I’m baaaaack! Many of you wrote to me asking why I hadn’t posted in awhile – thank you for that. All is well, I promise. Admittedly, I took a much-needed hiatus from blogging to spend more time with my husband, who had grown increasingly crankier as I spent more nights pounding my keyboard than cuddling with him on our couch. During the break, my focus was on finding more of a balance between my personal and professional lives. Honestly, I’m so glad I pressed pause. I wasn’t sure how long I would need to come up with a new plan for how to attempt to “do it all” daily, but I told myself, if I just slow down for a minute, the answers will come – and they did.
You know, the main focus of my blog is to share lessons from a marriage in progress – my marriage! – so today’s return post is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind when I imagined how this site would ultimately come together. Below you’ll find the lessons I learned during “the break.” Perhaps there is something there for you too. Feedback welcome!
LESSON ONE: Saying “In a minute, honey!” only works if you mean it!
This was my regular catch phrase at home. After working 11 hours and coming home to my husband, I would sometimes jump on the computer before I’d even finished my nightly household and personal maintenance stuff. He wouldn’t mind at first — because he’s supportive and I love him — but he’d eventually ask me to join him on the couch for a movie or an episode of 30 Rock. My response every time was, “In a minute honey!” Fast forward an hour and he would have already gone to bed (lights out and snoring) and I’d still be feverishly typing away on my laptop. I felt guilty, of course, but the damage was done, so I kept on typing. Then it hit me: This wasn’t a one-off forgivable moment; it was a nighty occurrence. When we sat down to talk about balance, my husband reminded me that it’s important to mean what you say and say what you mean. He truly believed that I’d just be a minute, and each time that “minute” turned into an hour, or two, he felt disappointed. I love my husband more than I can even put into words, and I don’t’ want to ever (ever!) let him down, or make him feel like anything less than the center of my universe — especially not repeatedly. Note to Self: Be realistic with my timing, and commit to what I say. It matters!
LESSON TWO: The world can wait when love cannot!
Looking back on my last year or so of blogging, I realized there were many late evenings and long weekends where I actually convinced myself that it was okay to skip out on movie night plans or a dinner date with my husband to write blog posts and respond to comments because my readers “expected something new” and I didn’t want to let them down. But, following that logic only led me to let my husband down. Which is a crime I deem far worse. I love you guys, I do, but I know now that you all won’t lose a wink of sleep if I decide not to blog on any given day, but if I decide to work or blog instead of go out with my husband, he will. Not to Self: There will be moments when you choose to put your job or your hobby before your marriage, but they must be just that: moments. If they are any longer, or become any more frequent, you’re headed for trouble. Love can’t wait, but the world can!
LESSON THREE: Involve them. Don’t isolate them!
Man and I sat down at the table (so you know we meant business!) and had a seriously real meeting about our marital gripes. He told me that although he felt like a big part of the blog in the beginning, he felt more isolated from it nowadays. Then it hit me: I hadn’t asked him if he wanted to create a new Inside the Man Hole vlog in months! I had left him out of something we dreamed up together. Yikes! He admitted that he might have felt more supportive of the passion I have for blogging if I’d only included him more. What an idiot I’ve been, I thought. He was so damn right, I was speechless in that moment. Note to Self: If you want your spouse to share the passion you hold for the “other loves” in your life, involve them. How can they get on board if you won’t let them in?
LESSON FOUR: Never forget to laugh!
When there is something missing in your household and you can’t quite put your finger on what it is, my guess is, it is laughter that is MIA. It’s easy to overlook the absence of it, but without it, things just don’t feel right. One of the main reasons I married Man is because he’s my best friend in the world and we can always laugh together, even when times are tough. Realizing that we hadn’t shared a hearty, gut-tingling chuckle in a while was actually the main identifier that led me to realize something was really off in our marriage, and I needed to make a change, fast. Freeing up more time for him, and for “us,” instantly resolved that. When you’re together there will inevitably be lots of things (big or small) to laugh at or about. (That’s a good thing!) This is why focusing on the togetherness – be it for ten minutes or two hours – is always key. You should work harder at that than you do at your 9-to-5. Note to Self: Never (ever!) stop laughing. And if you realize you have, address it – immediately!
What has marriage taught you lately? Wont’ you share?