4 months ago, I ran my dishwasher once every 2 weeks. I had gone 6 months without turning on my oven or stovetop. I did laundry once a week—2 loads. I had money in savings. I had a cruise booked, a new gun to shoot, and went to the bars regularly with my friends to watch ridiculous shows and drink red bull. I worked out a few times a week at the gym, and pretty much did what I pleased.
Now, I’m drinking Xenergy for pep, running the dishwasher, cooking, and doing laundry DAILY. I have canceled the cruise, depleted the savings, avoided the gym, and haven’t taken the time to shoot my gun even once. When I think about home repairs, refinancing, bills, birthdays, and extracurricular activities, groceries, and school clothes, I’m thankful for the simplicity I functioned in for so long. The merging of our households has been peaceful, albeit expensive at the onset. Even in the increased responsibility I have faced, I have still found my home to be stable.
But at times, I get overwhelmed. Sometimes it’s because the presence of a child brings huge responsibility and even greater patience. I know a young girl’s mind is both naïve and manipulative, and sorting through her words to decipher motive can be difficult for anyone. Sometimes it’s when I’m looking at the unfinished remodel work, or the uneven settling that has occurred with the house. I know that fixing it up and selling it is not going to happen soon--and that was on my list of things to accomplish quickly. Sometimes it’s when I’m at work and trying to plan out my bills, knowing that we have birthdays, Christmas, and other activities arising that cost money.
But all of this is my choosing. I do not regret or bemoan it. I love them. I have made sacrifices specifically for them, because I believe what we share is truly great.
My biggest problem will be with myself. I know how my mind works….I will worry and toil over others until I am neglected. Then I will become frustrated. My expectation is that others will see my contributions and reward me for them without my demanding it be so. Isn’t that how it should be? Yes, but life doesn’t work like that. People get used to the status quo. And they overlook the obvious among the chaos.
So the money, the house, the chores….none of those things are real challenges. The challenge will be within myself. I must remember to make time for myself. I must provide for myself as much as I do others and not play the martyr role. I must allow them to be as involved in my life as I am in theirs. And I must be willing to retain my own identity.