Moving Mom, Unpacking, Eating Out, Pleasing Others

Odd Schedules. I have overslept the past two days ya’ll! I have been awake in the early morning post-midnight hours (shopping on Amazon and checking email, and doing things I’ve not had time to do all day ) only to fall back asleep around 3:30 and to be woken up by George. It’s been the strangest things. My alarm set didn’t go off, or if it did it was on silent which was likely the case. Therefore I have felt so disorganized. I have been off my routine and schedule and it has thrown me for a loop. My shower, coffee, prayer journal, blog or video editing hour, all out the window. Blood pressure meds forgotten and taken later at night and having to get up at night several times (water pill that is in it). You would think a couple days off would not be so hard on a person, lol!

Mom’s Closing. However, having giving up all those said things above, I was able to get Mom closed on her house Friday. First of all on the way out (because with Mom you leave an hour before you really need to, lol) we had time to go sign her up for her Water service and stop at “Ready Teddy’s” for a breakfast sandwich. Mom laughed b/c she said “Ready Teddy’s” sounded like a sexy lingerie place instead of a coffee cafe. True That. I had never been – except for maybe a coffee through the drive through. We decided we only had time for drive through Friday before the closing but we had the BEST breakfast sandwiches. I mean REAL bacon, mayo, tomatoes that tasted like they were from the garden. We’ll be back there I’m sure. We had to laugh again at their “401k plan” to which we happily contributed.

Back at Mom’s house, most of the things had been done: The sod in place, the garage pressure washed, the blue electrical marking touched over. The screen door however, to the patio does not work. Oh they put it on, but it won’t slide. At all. I mean they had to known. It’s too big for the door. So I’m not sure what happens now. I feel like they will make it right but we’ve closed so it might be all Mom’s problem at this point. Also the dishwasher top pull out is really tight so she will likely have to contact the appliance company for that under the warranty. We don’t have the fobs to the clubhouse yet, but that may come later as the clubhouse had been hit by the tornado back last spring and it’s being remodeled. We “think” we have mail keys but there is no way to know what number her mail box is as nothing corresponds. It has a number on the key but that doesn’t work and there is no other corresponding number. There were probably 30 or 40 mail boxes – it’s almost like they do mailboxes in an apartment complex. And I wasn’t going to try all of the mail boxes so she’ll have to call and find out about that.

We went to Target and she bought sheets and towels and also kitchen towels and washrags. We did good to remember to bring her toilet paper stash from home, lol.

We were able to figure out how to “program” her keys. Thank goodness I video’d the explanation. It was pretty simple, just a bit awkward. I had never seen anything like that where you had to have a tumbler to reprogram keys. The original key we first got in with is no good but we programed her key set in all the key holes. If you program one key the rest of the keys cut the same way work. We were proud of ourselves for getting that figured out. We decided we didn’t need to paper the cabinets b/c it just needed a wipe out. So we are only putting papers in the utensil drawers. We will return the other liner to Lowe’s and get a bit of money back. We sealed her grout in the kitchen and also did the granite.

By this time we were ready to get a late lunch about 2 p.m. as we had done all we could do. Mom was getting tired. And so we went to Local Joe’s as we were both wanting “meat and three” – most of us just get a meat and two, lol. But we call a place that has the meats and veggies – a meat and three – for those not in the south. In some places they are called “cafeterias” if there is a line you go through like you do at Local Joe’s. Mom and I got catfish, lol. I got green beans and navy beans. Oh it was so good. Their hushpuppies had a bit of jalapeño in it – just enough to be good and not too hot. They also have yeast rolls which I said no to but Mom got one and shared a bite with me and it was so good. Then the man came around with fresh baked hot chocolate chip cookies and served us each one off the pan. No worries as they were small ones that met by “two bite” rule, ha!

I’m sorry I’ve not been good at taking pics lately. Life is just so overwhelming that I end up forgetting the blog and vlog and just diving into whatever is going on. Having an extra person to be responsible for just takes a lot away from you it seems. It’s all consuming as my thoughts are all wrapped up in trying to please her and anticipate what her next “thing” is going to be as she has such rigid rules and ways she likes to do things. The air has to be just right, certain doors left closed or open, and when we are doing things – she gives you several “to do’s” – look up this or that on the internet, lock this or that, close this or that, look at this or that. So I’m trying to explain why I don’t have time to take pics of things or even have my own thoughts. lol. I’m not trying to complain here just trying to explain why I can’t get pics taken of what we are doing. I can’t get her list checked off fast enough to whip the camera out. I’ve had to tell her two or three times in the last day or two “hang on – one thing at a time”. She will “stack you up” with to do’s like I’ve never seen. I remember it as a teen too. Of course as a child or teen she could do that. As an adult, she will have to wait til I can get to her. And I try to meet her needs on a whim but I’m only one person and I have needs too, so my thought time is being all taken up as is my creative time but we knew this would be a crazy period. So we just have to work through it. Both she and I will have to grow and maintain a bit of patience. It’s not all going to happen in one or two days or even a month. It’s going to be a very long and ongoing process to get her settled in. If indeed there is such a thing. lol.

When George is around I can get in more pics as he can entertain her for a few minutes so I can get a thought in edgewise, ha! So once George got home and did a few errands he needed to do, when he was ready we were going out to eat. Mom decided not to go. She didn’t want us to bring anything back. I think she is exhausted and overwhelmed. She is used to just sitting in recliner most of the day on her tablet scrolling. She will usually get up and do up some dishes or sometimes fix a dish or crock pot meal or a dinner. She fixes her quick meals and takes care of the dog but mostly is sedentary and so with us going around doing things all day – it just takes a lot out of her. She has not been getting her naps in the afternoons as much because of the calls she has made or we’ve been busy shuttling her here and there. So she is very very tired. So another reason I think she is so tired she doesn’t really even want much to eat.

So George and I went out on our own to M L Rose. It was kinda like a date night in a way. We had an hour wait so we sat at the bar and got a beer. They have a great tap. I got a hazy IPA which has kinda been my go to lately when we go out.

So we had a good time chatting and talking and then finally we got a table. This place is quite the restaurant favorite in Mount Juliet. There are several favorites but I think this is the new one.

My salad was really good. It was supposed to have blue cheese but it was feta. All good though. It was a strawberry walnut salad. I don’t think I even got chicken on it this time. I just really wanted to eat light as Mom and I had catfish for lunch. ;-). I drank a big beer size glass of water – true to my new goals – and so then when we ordered dinner I ordered a flight! LOL. It just kinda came out of my mouth when she said “what to drink?” I wasn’t driving – it’s been a long dang month and Mom just closed on her house so it seemed fine. They had a flight of local brewery favorites and it sounded so good.

But then……..While we ate dinner, George asked me if I would come out of my bedroom more. I’m like what???? Our conversation went something like this.

G: Will you come out of your bedroom more?

S: What? What do you mean? I’m hardly in there. I go to bed at 8:30 because I’m exhausted. I get up an hour early so I can get a bit of time to myself in the mornings and spend time in prayer and Bible reading, do my blog entry (which I’ve done for what 20 years or more now?) And then I rush off to work. When I come home I do chores and maybe get a sneak in time to do order’s on Amazon, check off things from my to do list, or check email before dinner as he likes to be the one to cook -so I have some time then to do chores and to do’s.

S: When are you thinking you want me to come out of my room?

G: Maybe come out of your room one morning a week?

S: And do what? What do you want me to do when I give up my “me time hour”? Watch you get ready for work? Watch you read YOUR email? What am I supposed to be doing with this hour?

G: Never mind, just never mind! I just want to watch our show again.

S: Well we can do that when we get to eat dinner on the couch when Mom is gone, and watch a show again. We can’t watch our show in the mornings, lol.

So I immediately clammed up. I don’t understand and if he can’t explain then I can’t help him. And he was unable to explain what he needed from me, other than he wants to watch our shows again. That is fine but usually after dinner is when we can do that and he is off in the back in the bedroom on the computer in Mom’s temporary bedroom. So………….give up that time? lol That is probably his only hour of the day to get things done. And then he has an hour in the mornings too and then he has an hour after I go to bed. If I get an extra hour it’s in the middle of the night at 1:30.

So I’m not sure what all that is about, but I clammed up because I just don’t understand what he wants from me and it immediately made me feel like I’m inadequate and not pleasing and I started to go into that mode of being frustrated to the point I wanted to cry until I remembered some of my recent training on relationships and boundaries and self-care and manipulation and all that. It’s the other’s responsibility to be able to state what they need. It’s NOT my place to try and figure it out and be made to feel guilty or controlled by another. So…….I immediately shoved it away to pat myself on the back for what all we have been able to do with the time we have.

If a need cannot be described then I can’t meet it. I can certainly watch a show with him but it requires him to be present too. I mean what do you do with that conversation? I decided to do nothing because I can’t deal with things I don’t know what I’m dealing with. I cannot meet a need if I don’t know what it is – to be fair. So other than this blog entry of simply mentioning it – I’m tossing it out the window. I will be happy to adjust when I know what the adjustment needs to be and it makes sense. I’m not going to give up an hour and sit on the sofa and just be there for the sake of just sitting there while others do things they want to do. That doesn’t make sense.

There seems to be an underlying problem but I am not sure what it is. Maybe he thinks I am too independent. Is he wanting to control my time? I have no idea. But he is not happy for some reason. I can’t fix everyone’s happiness if I don’t know what they need. ::Sigh:: So as I went to sleep I just gave it God. I’m only one person. I can’t please everyone. I try but it’s never good enough and it will never be. But I’m not going to suffer in silence if someone else cannot voice their opinion.

So I made the decision to get up the next day and do what I know to do. Live the best I can with God’s help and try to do as much as I can with the time we have and still be my own person somewhere in the process. We don’t get to really program those around us like they are a TV station we turn on and off. So I’m confused by the whole conversation. All that said, I’m still sad knowing there is some issue that I am unaware of what it is. Is he feeling insecure? Does he think something is going on with me? Is he worried about me? Or us? I have no idea. And it’s not healthy to make things up and not fair to me to have to guess. So out the window it must go. I have too many other things in my head to try to guess how someone needs to be pleased if they cannot tell me with words what they need. If it’s simply a show I can certainly watch a show with him but he needs to be present too, lol.

So yesterday morning, I took George to get the UHaul truck. It was a foggy cold morning. I went back to our house to load a bunch of Mom’s hanging clothes in the car from the basement. And put in all that I could put in my car.

George went to the storage unit and brought a load over. We unloaded a lot of corning ware and a lot of unneeded things. But we began washing things in hot dishwater. Much of it has been in the cabinets for years anyway. We put much of the corning ware up and her clothes that we took.

About 1 we went to Zaxby’s for a salad and got George a sandwich too. And that was good. We worked some more and Mom was worn out. She rested off and on and we quit working around 3:30 or 4 p.m. and headed back to the house.

George loaded boxes from the basement into the U-Haul and I loaded suitcases filled with Mom’s clothes from the basement as well as other boxes that I could lift and carry. We both had our own tetris games going.

Last night around 7 p.m. George and I went to get groceries and then went through this Hibachi drive through place and took dinner home. I took a shower and went to bed. I was up twice in the night since I took my BP meds late and then at 3:00 I just stayed up so I could get laundry done, put up the dry goods of groceries we were too tired to do last night, and be able to get my prayer journaling done and Bible reading and blog entry. I feel like a real person again. Sortof. lol.

But it is time to eat breakfast and get on with another busy day of setting up and unpacking. Furniture – most of it – won’t come until next weekend. We were supposed to go get my iPhone 13 today ordered but decided we will need to do it at night one night.

While in the drive through last night, I worked on setting up the “scheduled summary” on my iPhone after a recent update. I chose what apps I wanted to see notifications from at certain times of day ONLY. It seems lately that my phone is wanting my attention. I’m allowing calls, messages, weather, emergencies, and yes even WordPress notifications to come through immediately. But news items, Facebook, Instagram and other messages have to wait until certain times of the day. I’m ok to check it in the mornings and again at lunch, and again after work, and again before bed. I want to know what the headlines are but dang – they send alerts every few minutes so no more of that. It’s so distracting. I may change it to three times a day but I like kinda knowing what is going on with our nation so we have a heads up. Things are so volatile now.

Ok ya’ll what an entry! Let me know if you made it to the end. I’ll try to come back with a blog entry in the morning on Monday. I think today is Sunday, lol. I’m so off schedule. I have a busy 3 days coming up. I will do what I can to bring some pics back. I’m a little worried about this 3 day week but a lot will have to be shoved into the next week until I can catch up. It is what it is as no one is doing my job while I’m gone. So it will be what it will be. Again, hard to please and hard to be everything everyone needs me to be.

EVERYONE has NO CHOICE but to be patient including myself. I don’t have wings, don’t have a magic wand, and no magic potion. And according to some, I don’t have what it takes to make them happy or complete. But you know what? I have me, I have God as a resource. That may not be much. I may not mean anything or mean much to others than whatever it is that need from me at the moment it is needed, whether it be doing their laundry or setting up their household or getting their payroll done. But I am me and I am going to be happy with me even if no one else is. I know what I want. All I can do is try to understand and change accordingly to help others with what they want, if it is something I can provide or change or am willing to change.

Tribe…yeah, it spoke. 😉

Fundraiser Banquet, Football Game, Reuniting with My Sister, and First Day Challenge Results

Supporting a Good Cause and Seeing Friends from the Past

Thursday night, as tired as I was, we went to the Pregnancy Care Center Banquet. We have supported this cause primarily because we have supported the Cathcart family in their mission work – when they were in Scotland and again when Lisa C took on this project of opening the center in Old Hickory, TN near us. The Pregnancy Care center serves those who are going through a “crises” pregnancy to hold their hands through the entire process, equip them to become parents, help with material supplies, pray with them and do devotionals. The work is marvelous. The hand of God is seen there. The goal of course is to choose life and to see the beauty of it. The relationship remains even after the baby is born. It’s not only for mothers but for fathers too. They also do pregnancy tests and very importantly, have begun to do ultrasounds so the baby can be seen and hear the heartbeat. They also do counseling and therapy and even with those who have had an abortion. We were surprised and elated to hear that another center will be established in Lebanon, TN, also near us.

We were privileged to be at the table with the Cathcarts and also my friend (Lisa’s Mom) Joni. We went to church together in Gallatin, TN and sat in the same section of worship, went to the same ladies class, worked together on projects, prayed together, did potlucks and fellowships and supported one another in our weekly walks. It was a very sweet time of my life. And some of the deepest Bible study I have every had and a very powerful prayer group that we were part of. Looking back, I miss those days and have not since had anything like this group of women. I will always hold this time period in my heart.

Life changes and evolves and when you are late 50’s you see it so clearly as you look back. Some of the changes are slow it seems – a person leaves here, enters here, jobs change, geographical locations change, and before long life looks completely different. So to go back and sit at the table with these strong influences of our past was something I enjoyed very much. I am never my best at the end of a long day at which I got up at 4:20 a.m. Not very talkative, and quite honestly, not very friendly – just wanting to go to my quiet spot and head to bed. But I did the best I could and enjoy supporting this effort, and seeing our friends.

Drama at the Dinner Table

So as if life wasn’t already busy and stressful, we had a bit of drama at the dinner table one night this week, over the attendance of a football game Friday night in which my nephew and his school would be playing our christian team here, where Katy graduated. (Pic above shows the parking lot and the long walk to the football stadium which you can hardly see through the trees.) We were all pretty adamant about what we wanted and how we wanted to do it.

Mom wanted to go to Kadon’s game as did George and go to Sonic beforehand. I’m not a football fan nor a sports fan but of course would love to see Kadon play and would always go with George if he wanted to go to a game. So I was “game” so to speak. But knowing Mom’s preferences and abilities at this point in her life, I just couldn’t see how she would be up to it. It was her decision but I didn’t want her to be miserable, didn’t want her to fall, didn’t want her to be in the crowds – as you know the dreaded virus is going to be there somewhere and it was their Homecoming. So I simply made her aware that the walk would be long and I did not know how the bleachers would be but of course there are no soft seats and certainly no recliners and often big steps are needed to ascend bleachers and her balance is not the greatest ever. So I told her these things.

She said “Oh we just have to stay only a few minutes”. To which George says “Oh I’m staying the whole game, but you all can take two cars”. To which I said “No I don’t want to drive in that ball game traffic”. I don’t like big crowds and I have a fear of parking in congested areas. (I’d be better if my car was smaller but in this car it’s harder for me to fit it in the spot.). To which Mom said “Forget it I’m not going!”.

I could tell she was irritated. I’m not sure what she expected. But as George said “everyone got what they wanted so don’t worry about it”. She made the decision not to go (if she wanted to go she could have changed her mind). George got to stay for the entire game. And I didn’t have to drive in traffic. So he’s right.

But for some reason, Mom was thinking we were taking her for a hamburger anyway. I don’t know how she got this impression because George said we wouldn’t have time to go eat before hand, but would have to eat at the game. I was on my challenge so I just heated up a bowl of chili leftovers for me and he heated up gumbo. Mom said “what are ya’ll eating”. I said leftovers and she said “oh I wanted a hamburger”. I hated it but unless we hire someone and create a movie called “Driving Miss Billie”, or a miracle happened, Mom would NOT be getting her burger on this particular evening. She would have had to eat on her own two nights in a row as we were gone to the mission banquet – which I invited her to months ago when making reservations and she had no interest in going.

So while eating my chili I heard her loudly rustling around in the freezer trying to figure out what to eat. It wondered if she was angry as it sounded like she was throwing things around in there, but maybe that was my imagination. I hated it if we pissed her off in any way. But in my recollections of time across my life, I think that is fairly easy to do. And I have of course, just thrown my hands up in the air because I feel like I can never please anyone to their satisfaction as hard as I try so ultimately just have to go on and live my life and try to make hers as comfortable as I can in what ever misery she is going through. Which I know is a lot. She loves her independence, as we all do. She misses her home I’m sure and the new one she probably can’t wait for and she is probably worried about how long she will get to live there, as I am. But we don’t talk about these things. It’s just gonna be what it is. I can never anticipate quick enough what her needs are and all I can do is the best I can do while working full time, trying with great anticipation to go spend time with my grandson, and great disappointment of not being able to see much of him in his first year. I’m thankful for my daughter’s face time and her love for us and understanding of how much we miss them and want to be with them but are having to deal with responsibility here. I’m not sure that anyone ever thinks about what all WE go through trying to pull off what we have this year. It’s been a lot and it’s not over yet.

There’s a lot to look forward to though. I’m excited for Mom and I am willing to help her regardless of how ever angry we make her by just existing here in our own home. I’m sure there are many things she doesn’t like about temporarily staying with us. lol And we may have a few things of our own that we miss as far as rituals go. But it’s all good. Soon we’ll be back into our normal zones and rhythms.

Watching my Nephews Football Game and Seeing My Sister Again

So we went to the game without Mom. And I am glad because if the 1/2 mile walk had not worn her out, she never would have made it up all those bleacher stairs. So it was a good call. I appreciate her wanting to see Kadon play and I know it hurt her feelings she didn’t go – even though it WAS her choice, and I know she wanted a hamburger.

Kadon is #75! Columbia Academy.

We didn’t get to see Kadon in person but I did get a couple of pics and his parents will let him know we were there.

So surprise here- we sat ourselves down and I got a text from my sister that said “we are on the top row” so we turned around and she motioned for us to come up. So we went and sat with them. My sister and George and I and my niece Ella talked a long while. I am gracious that my sister was so nice to me. I have missed that. She seemed more like we were before when we were younger. I was happy to see that. Although there is a gaping hole of disappointment to be left alone on the island of “caring for Mom”, I am glad that I can swallow it down, in order to have and maintain a relationship with my sister. So that was good of me to be able to sort of separate the two, even though we were able to have conversations about Mom without controversy. So this was a big thing that happened last night – especially with my anger having been peaked again just days/hours before seeing her.

I understand the final scene that caused the issues to begin with and I get my sister having drawn a boundary – and she told me where she felt she went wrong was not setting boundaries ahead of time, but I think we both have been afraid of our Mom and her very strong persona. We have walked on egg shells for years. She said that I had drawn barriers earlier on. So we touched on some things and she was open and honest with me not judging of me and not the person in the text messages that I had received for so many years. She was more herself. This was good to see. This was a good start. I went to bed and slept very good having had that time with my sister and her family. It was heart warming.

And although the buildings have all changed, we believe we found “the rock” that Cody and Katy began going stead on, and then again later when he proposed. Katy is this the one?

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

So how was the first day of challenge? Pretty successful on 4 of 5 fronts. The hardest will be the eating!

Movement: I did my 80 movements all throughout the day – half of them before bed. My push up? Oh I’m so glad that wasn’t on video! My arms are not strong enough to support me without having to do a very weird arms spread out wide like an eagle kind of push up. I just flat can’t do one. But I’m going to keep trying every day to do ONE push up. START SMALL, START NOW. I’m so excited to find this KYD55 program b/c it’s encouraging. Instead of diving in whole hog, just make tiny achievable improvements for 55 days. Anyone can do the 80 movements. It’s defined by YOU! Mine is mainly leg lifts, neck rolls, air punches, side bends, toe touches, windmills. YOU CAN DO THIS!

Water: Goal was 94 oz. I hit 90. I could have hit 94 but I was purposely saving the 4 oz for overnight. I chose to give myself a break there. I did have it gone before day break but technically the day was over at midnight, so I’ll be honest. I was 4 short. I will get to include those 4 oz in today’s total but I have to draw the line somewhere. Since I normally have had trouble getting 70 oz in – I will claim yesterday as success.

Reading: I did my 5 pages and then some – Bible reading, pleasure audio book, and pleasure reading before bed. I’m so glad that pleasure reading is one of my goals – because it makes me happy and being happier is a goal. I also have been reading my crab fisherman’s book for waaaaaay too long and it’s a goal to get it off my plate.

Service: I’m purposely trying to reach out to family/friends – mindfully as set by this challenge – to be a more loving, caring person and more attune to my family and friends. I want to be a better friend. And it’s not that I wasn’t before but I get caught up in the dailies of life and it becomes my world and shrinks and I’m just inside it. I want to go beyond and be there and be more connected. So I checked with friends Kathy P and Lisa I, b/c I love you girls sooooo much. You mean the world to me and I can’t tell you that enough. I want to be there for you as you have for me. And you know what. Thank you for reading this blog b/c that means so much. I know you both do when you can and I thank you both for being such a good friend to me for so many years. I treasure you both and I’m sorry I’ve not been there for you more. Both of you are examples of Christian women that I want to be like.

Photo by THE 5TH on Pexels.com

Nutrition. I had greens yesterday, fruit, fish and ate whole all day. Until the guy gave me a free hamburger after the game to take home. YES, we got two and I took one home to Mom and she got her burger! I ate mine in celebration of having a nice chat with my sister and for doors being opened there. So I wasn’t perfect but that’s ok. I am embracing a mindset of wanting to eat more nutritious food. I realize I am the ONLY one that can make these decisions for myself that others will sabotage it – maybe not on purpose. I failed at the end of the day – a bit of emotional eating and having a thing for burgers and for “free food” being offered. It just seemed right – it was probably wrong but I don’t regret it. But this category will be my hardest part. It was a grilled hamburger like homemade. lol. I’m human people and I’m trying.

Weekend Ahead

Today I’m working on laundry, the house, and some goals here. We meet friends nearby at 3 this afternoon. So I will be drinking a beer today. And that is ok. My goal is one. I’m ok with two on the weekends if stretched apart, but have a requirement of one glass of water in between. At least if I’m going to set habits, I’d like to do it that way. Tomorrow I’m hoping to go to the store, might take Mom for lunch or something, and work on my To Do Lists. It’s always a game to get things done and I’m usually ok come Monday, but woah, if I don’t get some things done, I will be having another bad week this week ahead.

I’m about to go walk my 20 minute walk though! Ya’ll have a good day! What you got going on this weekend and let me know if you made it to the end. That was a lot of activity in the last two days and remember I worked a FT job in addition and started a new challenge!

Thirty Years of Marriage: How We Did It So Far

Good morning! At least it is here. Saturday here. Favorite time of the week. George made the coffee as he got up a few minutes before me and surprised me with “Happy Anniversary” greetings. I hadn’t woken up enough to realize it or say it. But today we have been married for 30 years. REPEAT: 30 Years!

Above is the Fall office decor. Just a little bit of “Fall Splash” there and a little bit of a fall theme going on –on the computer. Time is moving on. That is for sure. I think we have some cooler temps coming next week. I need to check. Since my office is 78 to 80 on a 80 to 90 degree day, I wonder what it will be when the weather turns cold? lol. I have a heater and I’ll need it, I think. Right now I have a fan that sits on my desk! I learned if I point the fan downward the coolness bounces up from my desk top and then gently into my face without a bunch of “wind” hitting my right eyeball, LOL! It knocks the pressure down some and gives a gentle coolness. Of all the things we discover in life – that was one I had not anticipated. ha!

Thirty Years of Marriage

So thirty years of marriage. That is quite the number. It doesn’t seem like that long. What attracted me to George was his love of family, his similar belief in God, his ability to sit and listen to me, his ability to have long, deep, and interesting conversations with me, his open candor, his playful candor, his sense of humor, and it made me feel good that his background was somewhat similar to my own.

I am not really qualified to give marital advice, in my book anyway, but I CAN NOW say that we have been married for 30 years and feel like that counts for something! However, with both of us having had failed marriages before — you never really get over those deep inside and you always feel like a failure, regardless of your successes. All I can say is that I truly have made decisions in my life that I always felt were the best for me at the time. And maybe they were. There were a few things I would go back and change if I could – those points in the road where you go hmmmmm which way? But I chose a familiar path instead of taking the new road. Could that have changed my entire life. Yeah it would have most likely. But then I’d have never met George and wouldn’t have my Katebug or my River so….I’m glad my life has gone as it has.

So while I feel I’m not qualified to give marital advice, I will say what I feel has kept us together for 30 years. There have been about three or four or five really really rough patches that were very heart wrenching times and for various reasons. Each one plugged away at us and took a lot out of us. I’m not really sure we totally recovered from them either. But for the most part enough resolved. These are not necessarily in order of importance but what springs to mind as I type:

  1. Deciding to stick together as we are better together than apart
  2. Learning not to push each other’s buttons
  3. Deciding not to keep a record of wrongs
  4. Putting yourself in the others shoes
  5. Genuinely just loving and caring for one another as a part of your pack
  6. Spending quality time together – doing what we love to do
  7. Getting some individual time and trusting the other with his/her time
  8. Not being controlling (this is hard as I like to control everything, lol)
  9. Letting go of a few things that are just not worth the burden of carrying (Forgiveness)
  10. Helping one another with anything/everything
  11. Planning things together and working on projects together
  12. Working on your home, nest, property together
  13. Shopping together
  14. Planning and taking trips together
  15. Taking simple excursions together
  16. COMMUNICATION if we are too mad to talk, we email. But also keeping each other in the loop. Saying the right things and avoiding the wrong things. Even periods of silence can be communication if it means keeping the peace until communication can happen. Notice I keep typing here as this is key! So much so I’ll make another point with it’s own number!
  17. Letting the other speak! We both have the desire to hog the communication lines to get our opinions out and at times neither of us would let the other have a say.
  18. Know each other’s “Love Language”. I think I’m a combo person. Words of affirmation, physical touch (hug and kiss), and quality time – I’m not sure which is the emergent one – probably quality time as without that I would be very lost and feel unloved. I also like my individual time though, lol. Hugs are important to me so I like to give them to others as an act of love and to feel love and care in return. I like to praise when it’s due and get praise so it’s hard to say but nothing says I love you and care for you more than spending time with you. I think George’s is Act of Service and Quality Time. He is always doing things for me like fixing me a glass of wine, buying things I like at the grocery, fixing me dinner, and doing things to make my day easier. Yeah this one is big too I think. I wrote a lot here!
  19. Check in on each other during the day or when we are apart says “you are my love and I’m concerned of your well being”. (But not checking up every minute – that is annoying and says “I am not sure I trust you”.)
  20. Trust – my motto is “trust until you are given reason or suspicion not to” — then we have a problem to work through.

Ok there are the top twenty that popped into my mind. Please suggest more if you have any in your head that works for you?

Other thoughts on Marriage

It’s hard at times. So hard. But it’s rewarding and promising too. There are always areas of improvement. Our own agendas, our selfish ways, the ways we each learned to deal with situations growing up – like how we were raised to respond to things that went wrong by watching our parents and how they responded (Your kids are watching and will follow your lead! Do you shout at your partner? They will too!), and all of these outside forces that come into play make a huge difference!

The devil tries hard to throw curve balls and destroy, to break trust, to make you panic, to do anything to try and make you insecure or fearful. Stand in his face and just say “Not today Satan!” And trust in God’s word to know that He is watching over you. So if George walked out on me tomorrow or died on me tomorrow I’d be devastated. But I have to trust that God would take care of me. This is my main security! I have a tendency to feel really insecure at times, even though I have a very strong persona within me. I can take a bottom of the barrel situation and be resilient and rise up from it. I know that about me now at this age. And that gives me great comfort. I also have a plan B in the back of my head if life deserts me and I will go and put that into action if all’s left is just me against the world. That gives a source of security to me too. But I prefer my life as is – being married, doing things together. But if I wasn’t, I have this plan B. Most of you know what that is! lol

Everyone needs a Penguin Badge. The “Penguin Badge”! I got a penguin badge – learning to ice skate – when I needed an individual project to concentrate on early in my marriage to George. Having a bit of individual time to concentrate on a goal made me feel secure that I was still me and doing my own thing and not giving up who I was totally as an individual. I had put too much time and effort in my relationships up to that point in my life and I felt I needed to connect back to myself. The other point here is to always have something in your back pocket – a hobby, to do list, projects, dreams, books, activities, shopping! When insecurity comes, when bad days come, when you feel unloved, forgotten, not important – you get the picture – you are not just left on the sidewalk to melt and or pine for what you thought life would be but isn’t at that moment. It’s just another way to “roll with the flow”, something to keep your attention, something to make you feel like you are you again, not lost, until the moment passes!

Improvements Needed in Marriage

There are some things I wish would improve in our marriage.

  • Communication could always improve
  • Hugs – could always use more of those at the beginning of the day for a send off and end of day for a release and sigh!
  • Return of my texts. Often they sit out there with no response. (Insert WTH emoji here!). He’s just not a big text-er in return. Not in the way of “ok’s, got it, etc.” Only when totally necessary, if he even seeeeeeees it – but often if I’m away he’ll text and say how’s it going? I like that.
  • More specific retirement planning. We didn’t already plan it so now it’s being planned for us ::sigh::
  • Deeper understanding of a few things – a few missing puzzle pieces
  • An unspoken thing that has always bothered me but won’t be resolved by me nor spoken by me ever!

Wow, I guess that is about it as far as improvement. Ha. We always have room for improvement. Both of us can improve. I’m often selfish and I will tell ya, I get it honestly. lol I’m always trying to do my agenda, my goals, my, my my! Maybe that is where the phrase “my, my, my” come from while someone shakes their head. I could always improve by being less selfish. I try not to be. But sometimes we have to look out for ourselves, our heads, our psyches – especially if it is a fragile as mine is. I have to develop a tough shell in life to get by. Still it touches me deeply at times. Part of the protection of one’s psyche is maintained by being selfish and protecting it and developing it and nourishing it. Because no one in this day and age will look out for you and care for you like yourself, and God, and then a good partner to pitch in if you are lucky to have one. I do feel lucky. I’m glad to be married to George, my kind Hubster. It’s not always easy. But it usually is. But I’m also glad to maintain the integrity of myself as an individual. I just think that is so important. I am one with him but the two parts make the whole! And we are bigger and better together and can accomplish great things when we choose to do them and plan forward and do things together.

So that is my take on the marriage front. At least regarding mine. I will take any thoughts you have on marriage? Sharing is caring. Usually. lol

So we are off to a couple of special places today. We have flood watches out —again. It was horribly storming and raining the day we got married. Afterward the sun was shining so big. Our future was bright.

Meanwhile in Texas

Prayers for River and his cough with croup! His meds are over but he’s still coughing a not so good sounding cough. The doc said it would take a couple of weeks. He’s some better. I guess there’s questions in our heads as to if she should call the doc or wait. I suggested she just place a call – as they are on hot line on the weekend and will call back. Someone is always on call for advice. So maybe they could call in some more meds for her or something. Please pray. He’s still so little and lungs can fill so fast. So I worry about him. I’m so thankful she face times us. He is saying “Da Da Da” and we think “goo gah” for “Google” his day care teacher. I discovered that he is mesmerized if I sing. He will stare and listen. So I need to learn some songs to sing! It made us all laugh yesterday at how intent he was. We have a blast on FaceTime. We make animal noises and bark and howl. Katy says she wishes she had that on video! Here’s my Little Roo. You see where that comes from right? He’s a little Buckaroo – which is their sports team locally! The Buckaroo’s! I just love him so much. Miss him and want to squeeze him and love on him. But so thankful for our Facebook time to watch him eat, play, learn to feed himself, hold things, say things, smile at us, watching him learn, how he acts, responds, doing his Johnny jump up, learning to crawl. WE love every minute.

The Weekend

Anniversarying, Police Report filing, cleaning, laundry, grocerying, keeping Mom happy, and whatever else we can get into! Ahhhh yes! Love my weekends!