Day 2-The main thing

One of the biggest changes in our life over the past year has been the beau’s new career as a nurse and transition to working night shift. In the first 5 years of our marriage, he commuted at least an hour each way Monday-Friday to sit behind a desk, process shipping orders for the software company he worked for. Now during most of the tenure of our marriage, he’s been in school of some sort so I was used to him not being home every night, but the routine of our life was still pretty much the same.

Sunday–church and food/meal prep for the week ahead. Monday-Friday–breakfast/coffee together, work, eat dinner together most nights, go to the gym or walk together. Saturday-he’d have clinicals and then we’d do some sort of date night–be it at home or out on the town.

Life is much different now.

12 hour shifts 2-3 times a week. Never the same days. Leaving for work around 5:45pm–about 30 minutes after I arrive home–and returning back home around 8-8:30 the next morning–long after I’ve left for work. Not sitting behind a desk all day but being on your feet for 12 hours and some nights literally running around for hours at a time. Caring for critically ill patients and their families. Physically, mentally and emotionally draining.

Meal prep is tough–he’s not eating on a normal schedule and these days I’m not feeling like much of a cook (thanks to the Cub). There are times when he’s working 3 days in a row that I may not see him for 3 days especially if I’ve got evening commitments. Sleep schedule. This is the biggie. He’s constantly tired and it’s hard to go do fun stuff when you’re always tired.

This type “A” Girl is living the most non-type “A” life imaginable. 

And while it’s been tough, there are also some really sweet things that come from it.

We don’t have “planned” date nights as often, but we relish the opportunity to run errands together on a Wednesday night and sneak in dinner at a favorite spot. The time we do have off together is so much more meaningful. There are times in which the beau will have a stretch of 5 days off just the way his schedule falls. It’s been so nice to get house renovations completed, or just steal away for a super quick beach getaway when that happens. He rarely works Saturday nights so we relish those as nights we actually get to go to bed together and wake up together on Sunday. Our Sundays have truly become a Sabbath. My gratitude for him and the job he does, how he provides for our family and just being in the same house (even if he’s upstairs sleeping as I write this very blog) overflows.

Spontaneous Beach Getaway!

I’m reminded of the analogy I use with my students of putting in the big rocks first, then the smaller, ones, then gravel, sand and then water. In that order, everything fits. When things are out of order, then your container overflows and things get stressful. That’s where we are.

Things have changed in order to put in this big rock first. Protecting our marriage is so important. I’ve had to say no to people and things I really want to invest in. Even now, I’m trying to figure out how I can continue to make space for what is most important in my life–and for me, that’s my relationship with Christ, our marriage, caring for myself–mind body and soul, creating a loving home and connecting with other women. If it’s not one of those big rocks, it’s not going in first. Intentionality with our schedule to come home right after work on those days he’s works most days is a must. Or determining a time we can meet up for coffee in Lexington. Connection is key. If that doesn’t happen, we easily will fall into the trap of getting a little snippy, and our “sandpaper moments” skyrocket.

This has all lead to more time at home for myself. Whitespace if you will.  And this isn’t always easy, but oh how things come full circle. That was the intention I chose for 2015. It’s October and the intention wasn’t abandoned, it just didn’t become the central focus of my blogging or my every day thoughts.

But what happened was that I began living it. Creating whitespace means a lot of change and sometimes that is hard–hello lonely nights! But learning how to live in this new schedule and support the beau by putting up my kickstand and being present.

A place of stopping. Slowing down. Doing the necessary work. Oiling the chains. Getting a fresh coat of paint.

In summary–Keep the main thing, the main thing. Yup that’s what I’ve done. And I’m oh, so grateful.

Check out my other #Write31Days challenge entries here.

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February 2015

What I’m learning:

There was so much learned during this sabbatical month. It’s hard to even put into words. I’m actually still in my last week of sabbatical life so I’ll be back to share a bit more of my takeaways at some point later in the month. All I know is that some amazing things can happen when you quiet your mind and calendar and spirit to receive.

I do know that I love how things work out–call it my “connectedness” strength coming into play–we received almost an entire week off of work due to a major snow-storm that had records snow-fall and low temps for our area. Talk about a blessing of a sabbatical within a sabbatical. I also had 2 sick days during this time–definitely not a blessing, but I think sometimes our bodies respond and tell us when we need attention and rest. I have definitely been cashing in on the “good sleep” equation of my February plans.

Overall I would say that it is amazing what you can learn about yourself when you take a step back and quiet yourself, your calendar and even your house (definitely something I’ll be doing in the coming months). I have found some clarity on things I’ve been pondering for some time, passion fueled for things that had been simmering for some time and joy out of simple things like a spontaneous at home date night when the beau opens up the good bourbon. And having a clear schedule to take advantage of UK tickets that become available to you the night before a game isn’t too shabby either! GO CATS! 30-0!

uk game

Books I read in February:

February collage

What I’m loving: 

  • Podcasts in general.  Such a great way to absorb and learn.  I love music, don’t get me wrong, but with a commute, it’s so nice to think and use that time wisely.  I’ve been enjoying some new music at work, which is great but trying to absorb more on my drive.  Some of my favorites:
    • Relevant Podcast.  So hilarious.  Great guests.  Great way for me to get some news (since I’m off social media and don’t watch the news)
    • This Radiolab. The idea of Facebook and social science research and how we share and retrieve and communicate. So fascinating both personally and professionally.
    • That Sounds Fun from Annie Downs. This girl makes me laugh like no other and I just LOVE the episode I linked on Nashville food.
    • The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. Absolutely love hearing this gal talk with a girl friend over things that are really meaningful, fun, real topics–and sometimeshard ones.
    • Catalyst Leader Interview with Shelley Giglio.  Cannot even begin to say how powerful this was for me.  I want a transcript of certain parts of this.  Shelley’s interview starts at the 20 minute mark and ends around the 45 minute mark.
  • Tiny Desk Concerts from NPR.  Have loved these for a while, but really great to discover new music or see a new side of an artist.
  • The Lone Bellow. My love for NYC meets my love for all things southern.  And there’s a mandolin playing red-head.  (You can combine the last two by watching the Tiny Desk Concert of The Lone Bellow).  So very very sad their conert in Louisville sold out literally as I was getting ready to purchase my tickets. Same thing happened with StubHub. Guess it wasn’t meant to be!
  • Behind the Mask–absolutely LOVE this Hulu original —“Behind the Mask” dives into the colorful, unusual side of sports through the eyes of four mascots. (description via Hulu).  It’s a good heartfelt show that’s fun and has had both the beau and I in stitches and on the verge of tears.
  • Feedly. With the lack of social media in my life, I’ve been taking  more time to read not only books but blogs.  Man, oh man, I have been missing out on some great stuff.  I love feedly to manage my subscriptions and easily share via email or social media (which I’ll be doing more of I’m sure!)

What I’m saying YES to in March:

  • Savor –the devotional by my gal Shauna Niequist-releases March 10th and I’m super stoked. Pre-ordered and ready. “Living abundantly where you are, as you are.” Could not be more perfect for me right now.
  • Refit Revolution Live Master class! So super pumped. This way of working out has really been sustaining to me working out while we had snow and freezing temps outside. And I can barely make it through this workout without tears.
  • Real life connections. Coffee dates. People over appointments or things. Hosting dinners in our home.  Voxer (oh my gosh–I love Voxer–if you are on, please connect with me there! I love hearing actual voices and not just reading texts!)
  • More intentional dates with the beau–we’ve come up with a list of restaurants we love and some new ones we want to try and when it’s date night out–we’ll draw from the list–excited to try this out starting this month.
  • Clean eating and fun movement!

What I’m saying NO  to in March:

  • Facebook and Twitter on my phone.
  • Things that put ME in the spotlight. I want to serve and let Jesus be the focus.
  • Time-Wasters. I know that if i start a Gilmore Girls episode, I’ll likely watch 3. I want to make the most of my time especially after work in the evenings.
  • Clutter. Mental and Physical stuff that is in excess and not necessary.
  • Self-doubt, self-judgement and self-criticism. I want to be in the ring of my own life fighting hard even if the outcome isn’t what I wanted.  I don’t want to be my own critic.

it-is-not-the-critic-who-counts

 So what book recommendations do you have for me?

And what will you be saying yes and no to?