Friday, May 19, 2017

One year down

Can you believe it?
We made it.
Is my hair grayer?
Is my face wrinklier?
Am I sassier?
Did I learn a heck of a lot about myself?
Double check.
Am I glad it's over?
Triple check.

I've heard the first year is the hardest.
I'm hoping that's true.
I was talking to a fellow med school wife and celebrating our accomplishment of making it through.
I tried to tell her WHY it was so hard.
And I honestly could not even narrow it down into actual emotions or words.
Failed expectations maybe?
I'm not sure.
Missing our old life?
Seeing changes in Jason that I wasn't ready for?
I think so.
But it's over,
and I'm done trying to figure out why I'm so relieved about that.
I'm closing the book on it.
And moving on.
And letting it go.

This year wasn't hard as a mom.
Or a friend.
Or a daughter.
It was hard as a wife.

My misery,
I am certain,
was of my own making.

I laid in bed the other night,
reflecting on the last 11 months,
and the the thought came to me:
"I wouldn't want to be married to me."
Maybe before school,
but definitely not now.
I was embarrassed at the wife I had been to my husband. 
In looking forward to year two starting in just 6 weeks,
I'm focusing my attention on making it better.
How can I be a better wife?
How can I be more supportive?
How can I make myself happier and meet my own needs better?

Here are the goals I have set for myself,
to hopefully answer those questions. 

1. Drop all expectations except he be there for me to love.
What causes my happiness,
is not about him.
It's about me.
My feelings,
My thoughts.
It's the only thing that could make me feel happy.
All of it.
It's an inside job.
The only thing I expect of him is that he let me love him,
and he doesn't even have to do that.
There's no letting.
I'm just going to.
No matter what.
His only job is just to be there for me to love him.
And he doesn't even have to be here,
in my physical presence.
He just has to be.
I'm going to love him.

2. Brainstorm love everyday.
How can I love him?
What do I love about him?
Look for something to love,
then increase my love about it.
Start at the top of his head,
and look for everything I love.
Brainstorm love about his physical appearance.
About the little things he does.
About the funny things he does.
The story you tell,
the thought you think about that thing,
will determine how you feel about that thing.
That thing,
for year 2,
 is Jason.
So I'm going to tell myself a good story,
and then make it even better.

3. Be the wife I want to be.
I want to do so many more things than I'm doing.
I want to say so many more things than I'm saying.
Be kinder.
More loving.
More giving.
More forgiving.
Who do I want to be as a wife?
Then be it.

4. Let it go.
Pick no battles.
You know the saying,
"Pick your battles"?
What if I picked no battles?
What if I just let it go?
I mean,
who really cares about that thing?
Does it really matter in the big picture the stupid things I get angry about?
The things I miss an opportunity to love about?

5. Make my own happiness and meet my own needs.
Hello, adulthood.
My happiness is my responsibility.
You know the mentality that you're supposed to tell your spouse what your needs are,
then expect them to meet those needs?
Yeah, that's not really fair is it?
To us, 
or to them.
The expectation that we put on our spouses is ridiculous.
do you want to get married and take responsibility for every feeling I have,
for the rest of my life?
That would be great."
And then we're having a hard time we tell them,
"I'm having a hard time being happy myself.
It would be great if you would just make me happy.
I can't do it.
But if you could just do it,
 that would be great.
I'll stop being mad at you as soon as you make me happy."
And all of the sudden,
if I have to meet my own needs,
I notice I have a lot less of them.

6. Stop complaining.
Whenever I say this,
I hear my Dad's voice.
Complaining gets nothing done.
It doesn't serve me.
Or my relationships.

7. Remember he could die today.
I know.
But I do think about this a lot actually.
Because really,
if he did die today,
would any of this matter?
What would go unsaid?
Did I give him a hug and kiss goodbye as he walked out the door?
What would I miss?
All the little things,
that make up the big thing.
Celebrate his greatness.
Celebrate his greatness 
for him,
and with him.

I have so much growing to do.
And maybe that's why I am set on this challenge of med-school wife.
It's not for the faint of heart.
It has stretched me.
And tried me.
And pulled me in so many different emotional directions that are hard to describe.
I am still learning.
But aren't we all?
We are given a challenge,
and the hope is,
in spite of it all,
we rise.

Year two will be better. 
Not because our circumstances will change,
because well,
they won't.
But because I will make it better.

Hello, adulthood.

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