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Humble, Grateful and Still Off-Balance

August 13, 2010 9 comments

The day after receiving so much traffic from being freshly pressed, thank you Freshly Pressed Gods, I am faced with what to write about.  Do I follow in Lori Dyan’s footsteps and discuss the overwhelming, thrilling experience of having 2,000+ hits in a single day?  I loved her post, and could certainly discuss the excitement of the day, however, I am going to stick to what I always do, write about what is pounding the hardest in my head and/or heart.

I am humble, grateful and…

I am overwhelmed by a day so filled with love and hope.  Yesterday would have been a great day just celebrating 10 years of marriage to my husband.  I realize how lucky I am to have a wonderful partner to share in the joys and struggles of life.  I know that 10 years would not have happened without him being who he is. 

However, in addition, I was given the unique gift of discussing love, marriage and children with so many people yesterday.  I was humbled by the kind words people shared about my perspective.  But I feel the need for full disclosure: I am not positive and grateful every day.  Children and marriage are tough!  Some days, I am the crazy lady who closes the windows so the neighbors don’t hear me screaming at the kids.  I am the irrational wife who takes out a bad day on her husband by being cranky and hard to please.  My blog is called Slightly Off-Balance for a reason – I am on an emotional roller coaster, just like I suspect most people are. 

What made yesterday different is that each comment on how important it is to be positive reinforced my resolve, commitment and appreciation of family.   Readers yesterday took my feelings and gave them more strength than ever.  Even the gentleman who said I might be delusional (I loved his honesty) was a reminder that every day is not Hallmark cards,  flowers* and anniversary dinners.  I read every comment and will finish responding to each one, not only because I appreciate the time people take to read my thoughts but because I will go back to those comments to get me through the hard days.  A hundred plus strangers are now part of my marriage enjoyment/maintenance/survival toolkit – wow, that is a gift.  I told my husband last night at dinner that on bad days I am going to read what I wrote yesterday and the subsequent comments to remind me of my priorities.

Now, it wouldn’t be a post from me if there wasn’t a flip side – Things were going so well yesterday that I felt like anything was possible. In addition to the joys I have shared, we had some good news on a business endeavor yesterday, it felt like I was charmed.  I was ready to take my luck to Vegas!  So as I sat at dinner with my husband last night, drinking too much wine, I started to think that more good things could potentially happen.  I got it in my wine and love filled head that my husband was going to propose to me to renew our vows and that he had an anniversary ring. (I am pausing so you can finish laughing).  Although I am well aware that it is a bad economy and we had agreed no gifts, I decided he had been planning for so long that it was still possible.  I thought the waitress was pushing dessert hard and looking at my husband in a knowing way, I pictured the ring arriving on my dessert plate.  I even went as far as texting one of my friends my ludicrous thoughts while my husband was in the bathroom. 

You know how the story ends, there was no new ring, no “proposal” and I didn’t even get flowers (pausing to remind myself of appreciation and love), but there was a lot of chuckling when I told my husband of my crazy thoughts.  You see, he knows who he is married to, my thoughts did not surprise him or upset him, he looked at me fondly the way we look at our children when they are being insane.  That look of amusement and love was almost as good as a new ring…

Thanks for being part of the ride!

10 Reasons My Kids Help My Marriage

August 12, 2010 187 comments

Today is my 10th wedding anniversary.  Please send sympathy cards to my husband. 😉  I have discussed how I miss my husband even though we live in the same house as a result of having the chaos of kids.  But today I am reflecting, and appreciating, all of the gifts my children bring to my marriage.  Many of you know I love lists, so here we go:

  1. The kids unite us in a common cause of being great parents.  We both try hard and work at it together.
  2. They keep us young (out of self-preservation) with sports, bike rides and play time.
  3. Our kids provide us endless goals to satisfy our achievement oriented personalities.  Celebrating those milestones as a family brings my husband and I closer together.
  4. They can make our sex life risky and exciting.  In other words the threat of them walking in at any minute.
  5. They keep us from taking life too seriously.  Who can be stoic when your kids are showing you their latest dance moves?!
  6. They provide another reason not to walk out when the going gets tough.
  7. They are constant reminders of unconditional love – both giving and receiving.
  8. When we’re engaged in a battle of wills with our kids and my husband is my only ally, it makes our bond stronger.
  9. I see the best parts of him in them and it reminds me of why I fell in love.
  10. I can fall in love all over again watching my husband be a tender, nurturing father.

My husband and I don’t always agree about the kids.  AKA he is Disney Dad and I am the enforcer, we balance each other out and keep each other sane.  Our kids will always test our patience, conviction and physical endurance.  The rewards of passing those tests are endless love, laughter and joy.

I Miss My Best Friend

July 31, 2010 5 comments

I am a very lucky girl, I have a fantastic circle of friends.  Each of my friends are treasured for different reasons, but I have one best friend.  The person I tell everything to, without fear of judgement.  The one who knows all of my multiple personalities, who understands I am slightly off-balance (sometimes more). 

I miss my best friend.  I miss the long relaxed dinners, the impromptu cocktails, the inside jokes.  I miss the ability to completely focus on each other when we’re together.  That time is now filled with work and kids.  We’re trying to juggle being high performers (because anyone else collects pink slips) and the worlds best parents (because anyone else raises demons).  We try to do the best we can for everyone, everyday and the cost is our friendship.  There isn’t time for long relaxing dinners (unless you count chicken nuggets and Capri Sun over the noise of the kids).  Impromptu cocktails are doable, but kids have a very low appreciation for hangovers.  Inside jokes are replaced by kids humor because we don’t do anything not related to our kids.

What we do get is the bond of being parents, of understanding each others hopes and fears for our children.  Will our kids like Kindergarten, will they be good students, will they look both ways when we eventually let them cross the street by themselves – is 25 the right age? 😉 

We hope that our friendship will still be there when we come out of the other side of the parenting vacuum.  Will we have grown apart?  Will we still enjoy each others’ company?  We don’t know the answer but we talk about it, we squeeze in the rare time for just the two of us, we promise to keep an eye on our friendship.  We know other best friends who haven’t fared as well and we try to learn from them.

My best friend is my husband and we live in the same house.

Passion?

July 4, 2010 3 comments

How much passion should one expect in his or her life? 

I saw Eclipse from the Twilight Saga this week and was telling my friend Sarah, that it seems dreamy to be consumed by love, as Bella and Edward are, but not very realistic. I am in love with my husband, but I have a job and kids that come before being crazy in love.  Sarah says that Twilight is giving young girls the wrong idea about love, that in the real world, love is not like what is portrayed in movies.  Who’s wrong, Sarah or the world?

Similarly, how passionate should one hope to be about their job?  I like my job, but I don’t get up every morning hankering to get to it.  It has awesome moments, when I close a big deal or make an impact, but there are many things I would rather be doing than working.   I know people who would do their job for free.

To answer my own question, I think one cannot expect vampire strength love everyday (excuse the analogy).  The reality is that you can be in love with your partner, but not be able to focus on them all the time.  But, I do think we should push ourselves to find our passion and make it a career whenever possible.  You spend so much of your day working (if you have a job) so it would be great to love it so much you would do it for free.

How much passion do you have in you life?  Is it enough?

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