Thirty days ago Nan of Little Black Dress Diaries and I entered into a faux war — which of us had the most amazing, intimate relationship with their fabulous husband? Secretly, we each knew it was no contest. 😉 For the details on the 30 day Intimacy Challenge, click here. For details on a GIVEAWAY, see the “p.s.” to this post.
Today is day 30. And, just so y’all will know what a giant goober I really am, I have tear tracks on my cheeks as I type this. Not sad tears. Emotional tears. Happy, grateful tears.
Sometimes my husband Eric and I marvel at our blessings. Other times we wish our path through life was a bit less steep and rocky. While these sound like polar opposites, they are not. That’s how it is for most of us, isn’t it?
I issued this challenge to Nan, not realizing how hard this month would be.
SKIP THIS PART. I HAVE TO WRITE IT BUT IT’S BORING WHINING STUFF:
I didn’t know my husband would spend 20 of the 30 days challenge period on the road, half of it in a time zone 10.5 hours ahead of mine. I didn’t foresee that we would each get a stomach virus and then the flu. I couldn’t have known his oldest son would total his car, and call. “Umm, Dad, can you come, like, NOW, please?” This challenge came on the heels of my athletically-obsessed (and I mean that in the best possible way, honey!) husband undergoing a summer of no exercise, while he endured nearly two months on a liquid diet, the related medical procedures, the vicious migraines for weeks on end while his body refused to metabolize medicines, the removal of all OTC pain relievers from his life, and, worst of all, the return of knock-you-to-your-knees back pain, ending with yet another procedure. He missed day after day of work and fun and training, sitting in clinics and hospitals. He was unable to release his stress through the normal channel — endorphins/exercise. We had serious kid issues, and, frankly, we continue to have one very serious parenting issue. His father has spent the entire time period in a hospital, his health fragile, and his mother has born a heavy load emotionally and physically.
I lost my ability to run a year ago. Last November, I ran 60 miles a week. Now? Zero. I am only just beginning to see a future for myself as a runner again, someday. Plantar’s fasciitis sucks. I have thrown myself into a void where I announced “World, I am a Writer!” because I am, but the self esteem issues I experience, the up and down, sob, laugh, sob, laugh, is punishing. The hours I spend trying to earn a sufficient income (someday I will blog about our financial woes, when I can find the “funny” in it), while still devoting myself full time to writing — because it takes that kind of devotion or you will not make it — well, I get tired. Dealing with an ADHD teenager? Exhausting. And dealing with myself, a peri-menopausal woman driven crazy by hormones 33% of the time? Worse. (Another blog for when I can find the funny. Not yet.)
Guys, I don’t talk about these things on the blog, even though they are part of my Road to Joy. I go for the laugh, I look for the funny, I work hard, I love harder, and whining — even about stuff I maybe could whine about a little — doesn’t belong here. Except today.
Because I want you to know something that requires contrast to adequately convey. My life is perfect. It is P-E-R-F-E-C-T. I would not change a thing. I have everything I ever dreamed of, because God completed me with Eric, with a partner, a lover, a champion, a husband, a best friend. We kid around about Couples That Make You Want to Puke and our 365 Questions for Couples book, but I seriously want to share a question we answered from the book recently.
Question: If you could live this life over again, what type of person would you try to be and where would you reside? Would you make the same decisions this time?
I thought about my answer for a long time. I relived all my painful mistakes. I cringed at my ignorance, my lack of humility, and my insensitivity. Oh my gosh, could I really have a do-over? I’d rock it this time!
But then I realized that if I changed one thing, one tiny detail, that I might not have ended up sitting with Eric at this moment, reading this stupid question and agonizing over my answer.
So, my answer: Nothing. I would change nothing. My life has been and is perfect, because it led me to where I am today.
The real question is, for the rest of my life, what type of person will I try to be, where will I reside, and what decisions will I make?
And the answer to this one rockets out of me, no thinking required. I want to live a life of gratitude, I want to cherish my blessings, I want to focus on the positive, I want to find a way to laugh, I want to be a great mother, and I will do anything — ANYTHING — that will keep the intimacy between this man and me alive.
I will fall short. I will be a PMS-y bitch. I will lose my temper and scream like a banshee. I will get a rejection letter and sink into days of funk. I will pull to the side of the road in the middle of a bike ride on a perfect day and sob because my whole body aches from the poison of those damn hormones, ruining Eric’s day in the process of trashing mine. I will lose my patience when Eric falls short of perfection.
But I will try. I will try so hard. I will never quit trying. And. I. Will. Always. Show. My. Husband. I. Want. Him. I. Respect. Him. I. Believe. In. Him. I. Am. Grateful. For. Him. I love him.
This was the best 30 days of my life.
And the next 30 will top it.
It’s not #30days. It’s a lifetime.
Nan, I declare a tie.
p.s. Want to win a copy of 365 Questions for Couples? Enter your most romantic story in the comments. I’ll pick a winner (how? I’m going to print the comments, cut them out individually, and draw the winner out of my Longhorn Half Ironman cap). What is really cool is that Nan is running the same contest with a different prize, so copy what you type here, head over to Little Black Dress Diaries, and paste it in a comment there. Read her blog first, though; you’ll love it.
p.p.s. To read other stories on the 30 day Intimacy Challenge, check out one of these great posts: