amateur Radio Operator test to Quilting.  I love sewing and spend a lot of time at my sewing machine.  I’ve made tons of crafty things lately, you can see them here if you would like.  My daughter even compleminsulted (yeah, that’s new word  I just made up) me by telling me they look like things I bought at the store.

Speaking of jumping from one hobby to the next, I’m taking a Motorcycle course the weekend of February 1st.  Hopefully I will be riding Mister’s Honda 750 Magna not long afterwards! Also just as hopefully there will be a fun blog post about it rather than a “you are NOT gonna believe what I did…” type of post.

Well, that’s the catch-up.  Not too much funny, not too much snark, and not too much mushy.  Just Christine living her life, and being ever so grateful for it!

So, tell me… How have YOU been? I’ve missed you! 

Dear 16 year-old self, you are not welcome here…

A peek at my 16 year old self...

I have set a timer for 15 minutes.  I have to do that because I know that I  get so lost focused with what I’m doing.  Whether it’s blogging, responding to email, facebooking, reading a book, reading someone else’s blog, cooking, baking; the list goes on and on.  I need to be able to come up for air every now and then, and the timer helps me remember to do that.

This became a problem for me recently when Mister let me know that I was so deeply immersed in other things, that I seemed to be going down a different path.  Alone.  Without him. Without the kids.  In my own world, which was consisting of “other people’s” virtual worlds.  I became a bit very incredibly defensive.   That always results in my not hearing things that are said, in the context in which they are said.  Simply put, my emotions take over and I put a completely different spin on what I’m hearing.  Thus a rather difficult “conversation” ensued.  One in which I regressed to an old, and highly inappropriate, response.

“I’m in trouble.”  That has always been my main reaction whenever a situation arises where someone is upset.  Whether I was responsible for making them upset or not.  Frankly, that was the expected response for most of my life.  I have realized that I have often resorted to becoming a 16 year old girl in the presence of my parents.  That young girl would do anything to keep her parents from becoming unhappy with her, and even lived her adult life with that attitude.  If I did something that upset my parents, I was reprimanded for it.  Even as an adult. That never went away after I moved out and started my own family.  If I did something they didn’t like, then I [felt like I] was “in trouble”.  My “fix” to that would be to stop doing whatever it was that “got me in trouble”.

I understood what Mister was saying about my time and attention not being exactly where it should be. So, some of you may have noticed, I disappeared from the interwebz.  Sorta.  For a time, at least.  I didn’t want to make the blog disappear, as I think there may be a post or two that’s important enough to need to be out there.  During the course of my conversation with mister, I realized I felt pulled in too many different directions with the blog, my facebook page, other people’s facebook pages, and a particular facebook group I had joined.    So, I shut it all down.  To get out of being in trouble.  And then I started thinking.

I can take days to work through things.  Mister has had a difficult time with that.  We have agreed that there should be no unspoken resentment between us.  We both always want to be open and up front about whatever is going on in our minds and hearts.  So when I need time to digest things and figure out how I really feel about something, he has to make himself let me do that alone.  He would rather us work together to quickly resolve whatever the issue is, but I have spent so much of my life giving the expected response that now I really need to spend time figuring out what I really think.  We also always and ever try to do things to make the other person happy.  We both want what is best for each other.  And I came to realize that I was giving up things I wanted to do, because I thought it would make him happy and keep me from being in trouble.

I felt stirrings of anger.

And resentfulness.

This was badness.  I knew that either one of us sacrificing something that is important is not what our relationship is about, nor what either of us wants.

I woke up in the middle of the night and realized that my emotions, defensiveness, and inappropriate “I’m in trouble” response, had made me unable to hear what Mister had said during our conversation days earlier.  I heard him when he said, “I feel lonely when I’m sitting next to you” and “I feel like I can’t interrupt what you’re doing without upsetting you”.  All I knew was that to make him not feel lonely I needed to give him my undivided attention, and be able to do so at any moment he desired it.  But, that is NOT what he asked for.  I knew that he would never ask, nor want, me to give up things I enjoyed to make him happy.  That is exactly the opposite of what he wants.  All he was saying is, “I want you to be available. Not to other people you don’t really know.  Be available to me. To the kids.”

I also became acutely aware that the reason I had become so engrossed in doing other things online was to avoid having to think about an issue that, while I was only an outside observer, caused a great stir of emotion within me.   I had so many thoughts swirling around my head that needed to come out.  I was getting really pissed off, but I wasn’t ready to deal with that yet.  So I read other people’s blogs and threw myself into putting great thought and effort into commenting on their posts.  I felt a pressing need to distract myself by responding to any little comment directed at me on the internet.  I have since realized that there was nothing wrong with doing any of those things, and Mister was not “mad at me” for doing them either.  What was wrong was doing them to avoid an issue, and at the exclusion of other people.  My real priorities.

I discovered that I was in the midst of creating a situation of resentfulness between Mister and I. After a week, I had been able to understand the real issue, and was ready to discuss it with Mister.  He was shocked to find out that I felt I had been in trouble.   This particular response of mine is so foreign to him, that he does not recognize it.  He would never treat his own adult children that way, so he has no concept of any adult feeling like they are in “trouble”.

I love the relationship that I have with Mister. It is taking me some time to grow into my adult self.  Despite my occasional misperception of being treated like a child, he has NEVER treated me that way.  In my time with Mister, many of my reactions and responses have taken him completely off guard.   When I start to revert  to the 16 year-old, people-pleasing, “I’m sorry… I’ll never do it again… Whatever you want…” persona, he gets fairly upset.  He doesn’t want that.  No one who loves another person should want that.  Not even parents should want, demand, ask, or even tolerate that behavior from their grown children.  Logically, I know this.  Sometimes that darned 16 year-old in me takes over and tries to “fix” things the only way she knows how.

I write this not because I want to put our “stuff” out there… but simply to show that, as in all relationships, we are human and we have to communicate to work through our stuff.   Every one will lose focus of their priorities at one time or another.  I think it happens more now than ever, simply with the advent of the internet (particularly FB!).  I was headed down a path of anger and resentment that could have done some serious damage.  I was strong enough in myself to say that what I thought was the right fix was not working for me (this is not a familiar action to me).  I mustered up courage to tell my husband that very thing, and to tell him that I had completely misunderstood him in my defensiveness.  I experienced growth, in that I realized I don’t need to be defensive with my life-partner.  I simply need to communicate what I need, and hear what he needs.  I need to really LISTEN.

My timer has gone off at least 6 times since I started writing this.  Mister has rolled his eyes at me every time I stopped and came over to him and gave him a kiss.  I’ve reassured him that I am not setting the timer for him, but for me.  I don’t want to get so lost I can’t hear the kids when they call my name.  What I’m doing is not so important that Mister has to wait for an hour and a half before asking me a question.  I do this so I don’t forget that while writing makes me happy, I have people that make me happier.  I want to be available to them.  And… much like Mister, I love those little kisses!

Something special happened on May 7th…MAY 7TH!

Hey... It's official!

This morning when I got to the table, I noticed that Mister was on my FB page and was busily typing.  He shifted the computer so I couldn’t read what he was pounding out on the keyboard, and I laughed and told him that I would not read it.  I immediately got busy trying to find a “Good Morning” picture for the page, as I usually try to do every morning.

I was in middle of typing out my good morning message when I noticed Mister kept looking at me and then my computer screen.  After the fourth time, I remembered that he had posted something and I asked him if I needed to see it before I posted my picture. “I don’t know” was his reply.  I just looked at him funny and asked him again if I really needed to stop what I was doing and check it out.  This time I got a coy look and, “I don’t know, maybe….”  I huffed a little (ok, A LOT), because I knew I had to stop in the middle of posting a picture, copy what I had written, and go see the page.  In my mind, I was already focused on having to go back and start reposting the picture again and admittedly, was a little annoyed at the thought of re-doing something I had already started.  And then I saw his post:

“Happy Semi-Anniversary, Sweetheart. Six months ago today, we were married! I continue to see that my first impression of you was very accurate. When I first saw a picture, the word that came to mind was “Empathetic.” I see that many folks get to see that in your writings and pictures also. I love you, Beautimus!”

And my first thought was, “ARRRGGGHHHHHHH!”  I even smacked him on the knee.  I must explain why THAT would be my first reaction.

I feel like I’ve been married to Mister forever.  Not in a bad forever kind of way either.  We were already so completely committed to each other that our official wedding day was just that… the Official Day that it was “government” approved (and the day we went for a really cool boat ride!).  As such, EVERY day is a special and wonderful day with Mister.  It also means that I constantly forget our anniversary date.  I even blanked on it when I went to the Social Security office and they asked me what date we were married.  I gave the man a blank stare, and then frantically searched the marriage certificate for the answer.  Thank goodness Mister was sitting there, and he calmly said, “May 7th.”  Yes, that’s it, May 7th! Note to self: Sear this date somewhere in your brain, and not in the What-we-had-for-dinner-last-Tuesday part of it.

Needless to say, every month that has passed since our wedding day (MAY 7TH!!)  I have forgotten our little mini-anniversary’s.  Mister, ever the romantic, has remembered every single month.  About a week ago I remembered and I told him Happy EARLY Anniversary.  He refused to accept it and said I was cheating.  Hey…whatever helps, I’ll take it at this pathetic point.

Since my early anniversary comment didn’t count, once again, Mister remembered first.  I was determined to remember the 6 month anniversary too.  But, like I said, EVERY day with Mister is special and wonderful.  So, it’s understandable why I would miss this one. Right?! *Hangs head in shame* I will NOT forget the 1 year anniversary.  I will not, will not, will NOT!

Mister… I love you with all that I am.  You have made my days so wonderful that I can’t even differentiate between the special days and the “specialer” days.  You bring out the very best in me, and every day you remind me that I am a valuable person.  You have loved me the way no one on earth has ever loved me before.  Always aware of my strengths and weaknesses; always encouraging one and ever careful to never abuse the other.  These months have flown by, and yet they feel endless.  You make my life beautiful!

Living my dash with the most wonderful man ever…

Christine

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