Sunday, June 25, 2017

Hopeful Adventures Indeed

So today I've been married six years.  It seems like a blink and forever all at once.  It's funny... my Prince Charming wasn't at all what I dreamed of as a little girl.  He was older, already had children, didn't have a lifelong career, and in general was poor as a church mouse.  But he was funny, and kind, and doting, and worked so hard.  You see I'd dated the perfect boy on paper sometime before I met Mark.  All the boxes checked and I thought that equaled happily ever after, but my heart just couldn't buy in. It turns out that Prince Charming had to be someone that could make me laugh all the time, and make me feel like I was the only girl in the room, and actually listen when I talk.  He wasn't perfect.  We've had one and only one REALLY serious fight and it was before we got married and he will tell you it was his fault (and it TOTALLY was, but I might have contributed slightly in my own roundabout way.) That one fight taught us the one most important lesson ever in relationship land.  You have to communicate.  That's more than talking people it's being honest. We communicate pretty well and that's helpful. And the other end of being honest is listening.  Mark listens.  Sometimes he's listening with blue headphones while I'm yelling with a pink microphone so there are translation issues as those don't compute, but he listens all the same.  And every once in awhile he REALLY surprises me at the little things he picks up. On Friday, before our anniversary date he presented me with a pendant.  Now here's the deal people. I'm a teacher so you know what kind of money I make.  My husband is a computer tech and he makes a good living but we live a good life understanding that things like trips to Tahiti and Europe are out of reach for us and may always be so because of the careers we've chosen.  (Shoot a trip to Disney World is out of reach. Seriously, how do some of you go so much??? I priced that out for this summer for our big birthdays and I was like, "How many thousands did you say????" Great googly moogly!) But, we LOVE our jobs which is priceless.  We are happy.  We see the ocean every year, and for a kid who took exactly two vacations involving overnights that weren't at family homes her entire young life, that's a pretty good deal!  We pay our bills responsibly. (Well mostly responsibly.  Sorry Dave Ramsey.  I love you but I'm going to the dang beach once a year whether that debt snowball is rolling as fast as I'd like it to or not!)  But I digress.  What does all this have to do with anything?   Well you see, for a LOOOOOONG time now I've dreamed of having real actual pearls.  Like legit out of an oyster pearls.  I got addicted to watching those pearl parties on facebook because I love seeing the pretty colors they find.  Pearls are not on the debt snowball list.  Mark has listened.  He heard my very selfish little dream and he listened.  He knows how badly I want to pay our debt off and how hard I'm working to do it.  He knows I would never buy some things for myself.  He's also figured out that going way overboard with like a double strand of pearls would've gotten him killed.   So on our anniversary he handed me a small box and in it was this pendant with one perfect pearl.  Not extravagant or overdone but simple and lovely and just enough.  Not pretentious, not showy, but a little reminder to really appreciate life and living it.  After all, that pearl took that poor oyster a lot of work and time to make. That pendant is like a metaphor for us and I wouldn't trade that for anything. Thank you Mark for listening.  I love you and I couldn't have asked for a better Prince Charming for myself.  Not perfect, but perfect for me.  So for those of you still looking find someone who you can talk to and who listens.  That is the recipe for happiness no matter what because you both feel honored and appreciated.  You feel valued and that is what we all truly want. 

And so ends this extra sappy blog post.  :)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

It's That Time...

Statistically this is the worst time of year for depression in average citizens. Blue Monday is coming at us and the holiday season is behind.  Anxiety and depression are no joke. I've battled them my whole life and for the most part I keep their head rearings to a minimum. In fact, I can count the times I've miserably failed at this to the point of losing the humor that makes me me. I have been sensing myself on the verge of another for some time. I don't think that's anything to be ashamed of. It just happens when life piles a ton on you at one time. When I was a kid it was the typical teenage teasing about things like my weight, or my clothes, my hair, or my clumsiness that drove me there.  At that age you want so desperately to feel accepted and it's gutting when you don't.  But lately I've felt a bit more like my adult life is stuck in high school too. No no...Not the one I teach at. I love my job! It's just life has felt very high schoolish lately. I've felt unpopular, unwanted, unneeded, unpretty, and all those other un's that plagued me so much as a kid. Mark has seen me get mentally beaten up and then beat myself up because of this and bless him he's kept my head above water. It's important not to sweep our struggles under the rug. I tried to desperately when Mark was ill and I ended projecting my anger and frustrations in other areas of my life. So this time I've leaned on my husband and that's ok. He reminds me all the time that's how this is supposed to work. It's nice to feel like a team and it's nice to be supported, hugged, loved, and on occasion put in my place. He's reminded me that Ellie hears everything and that I don't want her to grow up thinking it's ok to speak poorly of yourself so I have to stop beating myself up out loud. So if you or someone you love is struggling then find that person you can lean on or be that person for someone else.  Stop speaking badly of yourself. All that does is convince you you aren't worth the trouble. And for heaven sakes pray. Because even though I have an awesome husband and a great support system, God ultimately always needs to be who I turn to before the world begins to right itself. It's in Him I learn that I can do things on my own and it's ok. I can shove away all the frustrations of the people, cliques, squads, pay for play over play for heart groups, and the scale that I have let make me feel inferior or unwanted or overlooked in the past few months. It is a beautiful thing to be finally ok enough to move on in your own skin and maybe someday I'll be there. I finally feel ready to ease in that direction again. In the meantime I'm going to stay home more, enjoy my family more, sing more just for Mark and Ellie and my God because their opinions are the only ones that really matter anyway. This is hard. This sucks. Choosing to be happy is more of a battle than some might imagine. For those of us that struggle it's not that we don't want to it's that our fears fight us every step of the way. But I'll get there. And so can you if you have similar struggles. I only hope that saying all this out loud helps someone else know to hang in there. We all have periods of struggle we have to work through. Ok is out there and so many of us are chasing it. Maybe someday we will even get past that to really awesome:)