My husband and I recently found ourselves at the brink of marriage failure and in clawing our way back we encountered the single best piece of marital advice we’ve ever heard. Actually it’s the only advice that’s ever rang true, right and doable over the very long haul that every marriage is. It’s advice that’s ethereal in its authenticity and power. When we encountered it we knew without a doubt that heeding this instruction was how we would get back to our set point and even soar beyond what we’ve been settling for and on to new heights. The reason we knew it was going to work for us is because we had not done it with much regularity in the 20 years we have been married and we recognized this to be where we went wrong.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m gifted. Incredibly gifted in fact, with more than one thing even. I am a dancer and a writer and I am amazingly gifted with both abilities. On the off chance you’re still reading and not gagging on my arrogance I hope you’re reading me correctly. Just to be sure, please make special note that I am not saying I am gifted AT dancing or writing, but WITH them. This is a huge distinction and one I think adds huge value to the conversation.
During a couples counseling session with my husband about a year ago, our counselor looked at me and asked, “Jodie, what do you do for yourself that brings you joy?” I stared back at her blankly and started to feel hot and itchy. I could not answer the question. My husband and I were at a rock bottom place in our marriage. We were just beginning to attempt to recover from his newly revealed infidelity and at that point my days were filled with despair, anger, anxiety, grief, a sense of loss, uncertainty, insomnia, the inability to catch my breath (quite literally), shame, regret and I’ll just stop myself here because I could list every negative and unwanted emotion under the sun and be acutely accurate in my description of what those early days of recovery were like. So when she asked me what I did to summon joy, I had nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero to come back to her with.
Do you remember (back to probably yesterday) when you paid someone a compliment and they tried to talk you out of it, as if you were about to adopt a pitbull or jump off a building? Continue reading “Why Can’t We Take a Compliment?”
Nostalgic is what I’m feeling this Mother’s Day eve. My son was a terrible liar when he was little. His eyebrows gave him away every time. Continue reading “Those Eyebrows, Though”
I sat in my counselor’s office for the first time a few years ago. I was there because I was struggling with motherhood, bottoming out really. My husband and I have two teenagers and I often harken back to the days when they were little and all our collective problems seemed little too. For the life of me, as I look back all I can recall are the snuggles not the struggles. So hindsight is either a dirty mo-fo trickster or a benevolent and loving friend. As our kids got bigger, so did our issues and I was on her couch because my depth perception wasn’t working. Continue reading “You Say Tomato, I Say Crisis”
I understand that our God only gives us what we can handle. And that we are allowed to go through challenging circumstances that purpose to shape us and change us for the better. So apparently I can handle neck acne. I didn’t even know this was a thing, but it is, because I have it. Adult acne in traditional locations is already frustrating enough. I know because I’ve struggled with it forever. I have it under control right now for the most part, oddly enough via the use of blood pressure medication. Some smart people discovered that relief from acne was an after-market effect of a medication designed to lower blood pressure. And since I am guessing my blood pressure would have been sky-high for much of the last couple of years, I’m really getting a fantastic two-fer with this stuff. But back to the point, all of a sudden I have a persistent grouping of painful and unsightly pimples that play leapfrog from side to side on my neck. This is bullshit.
Yes they are. Both things are true.
For as long as I can remember, grey has been my favorite color. I don’t think it’s an aesthetic only preference. I have rarely been able to see the world and its complexities in black and white. My viewfinder is constantly set to shades of grey and at times that can be maddening. I’m a fence sitter, right on top, usually perfectly balanced and almost never teetering towards one side or the other. I’m the human equivalent of Switzerland in my stance on most issues. I can see it your way and my way, his way and her way too. And because of that, I’m often left feeling like I don’t know which way is up or which way is down. I’ve shied away from important decision-making and resisted contributing to policymaking, I love to assist but detest being in charge and I’ve never been politically active; all because I’m not sure which way the wind is blowing.