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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

At the risk of you all thinking I’ve gone off the deep end…..I’m going to share a secret.

Frequently, I consult Soul Cards. Okay there, I said it. Sue me. Commit me. Whatever. It's a guilty pleasure of mine and my friend, Chris.

It seems like when I’m really struggling with something, a nugget of life that just keeps nagging me and I can’t figure out why or how to just ‘get over it’ already, I turn to these cards. I’m constantly amazed at how right on they are. Not in some fortune teller sort of way, I’m not into that, but in a way that makes me dig a little deeper to find out why the hell this is bugging me. We know it's corny, but we giggle like a couple of little girls while we're reading them and the conversations that have come out of it are so healing. Theses cards have been getting a work out this week.

As I alluded to weeks ago, things are a little……bumpy in the marriage department. Now, let me clarify. I have no desire to leave or divorce my husband. I love him very much and he loves me. I’m the luckiest woman on the face of the earth to be able to have the situation I have, but, that doesn’t mean there aren’t bumps along the way that we have to navigate our way through. We are in that spot.

I’m feeling the need to spread my wings a bit, so to speak. Feeling a little suffocated and needing some independence from my family. Ever since I turned 40, there are just things I want to accomplish. Not in some “life is short” sort of way, just some things that have been put on the back burner, waiting for the day when it felt right. Well, it seems that time has come.

These are not life-altering changes, just a few things I want to put on the top of my priority list and carve out the time to make happen on a daily basis. Anyone that knows me knows that when I decide I’m going to do something, talking me out of it or trying to convince me otherwise, doesn’t usually go over very well. Pretty much, when I say I’m going to do something, I do it and usually with a touch of obsession, just a touch.

Change is hard for others to accept. When others see you making changes in your thoughts and actions, they feel threatened. Feeling threatened can bring about many ugly emotions that are hard to deal with. Sometimes people don’t see that the changes have nothing to do at all with them, and everything to do with the person making the changes. There are no hidden meanings, no ulterior motives, no deception, just the need for some space to sort out your thoughts.

Humans are complex individuals. When life presents itself, it’s tough to deal with the issue at hand and not drag along all 40 years of your baggage with you to the negotiations. The key is to know how to swim through all the baggage and get to the ‘nuts’ of the problem. If you can stay in the fight and dig through the dirt together, you will come out stronger on the other end. That’s the difference between working hard at something you love and giving up.

These are the things they don’t talk about when you are about to start sharing your life with another person. They don’t dare tell you how much you have to give of yourself, the patience you have to have, the negotiations you will have to navigate, the compassion you will have to have, the understanding you will have to give and the pieces of yourself you will have to stand up for and fight for.

If you’re lucky like me, you will find yourself with someone who is equally willing to fight the fight while still feeling love. Someone who fights fair and who understands this won’t be fixed overnight and is still willing to face it tomorrow and possibly the next day, without throwing in the towel.


Mrs. G. said...

Peaks and valleys, baby. It sounds to me like you are in that inevitable part of a long term relationship where it's time to redfine and renegotiate. Been there, done that, doing that. It's worth the growing pains.

Sarah said...

Hey, I don't think you're nuts. I have two decks of cards. I love them, I use them...they are my friends. And I have a close friend that does too :) They can be a great assett if used right!

And as far as the rest of it...I know what you mean. So far most of my changes have been involving my whole family...but I have a strong hunch that when my youngest gets into school and healthwise the two young'uns are on the up and up I'll be in the same boat.

So far in every change I've made DH has been wildly supportive (even when they were private changes he didn't understand), but I'm sure along the way there's going to be more than a few bumps!!

You're wonderfully lucky. We both are. Let's both continue to find the joy in that...even on the mean and ugly days!

Madeline said...

Hang in there. Talk to your girl friends, for sure, and keep asking for what you need. I think I'll do the same. I too am lucky to have a guy that will hang in there despite our great differences and will eventually hear me, once I have gotten clear by first venting to some women. 40 is just too empowering. ; )

Erikka said...

Angie, with wisdom like this coming from you or the cards, or both!, i see only love and growth coming out of whatever issues might come up for you and your husband.

keep on striving, loving, and growing together, separate but equal.

"You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let winds of the heavens dance between you."

Kahlil Gibran
The Prophet, On Marriage

Kat said...

This is so well written, Angie. It is interesting to me, having only been married for 3.5 years - we just came out of a rough patch with flying colors, but I'm sure there are more to come. It only makes sense, because people grow and change, and so should the relationship and agreements grow and change - - otherwise it couldn't last - - even if you stay in it.
Anyway... thanks for this.

Minnesota Matron said...

Mrs. G is right -- peaks and valleys. Change IS difficult, but vital. I always tell John that as long as we both keep communicating while we're changing and growing, we'll be okay.