Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Longest Ride

I finished the Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks this weekend.  I have to confess that I was supposed to have finished it by Friday for my book club discussion.  I was only about 3/4 of the way finished so I asked them to tell me the ending.  I won't give that away here.  I had read that the book was predictable but I never caught on and since I knew the ending, I am not sure I would have predicted it anyway.

But what our discussion on Friday centered around was Ira and Ruth's marriage and love story.  I have to admit, I enjoyed that part more than Luke and Sophia's.  I liked the story of Luke and Sophia as a novel but I couldn't relate to it much.  

But Ira and Ruth's story stuck with me a lot.  I loved that we saw their whole marriage and their whole life.  Not just the initial love affair that most books end with.  They had good times.  They had bad times.  But they made it through the bad times and things got better - better than they were before.  Isn't that what life is about?  The great love affair is not perfect. But that is what makes it great.  The tough times are what makes it perfect.  It reminded me a lot of the movie Up.  I love that movie.  I love that love story.  The Longest Ride talked about the sacrifices that Ira and Ruth made to be with each other. They gave up a lot.  Sometimes they regretted the sacrifices they made but they never regretted being with each other.  

One thing we discussed was that we all have good times and we all have bad times in our marriage.  Times of transition are typically the hardest.  But we always make it though.  I feel like I am in the middle of a difficult transition and things aren't perfect right now.  Some days they aren't even good.  But I am okay with that because I know and I believe in the greatness of my marriage.  I know that this is just a time of our life and not our entire life.  I love that when things are tough, there are glimmers of good.  There are glimmers of great.  There are glimmers of the love in my family and we are a great family.  These are the moments that make it worth while.  Sometimes I feel like society makes it too easy to quit.  Sometimes society paints the perfect love story and doesn't talk about the other stuff.  The love story is only the beginning.  It's what is built upon it that makes it great.  That's what makes it last.  I think what I loved about the Ira and Ruth story is that we say the entire story, not just the beginning.  Right now, that was exactly what I needed.  That's what I want for my marriage - the whole 70 years. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

A look into other people's lives...

I had another moment recently when I was reminded that things aren't always as they seem and we really don't know what is going on with other people's lives.  I was talking to a friend about stuff.  I am not going to get into the specifics about what we were talking about because it doesn't matter. But based on the few things she said (or didn't say) my opinion of one of her decisions changed.  I don't know what goes on in her life but I had trouble understanding what she was doing.  After talking to her and hearing how she was saying it, I understood that we all react to situations differently and we all have different stuff going on.  Her decision wouldn't work for me but is necessary for her.  Not to sound cliche, until we have walked in their shoes, we just don't know...  Sometimes I just need the reminder.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Taking Care of Each Other...

I feel like I used to be a fairly competent adult.  I bought my own house when I was 22 years old.  I took care of my car, my house, my lawn, etc.  I was financially independent and was good at it.  Then I got married.  Charlie took over the finances, the yard and the car.  I liked it that way.  I didn't realize how much I depend on him and his flexible job until now.  

Right now he is student teaching and this is the first time in our married life that he has a "job" that he needs to be at every day.  Suddenly, I am the one with the more flexible job.  He has to be at school at 7 am so drop off is now on me.  My "flexible" work hours are 7 - 4 but I shifted them to 7:30 - 4:30 for now.  A few weeks ago, I "crashed" my car.  It was pretty minor and "crashed" isn't the right word for it.  I ran into the snow pile in front of my house.  How horribly embarrassing.  But there is a big hole in my bumper now and I need to get it repaired.  Suddenly it all feel to me.  I got the car to the shop to get the estimate.  I reserved the rental car.  I dropped the car off this morning and got that the rental car.  It felt weird.  It occurred to me that it has been awhile since I have taken care of this type of task.  I felt all grown-up, like an adult.  It went fine and I knew how to do it.  I took care of things.  But it did point out to me how we depend on each other to take care of each other.