the story so far

Juggling Water

Some days I swear I’m just sitting here juggling water, if you can imagine that. I imagine that. I imagine all of it just washing over my hands while I wonder why I tried to juggle it in the first place. Stupid.

Before getting married I was always afraid that I would be bad at it. Bad at keeping house, bad at cooking, bad at sharing space. Just generally bad at everything one would imagine goes into being married.

Now that I am married, I can say with confidence, that all my fears were well founded. I am more than bad at all of these things. I am terrible at them. Abysmal. It is tragic, but worse for none than my poor husband.

On the best of days, my cooking is mediocre. I aimlessly try to match a protein with a starch, and if you’re lucky, throw some veggies into the mix. Today is ground sausage and spaghetti. Yesterday was chicken and buttery ravioli. Sometimes, I just don’t cook. And it’s not like we go out to eat on those days. I just leave my husband and sister to fend for themselves.

Keeping house is even worse. I sweep when I feel crumbs underfoot. I do the dishes (begrudgingly, cause those are the worst) after I cook. I straighten the bed, sometimes. On Saturdays I very casually clean the bathroom and vacuum the living room carpet. And that is about it. I do laundry probably once per week, and my husband has admitted that his least favorite of my qualities is that I never get through a whole load start to finish. I either forget it in the washer, or the dryer, or the laundry bin. There’s probably been exactly one time since getting married that he hasn’t had to do one of the steps for me.

All of this has gotten worse since The Discovery. I will soon let you in on what that means, but for now, let it suffice to say that I haven’t handled it well. Husband has 100% been a trooper through it all, and I’m sure he will continue to be. But I have simply used it as an excuse to sleep more, do fewer dishes, and complain as much as any one person can.

This has got to change. I can’t go through life piling excuses upon myself as a buffer against any duty I am not too keen on. Of all times, I should be stepping up to handle new responsibilities and new challenges like the strong, independent, capable woman I pretend to be.

Pffft.

If only.

So today is Ash Wednesday – the first day of the 2019 Lenten Season. It’s time to make a change.

Usually for lent I have a slew of options for things to give up – both good things that I can offer up, and bad things I can stand to weed out of myself. This year is a little harder. Several months ago, prior to running the 5K, I completely quit smoking. Cold turkey, and quite successfully. I haven’t even wanted to smoke since about a week after quitting. So I don’t have that to give up.

Last year I went all of lent without coffee. I switched to tea, which didn’t do the trick at all, and I probably made many of my coworkers miserable in the process, though I did aim to be graceful about it. But I haven’t had coffee more than a couple of times in the past several months for one reason or another (mostly, I simply lost the taste for it) so I don’t have that to give up.

I could give up all social media. That’s an option. Except for pinterest because I’m trying to learn to get better at cooking, and that’s where I find all my recipes. I don’t want to give up extraneous internet usage altogether because I’ve only just begun to be present on my own blog again recently and I want that to continue. Maybe that’s selfish, and a perfect reason to offer it up for 40 days.

I have also thought about purging my home again, and getting rid of all the silly little things I’m attached to keeping for no real reason, but I don’t use. Everything from clothing to accessories, purses and backpacks, books (so many books), kitchen utensils, old notebooks and papers from college, wall maps, baubles, you name it. We need to start scaling down again anyway, because we’re always being given things we don’t need. But the attachments are difficult to let go of! I think this will be a good one to let go from my life this lent.

What else?

I could pray more, for sure. I could cut complaining out of my life… meaning I could try to cut complaining out of my life. That would be a difficult one – totally worth it – but difficult. I would also be difficult for me to enforce because I’m so weak willed. I’ll aim for it.

Is that enough? 1. Cut out most online/social media activities. 2. Purging the apartment. 3. No complaining. It doesn’t feel significant. I should add in some reading to encourage myself to learn more about my faith, or about particular saints. That would be a good 4th I think.

So. Happy Lent. And Happy 15th Birthday to my sister Margaret! Hope you celebrated enough the past few days so you don’t get “gypped” by lent. Love you!

And anybody reading this… what do/did you do to be better at stepping into your marriage in the first year? Or even down the line when things got too complacent? I know it’s a long phase of adjustment, but any tips or thoughts are welcome!

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