Cheryll's Writing Journal

Musings, rants and ravings, plus gems of insight nobody wants to hear now that I've finally got them. Also neat stuff I found on the 'Net when I should have been updating this blog....

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Quick, did anybody notice that gaff?

In the area of 'things that would never happen to me' ....

Imagine: mother-in-law comes to dinner Monday night and brightly inquires as to what romantic things we did to celebrate our eleventh wedding anniversary the past Saturday.

Not only did we fail to have some neat answers ready...we had BOTH totally blipped the date!

I think I remember bringing up the subject several weeks before, when hubby was armpit deep in exams, term papers and project at work. He asked me to remind him in a couple days, when he was less distracted. Whole thing went completely out of my head!

It is VERY fortunate that both of us dropped this ball, of course, or it could have caused serious sitcom repercussions. To be honest, HE had a really good excuse, what with working full time and going to school to finish his Masters in public health...not to mention being daddy and husband and good neighbor, etc., etc.

I, on the other hand, have long shouldered the names & dates details in this partnership (he has to do the hard stuff, like go to work for somebody else every day) -- plus I naturally pay attention to stuff like that, and I'm good at it.

Or so I have always flattered myself. My how the mighty have fallen!

We were both properly shocked about having missed such an opportunity to celebrate our marriage, so we set out a plan for the next weekend. This originally included Detroit Zoo, picnic, romantic getaway bed and breakfast, dinner and choir performance....

Not all of that happened, but we had a perfectly lovely time by ourselves, chatting, taking pictures, eating and napping. (Well, consider: us oldies doing 4+ miles of walking around a zoo! What would you expect?)

The chance to just enjoy each other's company, uninterrupted and guilt free, was wonderful! I just love it when I can have his attention focused on me.

And now we are all energized for the next time, because forgetting an anniversary was a real wake-up call that we hadn't been paying the needed attention to our marriage.

It is so easy to get busy and just take stuff for granted -- like each other, like the marriage relationship, like making specific times just for us to be a couple.

We can forget how much we like each other, how much fun it is to spend time together on something other than chores! And how very interesting a conversation can be when it doesn't have to be sandwiched between shower and commute, or consist entirely of responsiblities.

I mean, what's the point of being married, if all you ever do together is chores, and the only conversation is administrative (or annoyed)? Isn't that what happens when we over book everything except the most important parts of life?

One thing I have been forced to learn in the past year and a half of having to cut back just about everything I've always been busy doing: what counts is mostly spiritual, intangible and is often about communication. With each other. With our inner selves. With God.

What you say to each other first thing in the morning and last thing at night is way more important than checking off all the items on today's to do list. Especially if that's about the only time you see each other!

And given the unpredictable nature of menopausal emotions, (I just hate this never knowing what will bring on crabbiness or tears!) what I have found critical to how the rest of my day will go is this: 15-30 minutes of prayer, reading and meditation before I get out of bed in the morning.

At night, before bed, I spend some time going over how the day went, and reminding myself of both where I succeeded and where I didn't quite make it, with the resolve to make better efforts tomorrow. Some days do go better than others.......

I need this attitude adjustment in order to keep things in perspective. Maybe I always needed it, but never knew until the hormones started fluctuating wildly. Maybe it isn't such news to everyone else when I am out to lunch. (!!)

Or, maybe I really was much more perfect before the hair color went.

Whatever, I have certainly finally learned that orienting spiritually at the beginning and end of the day makes me a much happier person.


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