Things are going much better. I haven’t felt like writing, that is until last night. Don’t get me wrong, I have a multitude of stories in my head and heart. I am just finding it difficult to bring them to fruition.
This post won’t be too long. My goal is to leave with you something to think about. To each is own regarding the emotions that my sentiments evoke.
Stuart will be 50 in April. Nope, putting it in type doesn’t make it easier to fathom. Corey will be 25 this month. Casey is married. I know it is said all of the time but where the hell did the time go?
Then there’s me. So much has stayed the same over the past year and yet so much has changed.
When I was 23, I remember standing on the porch of the Love Shack crying every morning when Stuart went to work. I don’t think I was crying because I was going to miss him. I was crying because I was left to my own devices with a newborn and scared to death. 25 years later, I find myself crying when he leaves because I truly miss him.
Stuart is my world. Hush, I’m ok with that. It’s my neediness that I’m having a hard time adjusting to.
Physical ailments will make or break a marriage. I have spent so much time feeling sorry for myself and trying to navigate my new reality that I haven’t until recently really considered the toll that my wonky brain has taken on Stuart or the kids for that matter.
He now shoulders all of the financial burden. I think that is what kills my soul the most. We have always been a team where money is concerned. Stuart, very frugal. Me, not requiring “stuff.” We were the perfect combination. So much has stayed the same and yet so much is different. Now, he shoulders it all.
I spend my days sitting and waiting for him to come home. We talk several times a day. He checks on me often. He hates to leave me in the morning. Or maybe he hates going to work. Ok, maybe it’s a combination of both of those. Either way, he misses me.
When I was working and the kids were younger, I made sure the house was clean. I tried to cook often. Those things I did out of obligation. So much has stayed the same and yet so much is different. Now, I make sure the house is clean, clothes are washed and dinner is perfect. The difference? I’m not doing those things out of obligation anymore. I truly love taking care of him. He has taken care of me for so many years.
I tell you all this to try to get you to see that doing things out of obligation isn’t as rewarding as doing things because you truly want to. It’s taken me too many years to figure this out. Granted, I now have more time to play Julie homemaker. I do, however, wish I would have enjoyed taking care of him for the past 25 years. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t. I can’t pinpoint the why. Maybe it is because I was working and raising kids. Maybe it was because I didn’t feel like he appreciated it. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is I lost a lot of valuable time.
Whether you have been married a year, ten years or fifty years, think about the time you and your spouse have wasted over the years. Stupid arguments. Getting caught up in raising kids and forgetting each other completely. Digging in your heels to prove a point. I can only list these things because I am guilty of them and so many more.
I don’t think a date night once a month or once a week is the answer to keeping the spark alive. Nope, it’s in the trenches of the everyday where the true magic happens. It’s in the hand holding. It’s in the laughing. It’s in the watching his stupid zombie movies and him watching Hallmark Christmas shows. It’s in the finding that common denominator that makes you both smile. The magic doesn’t require a ton of money or planning. It just takes a willing heart. I didn’t have one for many years.
Don’t wait on the other person to make the first move. Gesture away and watch what happens. Don’t do things with the expectation of getting anything in return. Just do them. Enjoy doing them.
Years go by fast. No, Stuart and I wouldn’t be as strong as we are today if it weren’t for all of the crap that we waded through in the beginning. If I could give 19 year old Julie any advice it would be that winning an argument isn’t that big of a deal. It’s ok if the house isn’t spick and span and the laundry hamper is full. Corn Dogs and tater tots can be a gourmet meal when prepared with love. Most importantly, hold hands often, your kids are watching and learning.
I’m no marriage expert, just a reflective, ole girl who has made every mistake you can imagine. Learn from my mistakes. time.