I’m not writing a post about recipes or meal planning, but it’s food for thought… or maybe feeding my soul so I think it’s allowed. Today I had a reminder of how much has changed since my husband started working away a year ago. He called to talk about stretching his stay another week and I didn’t panic. When he first left two weeks was overwhelming, now a month is long but doable.
More then that is different too. When he first went to work our relationship was on rocky ground and honestly, if he hadn’t gone we might not be still together. On my own, there was no choice but to look in the mirror and face some harsh realities.
I am a hundred times stronger then I thought, and a way bigger a**hole then ever imagined. It’s been humbling and rewarding and as much as I miss my hubbers more then anything everyday he is gone this has been such a gift to me and to our relationship that I wouldn’t trade it at all.
Here are some of the biggest shifts and learnings I’ve had.
I’m an a**hole. I honestly thought my poop didn’t stink and that the majority of struggles in our marriage were due to my insensitive, non-cleaning husband. It was exceptionally humbling to realize that with him gone the stupid rules, requirements and requests constantly made were just jack-assery. No one could follow them and stay sane. There are still expectations but if all the forks aren’t stacked according to size it can slide.
I don’t have to know everything. He yelled this once in the middle of a fight and it did not land well. I didn’t think I was a no-it-all, I just thought I knew a lot. But too much time was being spent trying to know everything so that I could control it. Control and knowledge equaled safety. More jack assery. Letting myself forget my purse and lose my keys is so freeing and I love honestly answering “I don’t know” to questions I just don’t care anymore to try to have an answer to.
I have Interests. For some reason over the years I forgot what I loved. My biggest complaint was that I needed a hobby, something to do. Since I’m on my own and don’t watch much TV I have discovered that I like lots of things. There’s a new garden and brick patio in my yard now, I refinished a picnic table and am working on little projects around the house. Most evenings I exercise and blogging is supposed to happen regularly too. I actually don’t have enough time for all the things I want to do.
I am way stronger then I think. I doubt myself a lot, and quickly talk my head into believing that something is way too complicated, hard or overwhelming and that I am unable to do it. But there is a strength I didn’t know I had. On the worst nights were I am in tears and think ‘this is it, I’m done’, I pull it together and carry on. I am loving this hidden inner strength and am learning to tap into it to accomplish things I would never have been open to before.
I am directly responsible for my own happiness. Really I had to learn this…. It’s actually a little embarrassing how petulant a grown woman can be, ‘Well he watches TV all night so I should just sit here and sulk’, AARggghhh. Having him go away made me realize that the only person responsible for my misery was me. If he wants to watch TV I am in no way obligated to. If I wanted to feel better about my life I needed to change. If I wanted to be happier in my relationship I needed to change. It would help if he did too but it’s me, bottom line, who has say. Getting up and on with my life has been liberating and so fun. I love my life now and am happy when I do finally take a break to sit with him and watch a little telly.
I am an exceptionally positive person. I never realized it but I am gifted with the ability to see the good in most situations. No sleep for days, life sucks, kids are screaming…well it can only get better:) Husband leaves for work…opportunity for growth. Broke as hell…chance to learn more about budgeting. This gets me through those days I want to quit, and I honestly believe it will not only get better but I will be better for it.
I was a scaredy cat. As a teenager I was a wee bit wild and for some reason over the years I compensated by taking no risks and becoming horribly dull. I’m slowly learning that there are chances you can take in your 30’s that don’t involve adrenalin, booze or an insanely late night, a playground and an apple. Blogging and auditioning for a cooking show may seem fairly tame but it’s a big step for me and I’m proud of every bit I put myself out now.
I have to work on having patience. I always thought I was a patient person but I’m not. Having a three year old has pushed this one to the ends and back. I lose it sometimes and my answers to “what’s that mom” ends up as “the same thing it was two seconds ago!” but I regroup and pull it together to answer the next round of “what’s that truck called, who gave me this sock, what’s that dogs name?” This will be a life long learning for me but one that my kids and husband definitely deserve.
I was scared to be hurt. I woke up one morning and realized I was wearing anger as a shield. If I was mad then I couldn’t be hurt by my husband. It didn’t matter if he left or did something hurtful because I was protected. But it also meant I couldn’t be honest or happy. Letting my guard down a little and admitting how much I love my hubs was not easy. It meant I also had to be open to him taking advantage of that and me potentially getting hurt. Funny, that hasn’t happened and instead I feel a hundred times lighter and more in love every day.
I really love hubbers. I’m not sure if anyone else has had this moment, but I did sometimes wonder if we were meant to be together. When he first went to work I missed him but it was like missing a toe. I have always had ten toes so not having one would be weird but not the end of the world. Now I MISS him. I miss his smell, his laugh, his blue eyes and his arms. I look forward to him coming home and really cherish what we have. I’m lucky he stuck with me, I guess he loves me too.
I feel fortunate to have met the challenges of the last year and I am grateful for the sometimes painful lessons I have learned. I am better for it and I have a relationship I couldn’t be more thankful for. It will always be hard and life is bumpy and I have never felt more able to meet it head on;)