Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: commitment

We Must Make the Most of the Time We Have Together – One Year of Marriage

Honestly, I didn’t think getting married would change much, but I was wrong.

I had hopes. Hopes that marriage would feel the way I feel when I hear another couple is getting hitched. Words like romance and commitment. Standing together, united as husband and wife.

I also thought I was above it. I’d considered having the Goldie Hawn / Kurt Russell chat long before we were engaged. Maybe we didn’t need to get married. We loved each other and knew we were committed. What did a piece of paper or a rings matter?

But, it turns out, they do. To me, to us. They matter.

Soon after our wedding, H started grad school. Two months later, my sister moved in with us. Needless to say, this is not how I pictured our first year of marriage. I felt like we weren’t on the same page – we didn’t have similar goals. I felt responsible for much of our home-life. He filled his time with work and grad school. My sister crashed on the floor in our office. I traveled a lot for work and was lonely. We were caught up in the every day.

Life took us for a ride this year – work, promotions, traveling, family, my sister living with us, grad school, celebrating friends, combining our finances, beginning the house hunt. All of it was good, but stressful. It pulled us away from each other.
And like all things, I put too much pressure on it. Being Married. On us. Being husband and wife. I thought, “how can you love, and be that vulnerable and not make a Big Deal out of it?”

It brings me back to a core problem, the “shoulds” vs the “wants”. As in, because we’re married, we should do this / act like this / be like this / love like this…

Twelve months later, here is what I know:

I want more of US creating the lives we want TOGETHER.

H has amazing intentions, is an awesome husband and his job is incredibly demanding.

We are fiercely supportive of each other.

I am responsible for my own happiness.

We had the luxury of a 4-day weekend for our anniversary, and that quality time was just what we needed. In the beautiful card H gave me, he wrote “I can only assume the time will continue to fly by and the years will pass, without any concern for us. This reinforces the idea that we must make the most of the time we have together.”

(I knew I married the right guy.)

Today, I feel like we’ve come full circle… that a year into marriage, I finally have the peace, the love, the romance that I hoped a wedding would bring us. And H is right – we must make the most of our time together. Life is precious and short and flies by.

Getting married was transformative. And it wasn’t. We are the same people we were before marriage, and yet, we’re not. It’s vulnerable and it’s peaceful. There’s a solidity to it. And I can only hope our love deepens in this next year, no matter what life throws our way. And that we make the most of the time we have together, always.

Surprise: I like to run

The weekend flew by. We did a lot – went out to see Gustavo Galindo play, saw Super8, went to a wedding and a birthday party. Considering I’ll be traveling soon, it was sad that my days off went so quickly, but I’m hoping to find some quiet space this week.

Skipping Saturday’s prompt. Again, I understand Emerson focuses on trusting yourself and I love the quotes, but the prompts are getting a big redundant. Maybe I’m just not feeling creative with them…

June 12th’s prompt: Surprise 

When I think about being surprised, impressed and proud of myself, I think about the 10K I ran in 2007. At the time, I was working with an awesome woman who trains for half-marathons. She and her husband race 2-4x per year. This was crazy to me. I’d never been around someone who runs daily, especially someone who was specific and focused on her training schedule. I was inspired.

Being very much like her in personality, and needing something to fill my time after work, I began running. Never in a million years did I think of myself as a “runner”. In fact, it was only a few years prior that I even allowed myself to use the words “enjoy” and “working out” in the same sentence. Remember when we had to run 1 mile in gym class for the “physical fitness test”? I distinctly remember being told to run it again Junior year because I didn’t finish the first round in under 10 minutes. Pretty sure I’d rebelliously walked it, but still, it didn’t make me feel physically fit at all.

My co-worker helped me find a good schedule – this one worked for me – and another friend caught the bug with me. We started running together a few times a week and did our long runs Saturday mornings.

At first, I couldn’t trudge through 3 miles without stopping. My only rule was to “cover the mileage”. It didn’t matter if I walked, ran, sprinted, or crawled, each day I laced my sneakers and went for it. Cup of yogurt, slug of water, sneakers on, out the door.

I ran pretty much the same street, out and back, every day. I ran in Nike’s that someone had given me for free. No music. I ran to silence, the noise in my head, and the afternoon traffic.

I signed up for an easy 10K and gave myself 3 months to train for it. Pretty sure I didn’t miss a day. The routine became an anchor for me as I was in a new city, with a new job, and lived alone. I had something to fill my time, no thinking required.

The long run before the race went terribly. I was 3 miles from home when my whole abdomen cramped up. I limped back. Anticipation for race day grew. Total bundle of nerves. I made the mistake of eating way too much pasta the night before the run, and that glass of red wine was a poor choice too. Sleep was spotty and poor.

The morning of the race I felt dehydrated, heavy and way too nervous for what I was embarking on. My stomach was doing flips, my head pounding. It felt silly – All I’m doing is running a 3 mile loop 2x in Brentwood! – but it was real.

The race went fine. Thank goodness for my friend who lagged back to run with me. In an effort to take my mind off the anxiety, pain and competitiveness, I asked him to tell me about his home town, so a lot of the race is a blur of information about Rhode Island. It was a weird experience, but I’m so glad I did it.

I haven’t trained for a race since, but I do play with the idea. It’s so amazing to have a goal, a plan, and commit. It taught me a lot about practicing, giving yourself room to grown, and long-term commitment. And as someone who never thought they were a runner at all, it taught me that I can work to become more of who I want to be.

Running is now part of my workout culture – it’s something I do when I want and I really enjoy it. The next goal would be to run a half-marathon, and I’m seriously considering the one in Vegas in December, but we’ll see.

To respond to the prompt – this week I will surprise myself by taking time for me in the busyness leading up to my traveling.