Archive of ‘Love’ category

“1, 2, mm, 4…”

About a month ago I graduated from physical therapy after my accident last year and subsequent surgeries. My physical therapist suggested I hold off on my beloved yoga and, instead, choose some weight training at a gym to begin rebuilding my body. I signed up at a HUGE local gym and was immediately offered a free personal training session. For a few weeks I tried doing it myself, but…

Today was my free personal training session.

His name is Barry and I’m not even going to give him a fake name because no other name would do him justice.
Barry.
Barry from New York.
He’s retired, in amazing shape, and completely unprepared for a 9am personal training session.
“Hey. Hi, how are ya? I’m Barry. Come on over.” He was tall, salty-haired, and rather chiseled for a dude who I’d imagine is in his 60s. “Alright, so first I just gotta get some…uh…I gotta get your…hang on.” He flipped through papers at his desk, took a sip of his newly purchased Starbucks iced coffee, and eventually turned around. “You got any clean intake forms?”
The young woman at the desk behind him nodded as if this wasn’t the first time she was handing him clean intake forms. “Here,” she said without expression.
“Thanks, thanks. Alright. Great, now we’re in business. Now you’re name is Erin…and your last name is…spell your last name again for me?” This is code for “I don’t know your last name.”
“Salem.”
“Ok, got it. So, let’s get some basic information…” He proceeded to ask me a few questions, weigh me, and use this little hand-held device to get my body fat percentage.

I. Was. Shocked.

I realize those body fat devices aren’t 100% accurate, but I was in the “Acceptable or Fair” range. I’ve slowly gained so much weight in the past year that I am no longer “Athletic.” I am not even on the “Good” scale. My bodyweight is “Fair”, and “Fair” means “You’re almost fat.” I choked back tears when…
“Ok, so basically we want to drop you a few body fat percentage points and the way we’re going to do that is strength training, or weight lifting…I’ve got this book here that um…where’s my book…”
“It’s over there, Barry,” the expressionless girl said.
“Oh. Yep. Yep. There it is. I got it. Ok so here you are on this scale and what we’re gonna do is…”
He went on to explain a whole bunch of health information that apparently most of the country doesn’t know. Stuff like don’t eat sugar and don’t over-cardio yourself and blah blah blah. I listened because his accent was so intriguing to me. Finally…
“So. You ready for a workout?”
“Yeah! Let’s do it!”
Barry grabbed his Starbucks and walked me to the rowing machine. He was very tall and I could tell he’s always been someone who has been in shape. He talked about his knee problems and the businesses he sold a few years ago as he walked in front of me and so I didn’t really hear any of it.
“…so then when I got down to Florida…hey, you know how to use the rowing machine, right?”
His luck, I do know how.
“Good, great, jump on. So anyway, I got down here and I was thinking about going back to school again because I’m retired and I was bored and trying to find something I’d really enjoy and…”
He talked for about 10 minutes, sipping his Starbucks. I rowed.
“Alright, that’s good. Come on over here and let’s do some squats.”
No, I thought.
“So we’re going to do some squats against this ball on the wall here…” he explained it to death and then he demonstrated.
While holding his Starbucks.
I started doing the squats and apparently I was soo good at them that in the middle of my 15th or 16th squat, Barry set his Starbucks down to pick up weights and hand them to me.
I couldn’t believe it. I was doing squats, real squats for the first time in a year. “1, 2, mm, 4…” The “mm” was his sip of Starbucks. But I was feeling awesome. Doing SQUATS! I was on FIRE!
“Let’s do some burpees, yeah? You know how to do burpees?”
Rot in hell. “Yes. Yes, I do.”
“Great! Let’s do 20.”
I did my 20 burpees (which, if you don’t know, looks like this), but the jumping part…it was unbelievable. I couldn’t JUMP. I guess I haven’t really jumped much since the accident. I couldn’t just…jump in the air. I had to do this weird bend down thing, throw my hands up over my head, and hope I detached from gravity thing. “Is this a problem with my leg?!”
“Oh yeah. Oh yeah, Erin, you’ll have to rebuild muscles. I mean you’ll have to FIND those muscles even, so yeah. Anyway, let’s do walking lunges.”
Walking lunges. I killed squats, but I couldn’t jump, and now…walking lunges.
Y’all. I’m not even kidding. I fell down.
I FELL. DOWN.
My left leg wobbled, then I couldn’t feel it, then I fell down. Luckily, Barry caught me.
“Alright yeah good girl!”
Um. WHAT?!
“You look good here. That’s great. Let’s get up and try again here. I’ll…may I?” He reached his hand out to help me up. I got up, unwillingly, back to my feet. “We’re not stopping here. Let’s go.” Suddenly, it felt like it was Barry and me against my leg. We created a team. No matter what my leg did, he was going to get me all the way across the gym doing walking lunges. It was half humiliating and half like being a FREAKIN’ warrior! Barry’s arms under my armpits, one of his arms strung through my left arm for good measure, he did every squat with me.
And I did it. Wobbly. Leaning on Barry. The whole way.

Bella snuggled my aching legs tonight, which I greatly appreciated...

Bella snuggled my aching legs tonight, which I greatly appreciated…

By the end of my training session, I could barely walk. My twig-like left leg wobbled like CRAZY. My leg was WAY weaker than I ever would have thought, and the whole time Barry tried to sell me a personal training package, I was thinking about the fact that I couldn’t even do walking lunges anymore. But that this dude, this 60-something year old New Yorker who worked at a fitness gyn after retiring, held me up to prove (with help) I could do it.
“So, I think this package here…”
“Yeah, thanks Barry. I’m not buying a package today. Thank you for holding me up.”
“Alright girl,” he immediately responded. I knew he didn’t want to sell me anyway. “Proud of you today.”
Yeah. Me, too. Proud and shocked and ready to do this. The next 6 months, I’m dedicated to finding my strength again, both inside and out. Y’all ready?

 

I’M A GIRL WITH FEELINGS

I took Abraham to see Inside Out, the movie, today. It is a DARLING flick about the feelings inside of everyone’s heads and how they interact. There was a moment during the movie when Joy and Bing Bong fell into the pit of forgotten memories (which is the weirdest thing I’ve ever written) and Abe got scared. He jumped into my lap and I held him through the “scary” part. In a last-ditch effort to get out of the pit, Bing Bong sacrificed himself so Joy could get back to headquarters and save the day.
Do you hear me? Bing Bong SACRAFICED HIMSELF.
Abe sat in my lap watching intently while I held him, weeping quietly to myself. My tears literally dripped down Abe’s arms. Bing Bong thanked her for letting him be IMPORTANT one last time!!!! 
I was a mess for the rest of the movie.

Abe did not stop clinging to me the rest of the day, asking for me to play or asking for a snack or asking for the cup that was already in his hand. By late afternoon, I felt like I was going to lose it. I went into my room and laid down on my bed for a minute before Abe came climbing in with me. Jumping ensued.
“Mo-o-o-om?” he asked as he jumped.
“Yes?”
“Let’s go get ice cream!”
“Adding sugar to this seems like a terrible idea.” He continued jumping in silence until I asked him, “Do you want to go to the library?”
“Sure! There’s a playground next to the library!!!”
Fine. Whatever.

We arrived at the library and all Abe wanted to do was play with the multi-colored blocks they had in the kids’s area. I decided not to care and, instead, read my own book for a few minutes. He played almost-quietly before he walked to my left ear. “Mom?” he whispered as he climbed into my lap.
“Yes?”
“I really want to get a book but I don’t want to read it.”
I was so annoyed. “Why do you want to get a book, then?”
“Maybe to read it later. I want to go to the playground.”
“Ok, can you play a few more minutes so mommy can finish this chapter?”
“No.”
Argh. “Wait. No?”
“Well, I can’t because I’m done playing with those blocks and now I’m ready to choose a book and go to the playground.”
This is one of those mom-moments that probably should have looked like me telling him I was in charge of the schedule and I would decide when we were done and blah-blah-blah but instead I said, “Ok, fine.”

The playground was no better. He was not satisfied unless I was attempting to go down the slide, swing on the swings, or climb the train climby-aparatus. He asked insistently that I participate in every activity. It’s not that I physically couldn’t. It’s that I just didn’t WANNA. I wanted to sit and read my book and relax for a minute while my son played contentedly by himself.
And then…off in the distance…a train!
The train tracks are directly on the other side of the chain link fence at the playground behind the library. This meant that Abe would be standing at the fence watching the train for 5…maybe even 10 minutes if it was slow-moving!!!
“ABE!!! TRAIN!!!!”
He turned towards the sound and darted for the fence. We were both SO excited!!
Until.
The locomotive came rushing down the tracks and…

<HOOOOOOONK. HOOOOOOOOOOOONK.>

Abe immediately changed the direction of his legs, put his hands over his ears, and made a b-line straight for my…
You guessed it.
My lap.
We would now be watching the train together while talking about it for all 10 minutes (it was a slow-moving one).
“Did that horn scare you, bud?”
“Yeeeeah. A little bit, mom. I just wanna watch it with you.”

IMG_2842 (1)But suddenly as he said it, I realized that he’d been reaching for me all day. The scary part of the movie. The “done” part of the library. The super-loud train horn. Despite my being tired and moody and annoyed and crying all over him at a movie, he still ran for me. He chose me for comfort every time. He turned to make eye contact with me every time he needed back up, from opening a water bottle to getting out of the car because the car door handle was “too hot”. He requested my attention when he realized how funny the yoga mat in TJ Maxx was and when he saw our dog Bella was trying to chase her non-existent tail. All day, he turned to me.
And that kind of made me want to cry.
Again.
Being a mom is NOT for the faint of heart. I think I may have spent a long time pretending like I could handle it all. And really? I can. But not without getting very near the end of a long and frayed rope before suddenly realizing that I am so lucky to have a boy that chooses me everyday.
To all the moms and dads out there watching their kids choose them, take note. You can get aggravated/frustrated/annoyed again in a minute. Just notice for right now.
We are so, so lucky.

 

Hi. I’m Bear’s fiance.

c15778933da363a6bec8bdb6abae1307At a party a few weeks ago, a friend of mine introduced me to his new girlfriend.
“Jean, this is Bear’s fiance, Erin.”
She immediately frowned before saying…
“Don’t you just hate it when men introduce women as ‘someone’s wife’ or ‘someone’s girlfriend’?! I’m sorry, but I’m a whole lot more than this girlfriend!!” She all but held up her beer for me to cheers her.

When I moved in with Bear, I gave up a lot. I gave up clean kitchens and clothes in the hamper. I gave up sinks without hair trimmings in them and nights without CONSTANT snuggling (don’t lie, you know you need your space, too). I gave up having an opinion all the time, doing things “my way” all the time. I knew this was the deal, though, when I agreed to commit to him.
He gave up a bunch, too. He gave up being able to ask, “How was lunch?” and receiving a less-than-20-minute answer. He gave up toothpaste squeezed from the bottom and toilet paper rolling OUTWARD. He gave up setting down an empty glass and finding it there in the same place 5 minutes later. He gave up spending the entire weekend on his boat and leaving for an out-of-town trip at the last moment.
He knew that was the deal, too.

So when this woman helped me to feel offended for the fact that I was labeled as “someone’s fiance”, I couldn’t help but run through all the things in my mind we’ve both given up for each other in order to earn that label. (And I kinda wanted to smack her.) I’m all for feminists and whatever; do what you do, boo. But I don’t think I can actively commit to a partner without who I am, or at the very LEAST what I do, changing a little bit. Pastor Steven Furtick once said in one of his sermons, “Marriage is the best thing, but it’s not the easiest thing.” It’s HARD! It’s HARD to understand how Bear appears to physically melt from the front door to the bedroom if you follow the trail of shoes and clothes. It’s HARD to just be ok with my garage looking like a homeless commune. It’s REEEALLY HARD to accept the fact that I will never again be driven somewhere by my significant other without a detailed and sometimes offensive spray of “let me tell you about you” aimed at the cars here in Jacksonville who “DON’T KNOW HOW TO EFFING DRIVE.”

(Probably he doesn’t understand a few things about me, but this isn’t his blog…)

Partnership is about what you can give to the other person, not what you can get. And it’s certainly not about your individual ego’s reign. When you commit to be part of a union, you give up a little of what makes you comfortable. Bear says, “Bedrooms are only for two things.”
Which is why we don’t have a TV in our bedroom.
This.
This makes me very uncomfortable.
But so it is.

“Oh,” I responded to her without lifting my beer up to clink hers. (Who “clinks” beer cans  anyway?! They don’t even clink. They just awkwardly slap together as you try not to dent your can.)
“Right?!” she said, Arsenio-Hall-ing her own statements.
“Oh, I AM Bear’s fiance. We are partners. Give and take. I help to carry his load and he helps to carry mine.”
She just stared at me.
“I don’t feel slighted in the least when someone calls me Bear’s fiance. I feel really proud, actually. I’m also proud to be Abe’s mom and my mother’s daughter. You know?”
More staring. I couldn’t tell if she was disgusted by ME or with her own interpretation of what it meant to be introduced as someone’s partner. I didn’t stick around to find out. Because not only do I wanna be Bear’s wife, I wanna be his TROPHY wife! (Aaaand all the feminist’s heads just exploded.)

Y’all. Seriously. If someone else giving you a label threatens who you are as a person (especially when the label is TRUE!), rethink some stuff…

The 30s Epidemic

Just a whimsical cartoon the lighten the heavy.

Just a whimsical cartoon the lighten the heavy.

Chatting with a friend of mine today, I realized that most women my age face an epidemic. It feels embarrassing and downright STUPID for us to talk about it sometimes. I mean here we are, out of our twenties and out of most of the day-to-day “Am I going to eat ramen today?” or “I need my mom to pay my car insurance…again” issues. In most cases, we’ve reached a level of financial stability and likely some kind of family (whether it’s a community of friends or a partnership). The children we prayed for are probably already here. The house, the car, the job…it’s all here or in the works. We’re sort of sitting pretty in the part of life that it feels like we spent 10-15 years striving for.
And somewhere in there we wake up one morning and ask:
Is this all there is?
It’s not a mid-life crisis. It’s not a quarter-life crisis. It’s this weird thing in between where so many of us get bored. We look around for those fireworks we had in our 20s, the adventures we expected to await when we started making money, the magic that came with having a family. Reality sets in and none of that stuff happens. And we kinda can’t believe it.
Why does this happen to so many of us?!
I don’t have the answers, but I’d venture a guess…

Expectations.

We have an idea of what will happen when we GET all the things that we want. But once we get them and the great Everest-style climb is over, we summit, look out over our accomplishment, and then what? Climb down. And then it’s over.
Now what?
Is there more?
Do we do something else?
WHAT DO WE DO?!?! SOMETHING BIG IS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN NOW!!!
And so…we quit our jobs. We blow up at our families. We leave our partners. We move. We do anything to change our realities so we can feel SOMETHING close to what we thought we would be feeling. But the SUPER fun end-game is that whatever you change…you wind up back in the exact same place sooner than later. (Those are the people who say things like, “Why do I always attract the cheaters?” or “I always have asshole bosses.”)
We get bored. And wondering when the point of life will illuminate itself.

You’ve seen the 5,000+ cliche memes that basically say if you want your life to change, you have to change yourself? It’s SO annoying.
And it’s SO true.

Someone recently asked me why am I with Bear; what it is about him that makes him “the one”. My answer? Because that’s what I chose. It’s not because I love him, because there will be days I don’t. It’s not because he’s adorable, because there will be days I don’t think he’s so cute. It’s not because he’s hilarious, because there will be days containing ZERO laughter. The answer is that I choose him everyday. It’s not as fluffy and romantic as everyone would like for it to be, and neither is accomplishing a big goal or reaching a destination.

Even when you accomplish EVERYTHING, happiness and satisfaction are never the end result. There is no achieving happiness. It’s not a destination. And that is so frustrating because I reeeeeeeeally want it to be a destination. I wanna get there and just have IT be the thing that makes me happy. But just like Bear is my choice, happiness is my choice. Even when I don’t know what the point is.

Haters Gonna Hate

I work for a number of different people. My jobs range from virtual assistant to copywriter. I’m often in charge of client care or a customer’s experience. And yesterday…I got an angry email.

It was dramatic. It was accusatory. It was…kinda mean.

A client was dissatisfied with the fact that she’d waited several hours for a reply to her initial email. While her threats couldn’t ACTUALLY do anything to change my life, it’s a terrible feeling to be the recipient of someone else’s angry rant when you KNOW you’ve done your very best. And what was my gut reaction?

To tell her what an absolute idiot she was.
I mentally wrote back an entire letter:
“OH REALLY? You’ll be taking your business ELSEWHERE? You should. You should do it. Because I can’t imagine anyone else who would WANT you as a client. I like to work with people who are REASONABLE and dare I say ENJOYABLE to communicate with. This, being our first communication EVER, demonstrates to me that you are NEITHER OF THOSE TWO THINGS. So take all of your ‘money’ and let some other company deal with your and whoever it is that hurt you so badly in the past.”

I did not say any of those things.

I apologized for the several hours-long delay and immediately addressed her concerns as quickly and best I could. I gave her everything she needed/wanted. And she went along her now-happy little way.
But I was mad about it.

I heard a Pastor Furtick sermon last week. He stopped in the middle of his message to say, “When haters hate on our church and on me, it can get consuming. So, what I have to do in moments like that is realize God didn’t put me here for them. I’ve got to get the right ‘them’ in my mind or I’ll never be able to release what God put in me.”

Isn’t it great how these little messages turn up at the right times?!

FullSizeRender (1)I realized that the energy I poured into the fake-writing of a response to that angry woman, and equally the amount of energy I pour into other non-issue people in my life, is not just a waste. It’s actually INHIBITING me from spending that energy on the people in my life who deserve it. For every ounce of stress I allow to consume my mind, I’m robbing someone I love or someone who NEEDS me.

 

Worried about bills.
Angry at a driver who cuts me off.
Annoyed with the idiot waitress.
Hurt by the unreasonable client.
Afraid of the boss who belittles me.

It’s not just depleting me (but oh how it IS depleting me). It’s also depleting the people God actually put me here for.

Ok so now, when I’m concerning myself with “haters” or the wrong “them” or the wrong FOCUS, I going to try and think of my son. Of Bear and his son. My mom and my dear family and friends. Of people I don’t even KNOW who need my joy, my attention, my love. I’m going to save my energy for those people. Because somehow it’s not that hard to let stupid things go when I think about where that energy COULD go. Y’know?

Happy Birthday

Today is my dad’s birthday.
This date, 5-27, has come up in my life over and over again. It always tickles me when I see it or hear it. Such a weird, uncommon series of numbers to hear so regularly.
He died suddenly in 1988 when I was 7. I still talk to him all the time, though.
IMG_1907

And this is my favorite picture of him because I remember seeing my hand on the back of that chair. At least, that’s why I saved that picture and framed it when I was in high school. Truth is, I only remember remembering that now.
I do remember other things like his great big laugh and his incredibly aggravated utterance of, “Soooon ooooof uuuuuuuuh bitch,” under his breath. He was a man of extremes.

Anyway, happy birthday, Dad. Love you miss you.

Thank You

When I was young, say 10 years old, I discovered the theatre. I found a culture of people who were gifted, creative, incredibly respectful and kind, and who made it be ok to be me. I learned TRUE manners in the theatre.
“Erin, next time you take that cross, please move a little faster. You’re upstaging the action when you move that slowly.”
“Thank you.”
In theatre, you always say THANK YOU when a director gives you a note. You say it to acknowledge you heard it but also to let your director know that you respect their ideas. The lighting designer might announce light cues, to which the techies would reply, “Thank you.” Everyone is acknowledging and thanking people all day in the theatre, not because they are fake and cheesed out, but because that’s just what you DO.

It became a part of my vernacular as an adult. I thank people. A lot.
“Would you like to donate $1 to the March of Dimes today?”
“No, not today, but thank you for asking.” (Oh, I donate plenty of dollars to the March of Dimes, but I don’t do it EVERY TIME.)
I am constantly acknowledging and thanking people because I spent my formative years doing it.

modern-basketsI spent this past weekend with Bear, holed up in our house because he had a minor surgical procedure on Friday. He’s pretty sore and kind of tired, but in really good spirits. We knew we would be stuck laying low for the entire weekend beforehand, so we didn’t have any plans. Our only objective was to stay together and relaxed.
And so, we ate in bed together. I cooked and he worked himself into a seated position. We watched TV shows. We walked around Target for about 15 minutes, just to look at things.
“That would be a good basket for the table,” he pointed.
“Oh yeah. I like the brown one.”
We also talked. We talked a lot. In a few pain med-induced moments, and some completely lucid, he shared things with me. I told him about how different out relationship feels from any other one I’ve ever known about. He told me stories of when he was a kid and how being with me makes him feel. It wasn’t all romantic and dramatic or anything. It was just…talking. The kind of talking that we haven’t had the time to do in a while because kids/work/hobbies/sickness/etc.
It was one of the greatest weekends I’ve ever shared with him. I waited on him hand and foot and he just sat back and enjoyed the break (something he rarely does). Seems crazy that it would fall into a “best of” category, but it did.

So last night before I climbed into bed, I wrote a thank you note. I literally addressed and wrote an entire, formal thank you letter to God. I didn’t want Bear to have surgery, I don’t want him to be in pain. But I was lucky enough that it gave us a few days to connect and enjoy each other as people. No big reveals. No trips. No fancy dinners. No big plans. Just movies and naps and me organizing the garage while he slept. I thanked God for the weekend we got to spend together and that’s it. I know that we all thank God when something AMAZING happens and I know that we all ask him for a lot of stuff! But my habit of saying “thank you” and my acknowledgment of the little, everyday miracles that came out of that surgery reinvigorated me. I rarely ACTUALLY stop to be grateful for the little things unless it’s because I feel like I should (“I’m grateful for this ice maker.” “I’m grateful for the sun today.”). So this time feels different.

Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

The One

glass-of-wine“Do you think there’s one right person for everyone in the world?”
“Nope,” he responded, taking a bite of his noodles.
We sat quietly at the wooden table in the setting sun for a few moments. I took a sip of my red wine and overheard a conversation at the table nearby about how men have the right to cheat if they’re not getting what they need from their partners.
“I think God gives you a lot of chances to have the relationship you want,” he continued, interrupting my involvement in the conversation next to us that I wasn’t involved in. “I think when you get the opportunity to have the relationship you want, you must treat the person like they ARE the one…if you want it to last.”
I think I remember staring at him, contemplating what he’d just said. I didn’t agree or disagree yet. I just stared.
“I mean, if I want YOU to be the one, I have to treat you like you ARE the one. I knew when I met you that you were it: you were the woman with whom I could have the relationship I’d always wanted to have, if you eventually showed up and treated me like I was ‘the one’, too. That’s why I was so persistent. Because I knew this could be the last relationship I ever started.”
“So, if two people simply agree to treat each other like they are ‘the one’, then a relationship can work?”
It was a heavy question. There was no arguing, no thick air between us. We were truly discussing what it meant to be “the one”. And was it possible for there to be a lot of “the ones”, each being another opportunity to treat them as such…
“Yeah, I think so,” he responded. “I think I got very clear signals, alarm bells even, that my last relationship was not one I should be investing time and energy into. I ignored the voice, the signs, because I wanted ‘the one’ so much. And I treated her like she was the one for way too long waiting for her to reciprocate. It doesn’t work that way.”
The conversation next to us continued up on a VERY high horse, throwing around words like “respect” and “real relationships.” I couldn’t help but chuckle noticing the two men who were discussing “respect” were about 20 years old, smoking cigarettes like an advertisement for cigarettes, and pointing out nice asses every few moments. The basis for their ideas was that a relationship is meant to make you feel good, not to GIVE of yourself to another person. To be honest, that’s how I viewed relationships as well, up until a few years ago, and I’m 33!
I recently heard Tracy McMillan, author of “Why You’re Not Married”, say that relationships are about giving, not receiving. I don’t know about your brain, but my brain immediately rejects that notion. Bear makes me feel special, beautiful, smart, important, and worthy. He GIVES that to me and I RECEIVE it. That makes my relationships something that gives to me. But that will NOT a healthy relationship make if that’s all it is. I have to give, give, give to this man. I have to give selflessly, even when I’m having a bad day. I have to give love, support, hugs/kisses, encouragement, and joy to him as a rule, everyday, like a JOB. And as I do, I realize being in a relationship isn’t to make me feel good; it’s to teach me how most things in life aren’t really about me.

Finding “the one” doesn’t happen until two other things happen first:
1. You’re ready to TREAT someone like they are “the one”. Even when they don’t freaking act like it sometimes. That means GRACE. Allowing your love to have bad days, to leave underwear on the floor, to snore, and still love them like crazy.
2. You’re ready to BE the one, worthy of someone treating you like you’re “the one”. You’re ready to give more than you receive, to honor yourself, and to know who you ARE.

“Well, how do you even know you’ve found the one that’s worth being treated like ‘the one’? And worth acting like ‘the one’ for?!” I asked him.
“That’s the part I think you just know. I looked at you and I just knew.”
“But I didn’t know…”
“No, not at first. But I knew you would know, too, if you eventually opened your heart. And you did. Lucky me,” he smiled.

Messes and Love

Now that I do live with Bear (read yesterday’s blog if that comes as a shock), I live with boys.
A lot of them.
When I moved out on my own, Abe was barely 3. He couldn’t really be considered a boy. He didn’t do much. He didn’t make much of a mess. He didn’t even have his own room or many toys, so life continued fairly contained.
Now he is 4. He has his own room. LOTS of his own toys. And he makes messes.
Bear also has a son. He also has his own room. And lots of his own toys. And he makes messes.
Then there’s Bear.
We love Bear, yes? So much?! SO MUCH!!
Bear has several rooms. And lots and lots and lots of his own toys. But he’s not a child.

So his messes are REAL big.

I’m used to a very quiet, very well-organized home because I was the only one in it for the most part with a young child. Then when I moved in with a roommate, she was as OCD about the organization of the refrigerator as I was, so life was fine.
Now I feel lucky if food or drinks make it INTO the fridge.

There was a minute there when our households combined that I thought, Oh I can’t do this. I felt like I was cleaning ALL the time. Reminding people to put things away. Creating systems for organization. New systems for the systems. Baskets. Boxes. The label maker was born again.

I was a little panicked.

imagesOne morning as I sifted through old journals and books (always the last thing to be put away, aside from framed pictures), I opened one up. I read a few lines and a whole host of emotions came rushing through my body. I was writing about wanting to be loved, adored, cherished, and truly wanted. I wrote about it for pages and pages. I wrote and prayed so desperately along each line that it was incredibly sad to read. I felt so badly for this girl. She was so lonely and sad. She would have done anything for this love of all loves.
Including the dishes.

When I really sift through my life, I realize that if that girl had been given the chance to feel life’s GREATEST and most unconditional love, she wouldn’t have turned it down if it came with the caveat of never using the garage for storing cars and me being the only one who ever loaded/unloaded the dishwasher. She would have said, “ANYTHING! ANYTHING TO FEEL THAT KIND OF LOVE!” And I feel that way today. I feel really and truly like none of these things matter because of the love I am blessed to have. Do I WANT to pick up the same towel off the floor everyday and hang it up on the same hook? Nope. But by golly, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
#solucky

 

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