Tag Archives: love

Time For Each Other

22 May

So, my post a day initiative has gone to goat shit lately. Sometimes life has this annoying habit of getting in the way of stuff we really want to do. Having said that, this evening me and my husband took some time to be together in a special way. He came home from work (yes, he was working on a Sunday due to a ridiculous deadline), and we had a picnic. Right in our front yard. We had nice fresh-baked bread, some cold cuts, cheese, and wine. And we spread out a blanket in the front yard, and sat there eating our food and drinking our wine. And just being together.

After a while, the kids migrated from the back yard to the front yard, and they joined our little picnic. James showed us some games that he tells us are virtually mandatory at picnics. Red Light, Green Light. Doggie, Doggie. Bug In The Rug. We played the games with him. It was lovely.

Sometimes we struggle to find time to just enjoy ourselves, either as a couple or as a family. But when we do, it is totally worth it.

Being married is awesome. Yes, we have lived together for ten years now, so in practical terms, nothing has changed. But somehow the depth of our love for each other is more pronounced. Looking at this man and being able to call myself his wife – that’s pretty darned special. I really and truly appreciate what I have in him. We have our moments of conflict, but that doesn’t matter. Because we have each other.

At our wedding, we had well over 1000 photos taken. Out of all of those, there is one that stands out. It stands out because it is a perfect reflection of the joy we felt that day. The joy we feel now about being married to each other.

Sometimes, life gets in the way of important stuff, like running, or writing, or spending time with loves ones.

But sometimes, the important stuff wins.

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Valentines Day Survival Tips For Men

15 Feb

I think I can honestly say that yesterday was the first Valentines Day in my adult life that I completely failed to care about. Sure, in the past I’ve always said the same stuff everyone else does. Valentines Day is over-rated and over-commercialized. Valentines Day is an excuse for Hallmark and flower shops to make a killing. People shouldn’t need a designated day to show their love for each other.

Blah blah blah.

See, even though all of that stuff is true, the fact is that I am a woman and a hopeless romantic. I’ve always cared about Valentines Day just a little – either because I was lonely and hated seeing all the couply crap surrounding me, or because I was in a relationship with someone who didn’t do anything special, or because I was in a relationship with someone I didn’t want to be in a relationship with, or – well, you get the picture.

I have had some nice Valentines Days. The best ones were in the early years of my relationship with Gerard, when he was still trying to get the girl. Now that he’s got the girl, he has stated his views on Valentines Day, which are pretty much a repeat of the above.

To his credit, though, Gerard does romantic stuff for me on non-Valentines Days. I get lovely little surprises when I least expect it. Sometimes, I even get lovely amazingly big surprises when I least expect it (when you click on the link, go to about 4:00 on the video and watch from there).

This year I didn’t care about Valentines Day simply because I had other stuff on my mind. Stuff like the entire family just recovering from a vicious bug that put my youngest in hospital and took out half of his daycare for a week. I completely failed to register that Valentines Day was even happening until I opened my Facebook page yesterday morning.

Next year I’ll probably care again. It will be my first Valentines Day as a lawfully married woman. Surely I’ll be entitled to something.

Anyway, I wanted to offer something to all of the fellas out there who find themselves in the metaphorical dog-box today, having messed up Valentines Day yesterday. Here, based on my experiences as a romantically inclined woman (read: woman like most other women), are ten Valentines Day Survival Tips.

  1. The woman in your life will say all the same crap I do about Valentines Day, but she doesn’t mean it. She does care, and she would like some special recognition on the day.
  2. When you’re wishing her a Happy Valentines Day, tenderly say her name and gaze lovingly into her eyes.
  3. Those things you usually look at are not her eyes. You want to look about six inches north of there.
  4. When women say they do not expect anything for Valentines Day, they really do. You don’t have to spend lots of money (unless you’re dating Ivana Trump or Paris Hilton) – get her something thoughtful, like flowers.
  5. Nothing says “I love you” like voluntarily washing the dishes or doing some other household chore that the woman usually does (doing this will virtually guarantee great sex, especially if the woman is an overtaxed, overwhelmed Mom).
  6. Men who can cook a romantic dinner are irresistibly sexy. If you cannot cook, you have a year to learn.
  7. If you are having a romantic dinner at a restaurant, do not – I repeat, do NOT – start replying to emails on your BlackBerry while you’re supposed to talking to her.
  8. If you break rule #7 and she calls you on it, saying “I was just checking my Facebook” will not make it better.
  9. If she wants to spend time with you in the hot tub and she starts arranging tea-lights in the bathroom, saying “Candles are stupid” might ruin the mood.
  10. Valentines Day does not exist so you can have sex. It exists as a special day for you to express your love for the woman in your life. If you follow the previous nine steps, the sex will happen. Saying “Happy Valentines Day, let’s have a shag” might be counterproductive.

 

Blowing out another set of birthday candles

2 Dec

When I woke up yesterday morning, I felt a little bit down. It was my birthday, and for some reason I was thinking that very few people would remember or care. The previous day had been torture for all of us – it had been a very rough day for George – and none of us had managed to get much sleep. I think that at the start of my birthday, I was suffering from exhaustion as well as emotional fall-out. For a variety of reasons, I just wasn’t expecting a lot from my day.

Then I turned on my computer and checked my email. There were about a dozen birthday messages waiting for me from friends and family members. I opened my Facebook page and my eyes popped as I saw birthday wishes from about fifteen more people. It was only six in the morning and already I had received birthday wishes in one form or another from almost thirty people.

Wow.  Maybe my birthday wouldn’t be so bad after all. I got myself dressed and looking semi-presentable and left for work.  My pathetic self-pity tried to follow me, but I knocked it on the head and fed it through the paper shredder.

In the middle of the morning my Mom called.  This is always a highlight of my birthday. Even from the other side of the world, my Mom manages to make me feel special in a way that only Moms can. Later in the day, I got a call from my brother. He was calling from a cell phone in South Africa, so we had only a brief conversation that I struggled to hear in the chaos of the bus station, but it was so lovely to hear his voice and know that he was thinking of me.  And all through the day, the emails and Facebook messages were pouring in.  By the time I got home from work last night, I was feeling touched by all of the kindness, and truly humbled that so many people had taken time in the chaos of their own lives to think of me and wish me well.  Even today, the wishes are still coming in.

When I got home yesterday evening, there were flowers and a birthday dinner and cake and presents. As I sat there among my family, the feeling of being loved and appreciated settled on me like a soft snowfall.  How had I thought, that very morning, that people would not care?

Turning 40 worked out well for me. I became a citizen, received a marriage proposal, and after a rough start, I had a great running season. Now that I’m 41, I look forward to more great things. My wedding, for one, which is just five short months away. Now that I’ve joined a running club, I expect to go from strength to strength. I have started the process of conquering demons from my past and making positive changes to my personal life.

And next year, I will not start my birthday by feeling sorry for myself – life is too good for that!