I know everyone says this pretty much all the time lately…
But life has been CRAZY!
Between several out of town work trips for me over the last 2 months…
looking for a place to move…
creating our first online course for our awesome “committed” community 😊…
traveling out of town to see family…
having friends come into town to see us…
working over time at our FT jobs…
We’ve been a bit stressed!
But the funny thing is, rather than throw ourselves into a completely anxious tizzy (like I have done many times in the past!) we’ve actually taken some moments to completely sloooooowwww dooooowwwwwn a bit.
Even in times where we definitely could’ve (should’ve?) been doing something productive.
How and what do I mean, you might be wondering!?
Well pretty early on when things started ramping up FAST, we realized we were feeling discombobulated, stressed, and a little disconnected from each other, which given the situation was perfectly natural and made sense! But we also realized just as immediately that we did not want to feel that way. So we did something about it.
I know some of this (especially the long hugging thing 😉) sound pretty mushy-gushy...and to be honest...they are!
But the message we communicate to each other with these little moments of togetherness is this:
We put each other first.
We try to remind ourselves daily, and to remind the other person, that (outside of self care - which IMO has to come first) we are each other’s TOP priority. Work is not first. Travel is not first. Business is not first. Projects are not first.
We as a couple realize and try to keep top of mind that our time together is limited due to “life” stuff and obligations…
...and also limited as in we only get so much time to spend together on this life journey.
One day, hopefully not too soon, the hour glass will run out. And before that time comes I want to know that I spent significant amounts of time experiencing love.
Believe me, there are times where the most tremendously worthwhile thing you can do at that moment is to pour love into your partner and be loved in return.
Nothing else. No end goal. No to do list. No tending to others’ needs.
Those moments of connection, sometimes filled with conversation and sometimes silent, have kept us focused on what is truly important when the world around us seems to be spinning too fast. It has helped keep us grounded. It has helped keep us connected.
So I encourage you, even if things have felt “crazy” lately and it’s hard to imagine slowing down for even a second...take the time to just BE with your spouse. Find the time. Create the time.
Because when you cut out all the outside “stuff”, is there anything more important in this life than wholeheartedly being present with the ones you love?
Ok, before I get into this blog, I need to clarify that I did NOT ask him in those words...I asked him in a much kinder way, but I had to get your attention so you would read this blog because the message is important!
The bottom line is...I did ask him to leave me alone, and here’s why and how it went down!
I am someone who believes strongly in the power of a morning routine. It’s difficult to argue against the fact that your day just goes better when YOU decide how it is going to start and get yourself in the correct headspace!
Recently I have been trying to get back into some old, good habits. Those habits being exercising first thing, and then post workout (which is usually about 20-30 min), reading, gratitude journaling, and meditating for at least 10 minutes. I notice when I do these things I am less stressed throughout the day and feel generally happier and more productive. :-)
Scott and I tend to workout right about the same time in the morning which is great, because we help motivate each other to wake up even when we are tired! We both head upstairs to our apartment’s rooftop area, because that is where the gym is (where Scott likes to workout) and also where an awesome view of the sunrise is (an outside area where I like to workout.)
A handful of times over the last couple weeks, Scott has come to “visit” me in the outdoor area of the rooftop post workout. A couple times we chit-chatted, and a couple times we did not.
Now, as much as I love my husband and it can be nice to connect for a little bit in the calm morning before we started our work days, a couple times he started talking to me about “heavy” topics, before I was in the correct headspace to discuss those topics.
Most recently, we started talking about some negative things friends were posting on social media, and before we knew it by 7:45am we were in a bit of a heated debate about it.
There is nothing wrong with healthy debate, (or our pleasant morning conversations) but in that specific moment, after our mini-dispute was over, I knew in my gut it was time for me to ask for something selfish....something that I realized I truly need in order to start my day as my best self...
As kindly as I could, I asked my husband to “leave me alone” for my morning routine.
I know to some people this may sound very selfish. And to be honest I felt selfish asking my husband for this alone time. I almost felt ashamed. But the way I said it was this:
“I love you, and I love chatting with you. But I am someone who really benefits from an uninterrupted morning routine, where I can really set up my mindset in a positive way for the day. I am emotional, and sometimes when we have more emotionally “charged” conversations in the morning before I have “set” my mindset, those conversations impact me for hours afterward. And even when the conversations aren’t emotionally charged, I feel a little bummed when I don’t get to do all the positive activities I have planned. I hope this does not sound offensive, but is it ok with you if I do my meditation, journaling and reading by myself, without interruption?”
Luckily I married a very understanding man, and he completely understood this request was not personal or meant to be offensive...it was just something I needed to do for me; a positive way to start my day that was best done alone.
He said “Of course I love to spend time with you in the morning, but I understand why you need this. If I come to your area of the rooftop in the morning, I will make sure I just enjoy the rooftop quietly, and we can talk when you are done with your routine.”
Not to take away from my hubby's naturally awesomeness, but I am also pretty sure the fact that I used "I" statements to express what I needed made a big difference in his reaction to my request.
Sometimes we ALL need things or routines we can experience solo. Even in relationships, solitude and moments where we can just “be” (without needing to think of anyone else’s needs or wants) are incredibly important.
A few things I hope you take away from this blog:
1- Realize when your needs are not being met, and what needs to happen to make yourself feel better. Your partner may not know what you need, so it is up to you to identify it and ask for it!
2- Ask to have your needs met using “I” statements. Do not blame your partner for not meeting your needs or for “making you feel a certain way.” When explaining what you need say, “I feel “______” (negative way) when my “_______” needs are not met, and “______” (positive way) when my “______” needs are met.” Can you help me make sure “_____” happens so I can meet these needs?
3- Actually DO the thing that makes you feel better, and don’t feel guilty about needing to do it! Have the alone time! Read the book! Soak up the quiet time! Have the girl-friend date! Get the pedicure! Whatever the “thing” is, DO it, ENJOY it, and DON’T feel guilty about it!
What is something you really need that you may need to ask your partner to make some adjustments for? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Can’t wait to hear from you!
Scott and I moved from the suburbs of Chicago, IL to St. Petersburg, FL about two years ago.
One unexpected challenge of a cross-country move? Making new friends!!
We still absolutely love our friends from ‘back home’, and try to stay in touch often. But it’s also important for us to fully embrace this new chapter of our lives and make new friends, both individually and as a couple.
One thing I’ve noticed, is it can be challenging to make those true, ‘deep’, beyond surface level, genuinely connected friendships. To be perfectly honest, I feel like this is something I’ve struggled with for various reasons throughout my life (that’s a whole other blog post😉) but it can be particularly challenging to meet people you connect with in your early 30’s in a whole new area!
As much as Scott and I rely on each other for entertainment, activities, and of course those feelings of love and happiness, I think it’s important to have really good, supportive, friends to share life with.
To be honest, this isn’t a post to ‘teach’ you anything so much as to bring awareness to a very real challenge couples can face (making strong friendships) and it’s important to address with your S.O.
I plan to blog about this more in the future with how growing new friendships is playing out in our personal lives, and also more thoughts on the ‘who/what/where/when/how’ on creating those bonds that hopefully last a lifetime!
Have you ever moved away from everyone familiar and started a new chapter with your S.O.?
Did you find it challenging to make new friends?
We’d love to hear from you! Comment below!
When you are with someone for a number of years, monotony and the "business" side of living life (cleaning up the house, paying bills, coordinating schedules, etc.) can make married or "committed" life seem....well....less than fun. It definitely feels different than those exciting days of dating, going out all the time, and less combined responsibilities! So what can you do to shake things up a bit?
The other day Scott & I realized a simple way to find more joy in your relationship on a more regular basis, that doesn't cost more money or additional time -- make a small tweak to a familiar event!
For example, for years now (on & off) Scott and I have worked out together in the mornings. We have been having trouble getting motivated to get back into it, so I suggested we ride our bikes down to the bay for the sunrise and get our workouts done outside (a different/new environment) which has also encouraged us to switch up our workouts (a different/new activity.)
It was fun! We connected over catching a beautiful sunrise and watching some dolphins track down their breakfast, had time to chat on the bike ride there and back, and were proud of each other for pushing harder than usual on our workouts in the heat & humidity!
Our point here is you don’t have to go on some lavish vacation or spend a boat load of cash to pour some excitement back into your relationship.
You can change something small like your workout location, where you eat dinner (make it a picnic!), where you pay bills (go to a coffee shop and sip java ️& people watch while you crunch the numbers!), shop at a new grocery store, and so many more things!
So comment below, what ‘everyday’ thing (working out, a chore, task, etc.) are you going to tweak a bit to make it more enjoyable and what are you going to do?
Ok, let me back up real quick and tell the story.
I have *always* struggled to get up with my alarm and not hit snooze. And sometimes I am a really heavy sleeper, where I will hit the snooze 10 times in a row every 9 minutes and won’t even know I’m doing it! It’s crazy…
Anyway, last night I told Scott “Even if we don’t workout first thing because we need sleep and it’s been a rough/stressful week, I am going to get up when you do around 6:15, to run to the grocery store (across the street) grab a couple things because I used the last of the mayo and you need that for your lunch.”
Well, 6:15 came and went, I snoozed my alarm and for some reason it didn’t continue to go off, Scott needed to leave by about 7:05/7:10, he woke me up at 6:55 and sweetly & softly said “Hey babe, I know you wanted to stop at the store real quick before work…”
I looked at my phone and realizing it was 6:55 and now I had about 10 minutes to throw myself together, get to the store, and help put Scott’s lunch together (because I want to help and I said I would!)...I immediately got panicked and angry and started psuedo-yelling at him:
“Why didn’t you wake me up sooner?!?!? Letting me sleep wasn’t nice...it’s put me into a frenzy now!!! I *wanted to get up!!!! Now I don’t have enough time!!! That wasn’t helpful...now I’m scrambling!!! Why did you do that?!?!?!”
As a rushed to throw some clothes on, grab my wallet and run over to the store real quick, my more rational brain started kicking in and I started realizing some more things:
All of these things are true. They are things he actually SAID to me (but I couldn’t hear him over my irrationally angry thoughts) and things I just realized are true.
As soon as I got back from the store I started apologizing. I was still a bit flustered, and they started as “clenched teeth” apologies, but the fact of the matter is, no matter WHAT anyone says or does to me, I GET TO CHOOSE how to react.
This morning, I chose anger.
But there was another option. I could have chosen to brush it off but still gotten out of bed quickly. Rather than blaming him for me needing to rush, I still could have popped out of bed and said “Haha! Whoops! Snoozed my alarm again, better go!” or I could have still been frustrated but focused the frustration in the right place, towards myself, because I was the one who snoozed the alarm and could have said “Oh shoot. Overslept. Dammit! Ok, thanks for waking me up, babe. Getting up.”
I could have made a bunch of different, and better, choices.
The important thing is, I apologized quickly, owned my part, and then even called Scott on the way to work to apologize again when we were less rushed and had a little more time to talk.
It’s ok to get frustrated. And even though “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” - that doesn’t mean we all don’t get triggered sometimes by other people’s actions. It’s just important to stop for a second and think “Where is my frustration coming from?? Is it really something YOU did or didn’t do that is causing this problem or stress? Or ultimately, does it boil down to something I could have controlled that would have prevented this from playing out this way?”
It’s a difficult and humbling practice...but I can tell you the answer…
YOU are in control of YOU. YOU get to decide how you react, how you interpret others’ actions, and what you do to set yourself up for success and feeling good or for disappointment and frustration. It’s a big, fat, tough pill to swallow to take that much ownership over your life, but it’s also liberating! When you realize YOU are capable of changing your feelings, actions, or the outcome of a situation, you feel more POWERFUL and calm than anything else...I promise you!
So yeah, today, first thing in the morning, I yelled at my husband. But it’s ok. I’m human, I apologized, he forgave me, and it was a big lesson in truly realizing what NOT to do and how to prevent situations like this in the future.
We are all a work in progress. We are all learning and growing. As long as you are constantly committing to be a better you and learning from your mistakes, you really can’t go wrong.
Anything you need to say “sorry” to your significant other for this week? Breathe. Realize where you can take ownership. Apologize sincerely. And most importantly, let yourself off the hook for being human! :-)