sharing

Foreplay Starts in the Kitchen

So I’m that guy that thinks it’s cool to do the dishes.

The road to happiness.

Disclaimer: This post may be a little controversial and get me into some trouble, but this is one of the most important things that I have learned in the last 12 years of marriage to my beautiful wife.

Early in our marriage I read a quote that hit home for me. More or less, it goes like this, “Happiness in marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and  well-being of one’s spouse.”

My wife and I have taken that quote to heart and made it a priority to focus on each other’s needs, rather than always thinking about our own needs. When each of us is focused on the other, our own needs our met and we see each other as equals partners. That doesn’t mean that we do the same things and that our roles are interchangeable. We each have strengths and weaknesses, but when we work together we make a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Every marriage is different, but this is what our marriage looks like. I work and my wife stays home with our four children. She also works very flexible hours from home, but mainly she focuses on the children. I see her role as equal to mine, in fact most times I feel like my 8 hours at work is a vacation compared to the war zone at home. When I get home I help with the kids, help make dinner, help clean up dinner, and help to straighten up the house. We both have demands on us through the day so I try to share equally in the responsibilities that come at night. I change diapers, do bath time, put kids in pajamas, and help put them to bed. It is all in my job description.

We take turns waking up late at night to feed the babies. This is the hardest part because it is hard to remember whose turn it is at 3 a.m. when there is a baby screaming.

So some guys may be asking themselves, “What’s in it for me?” I am sure at some point you have heard the statement, “Foreplay begins in the kitchen.” I have found that to be true, need I say more?

The overall lesson I have learned is that I truly want my wife to be happy. My taking responsibility for some household duties makes her life easier. In return she is focused on my needs and it all comes together to make an awesome marriage. It may sound bizzarre, but I really like doing dishes.

Time Flies

Tempus fugit - Il tempo vola - Time flies

Last night my boys and I were shuffled out of the house to make room for a “make up” party that my wife was hosting. At first it seemed like an annoyance to be forced out of the house on a Thursday evening. It was up to me to figure out what to do with my sons for the hour and a half that they would occupy our house.

We ended up going to a park near a small lake about 2 miles from our home. The boys played on the playground, ran up and down the hills, and played near the water’s edge. As I watched them, I was grateful for the excuse to go out and spend time with them. They are a lot of fun to be with and I realize daily that they are growing fast and I need to make the time to be with them and develop our relationships.

I never thought I would say this, but Thank You crafty, over-priced, makeup sales Lady, for giving me an excuse to spend time with my boys. I may rethink that statement when I see how much the makeup costs.

The Birth of “That Guy”

Insomnia. Man counting sheep. Cartoon illustration.

So I’m that guy who woke up at 3 a.m. and could not get back to sleep because of an idea to share thoughts, dreams, strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments and embarrassments to hopefully help others realize that we really are a lot alike.

 

A few weeks ago, I woke up in the night with my 3 month old daughter. After the late night feeding I laid down to try and get some more sleep. It was 3 a.m. and I needed to wake up at 5 that morning, but a thought came into my mind that would not leave me alone.  There is nothing worse than waking up too early and having your mind racing, telling yourself you have to get back to sleep or the next day you will be too tired to do anything while at the same time not being able to turn off the thoughts you are having.

Lying there in bed, my mind would not stop going over and over this thought. At 3:45 I got out of bed to do something about it.

The thoughts revolved around me starting a blog. My wife had talked to me several times about putting my experiences into writing. I had always felt overwhelmed at the thought of chronologically documenting my life and trying to convey the events, thoughts and emotions that have combined to make up who I am. Because the task has always felt so daunting, I have never acted on the promptings to begin the journey.

That morning, the thought that would not let go, revolved around the notion that I would not have to take the project on as a chronological documentary of my life experiences. Instead I would focus on a moment of emotion or realization and I would then try and explain the events that had brought me to that moment, and how it has brought me to where I am today.

That thought was so powerful to me at 3 a.m. that I got out of bed and began to write. I thought and wrote for over two hours. That is the moment that “So I’m that Guy,” was born. It felt like the perfect way to take a moment of realization when time stands still and convey the circumstances surrounding it.

I liked the way it felt, because I don’t consider myself to be anything special. I am just “That Guy.” I could be any guy, because we all have had similar experiences. I think we have these experiences to learn from them and ultimately to help others. I want to have a way to share the highs and the lows, the good and the bad. The times I feel like I am on top of the world, and the times that I wish I could hid under a rock. By sharing this, I hope that others can learn from my experiences and find hope that even when things don’t go according to what we have planned, life can surprise us.

I have found that when things don’t go according to my plans, many times they turn out better than I ever could have imagined. Many people are like me in that they try to control every aspect of their lives, only to find that it is impossible to force the outcomes we think we need. I am trying to look at life as an opportunity for improvisation, to take the circumstances and challenges that otherwise could trip us up and turning them into stepping stones to a happier, more fulfilling life.