Josh and I have been together for twenty years, since 1995, and married for nearly fifteen. In twenty-first century America, that roughly translates to “a pretty long time.” Before we began dating–during my teen years–I had come up with a (very) brief set of my own values around what I was looking for in a life partner, should I happen to find someone who “fit the bill”. Being a very growth-oriented person, one of the main qualities I was looking for was someone I could continue to grow with throughout my life–someone who would continue to stretch and challenge me, someone who would journey alongside me for the span of our life together.
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Crap, I did it again. I said yes to too many things and now I am paying for it. A few weeks ago I was asked to be second in command at an Easter carnival AND then to also lead worship for 3 services the following day. I SAID YES. TO BOTH.
Here it is again. Valentine’s Day. Angsty, filled with expectations or mercilessly pointing out the discrepancy between our longings and our actual lives.
If you are happily in love and looking forward to the day, good for you! Enjoy! Celebrate! But if this weekend you are feeling a little fragile and disappointed, know that you are not alone. And if you are torturing yourself, saying horrid things to yourself, (“What’s wrong with me”, “I will never find someone”), let me attempt to rescue you with this: Here are some things I wish the grown ups had told me when I was in my twenties and desperately looking for my person.
I can’t seem to get myself motivated today. I have a nice list of things to get done, like laundry, returning emails, tidying up around the house, but I keep finding myself lying on the couch. It’s like my mind has a plan while my body is like, “um-NO”. And of course, when I find myself lying on the couch I begin to worry that I am stuck here, that I won’t accomplish anything, ever again. Like I’m consumed by lying on the couch. I have succumbed to defeat. I can see it now, “Adult Woman Destroyed by Processing Feelings while Lying on Couch”. There’s fear that taking time to listen to what is going on inside will destroy me.
My husband asked me a week ago if I was going to make a New Year’s resolution this year. I heard myself say, “I’m going to quit smoking”. Which is funny, since I don’t smoke. But what I think a part of me was trying to say to the rest of me is “Let’s set ourselves up for success.” So . . . so far, so good. I haven’t had a cigarette all week!
I brace myself for a small disaster as I watch Josh drag the garden hose into the living room, lay on his belly under the Christmas tree, and yell to his dad, “Okay, turn it on!” I could protest, but no one would listen to me so I practice letting go instead. The boys like to go big. They have already brought home a tree so ginormous it does not fit in the house. They gave it a try, but it scraped the ceiling pretty badly (“Where’s my star going to go?” I say), so they haul it back outside and shave a few feet off with the chain saw. It dawns on me then that perhaps this is part of their plan – finding a reason to fire up the chain saw.
In some ways, being a therapist is like being a midwife—amazing transformations are taking place in people’s lives all the time, and we have the privilege of witnessing many of those transformations happening. In the last couple of months, we’ve watched some great examples of clients making brave and fearless choices, and having the courage to put them down on paper to share with others. We wanted to give you a little peek of what we’ve seen.
I know I’m the mom so I’m supposed to be the one who says encouraging and profound things to my kids but SO often they say something that is exactly what I need to hear. Over the course of our lives together, they have rescued me hundreds of times. Katie and I were chatting on the phone when I said, “Am I calling you too much? I know we just talked yesterday but I missed you today and I just wanted to hear your voice again. Am I being nuts??” Katie: “Mom, it’s okay. Call me whenever you want. If I don’t want to talk to you, I won’t answer. You do you.”
When the Soul Care House dream began, one of our desires was for it to build a community that was proud of what they are doing in therapy. A community that could share with each other what they were learning and how they are growing, without criticism and judgment.
Just this morning, as he got out of bed, my husband remarked quizzically, “Is it actually a little chilly in here?” Yep, it’s true–fall is approaching and back to school is imminent. For some of you, school may have already begun. For us (San Diego Unified), it’s a mere 10 days away. We are relishing these last days of summer like a quickly-melting popsicle, and at the same time, preparing for a new season of soccer and violin and drums and homework and early morning wake-ups. Now that we have three kids in school–first grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade–we are taking back to school prep pretty seriously around here, and we’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way that I’m happy to share with you, in hopes that they will make your transition smoother.