Wednesday, May 20, 2015

phones and change

39 days. Gasp. How are we in the 30s?? And even by the time most people read this, it's actually going to be 38 days! (Tuesday was 39. Tried to take a screenshot of my phone earlier and it didn't work, but feel free to ignore the ad at the top of the screen.)

I have had so many thoughts and so many posts started that just linger in draft. I had high hopes they would be posted before the actual wedding, but at this point, ha, don't hold your breath.

Why does being into the 30s seem so much closer than 40?? I think it is because the 30s mean we will also be at the one month mark and beyond. It is so unbelievably surreal. Do all people feel like this when getting married? (or when facing other big when I actually got to go to Iceland and it may still be sinking in though I was there over a year ago...and this marriage thing is so much bigger even than Iceland!)

I cannot even imagine what is about to change for me and us. Having him here every day is going to be so different. Have I already told you how he's changed my sock folding method? (He didn't tell me to change. I noticed how he folded socks, saw how neat they were, and asked for a tutorial.) Well, this week I have had another life-altering change of the way I do things and live life.

Alright, I'm so 4 years ago, but podcasts on the phone. Technology is sort of scary for me. I don't know why it takes me so long to even try some things that do not matter. I expanded my podcasts because of Matt. He introduced me to a really funny one on NPR called Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me. So, obviously because I'm easily amused and love to laugh, I am now an avid listener. I subscribed on iTunes and would download to my iPod every few weeks or so when I also downloaded new books. It's taken me forever to get into the habit of these things. It still amuses me how long it took to open and try my iPod and now I know how to get files from various sources and load it. It's crazy.

Matt is pretty much always listening to music or a podcast on his phone and always has earbuds in various bags, car, etc. WELL, I know people have been putting podcasts and music on their phones for ages, but not this girl. I guess I thought it would fill my memory or drain my battery. Plus, I don't really listen to music while walking everywhere like a college student so it seemed pointless. Hold onto your hats because I got a podcast app at the end of last week and subscribed to podcasts that just go straight to my phone. I have to take my iPod out of the car, hook it up to the computer, download to the folder and then the iPod, and yeah, hassle. BUT NOW...podcast directly to phone. WHhhhhhhat?? So, last week, when I was at the Dollar Tree, because yay Dollar Tree, I picked up another set of earbuds. I wasn't sure if I would use them or like this new idea I'd had so I didn't want to pay much for them. But I stashed them in my purse and this week, I have been plugging into my phone on the walk to work and back and listening to stuff.

It's kind of crazy how easy this has been and seems silly how big the change has been for me. Yesterday--a Monday--I caught myself LAUGHING on the walk to work. On a Monday morning. While walking. To work. Prior to coffee or caffeine or water or breakfast or really waking up. It made the walking time pass quickly and I was in a good mood when I got to work after laughing out loud and startling several other pedestrians. Whoopsie! Today I downloaded an audiobook. Life is getting crazy. First, socks! Now podcasts and downloading stuff to my phone! This is a big deal (for me). He is a big deal. I can't wait to see how else he influences my life.

Friday, May 15, 2015

When you feel like you're failing at everything...

Some days, er…weeks, you need to list the stuff you’re good at, did well, or progress you’ve made because it seems like the list of the stuff you’re not good at, or you don’t feel very good at, or the list of stuff that keeps going wrong starts piling up. 

1. I am good at making lists. I have a lot of them: paper, planner, scattered around my home, on the walls at work, in Google Drive, in Google Keep, other online applications. Consolidating lists, yeah, not so much.

2. I had a very strong urge but did not tell someone at work “I told you so.” So that’s growth. 

3. I am really good at matching my shoes and shirts. See awkward picture to fit in shirt and shoes.

And that sums up the reflections for the week.

Friday, May 8, 2015

On the 50th day before we wed

How is the wedding planning going?!?

I have heard this question so many times. It comes from a good place, and everyone is excited for us. I don't mind this particular question; the wedding stuff is fun, and I wish I had more time to spend on it. I especially wish I didn't feel pulled to other busy life things or guilty spending an hour on something for the wedding/marriage when I could be writing a paper. Everyone asks how the wedding planning is going, but it's been a long time since I've heard, How's work? (which is hectic and crazy and kind of frustrating these days...and that's not usual for me in this job) or How's school? (because I'm taking grad classes full-time too, and I'm not even sure it's sunken in that I'm back in grad school and working on a doctorate even though I'm NEARLY DONE with coursework. How the heck did that happen?? Plus, how do people know I'm getting married but not know I've been working into the wee hours of the night on another degree for the better part of two years?)

When someone asks, How is the wedding planning going??, I wonder why no one (other than a pastor) has asked, How is the marriage planning going?? But I know the answer. I have a lot of other thoughts on this than can fit in this post. It has to do with a single event, glorifying a day instead of the hard days. It is something others can speak to instead of the marriage, which society tells us is not the concern or business of the community. More on this another day.

Are you excited for the wedding/your big day? Are you excited to be getting married? [fill in your own variation]

Of course I'm looking forward to the wedding. Having so many people I love here to celebrate with us is going to be so wonderful. Of course I'm looking forward to the festivities and hoopla we've planned. I'm looking forward to experiencing the day. Of course I'm looking forward to seeing him at the end of the aisle as I walk down. Of course I'm looking forward to a week away with my favorite person. Of course I'm excited to be getting married.

But I'm looking forward to the marriage more. I'm looking forward to being married more. I tell grad students pretty often that the point of grad school is not to get in but to stick it out, do well, and get out. I think the same applies here. Everyone can get in, but it really takes something to stay in and thrive.

We don't go into marriage for the wedding's sake. We have a wedding for marriage's sake. The point isn't the wedding. The wedding is the celebration of a covenant commitment we make in front of friends and family to one another and our Creator. The point and the blessing and the challenge isn't saying I do...but in doing. In 50 days, we vow to love and honor and cherish one another. We pledge. We will ourselves to loving another. But the following day, in 51 days when I wake up, I need to take a moment to remember again that I do so that I will. What I vow in 50 days is a precursor to many days and moments of continuously saying I do and I will and then actually doing.

We ask how the wedding planning is going and not How are you learning to communicate with one another so when you hurt and disappoint you can ask for forgiveness in humility? We ask how the wedding planning is going and not How will you guard yourself from the temptations to be self-interested or to talk about the little irritations? Again, we focus on dresses and venues and the pretty details and not How will you make your spouse a priority every day? How will you guard against looking at attractive others or the temptation in thinking life would be better alone or with someone else when you hit those inevitable rough patches? How will you prize your spouse above all others, even if and when children come and take time and attention? How will you cultivate the relationship and love one another to help each other grow and thrive? How will you remain loyal and true to one another, keeping your vows, in the mundane and the hard times?

Those questions are weighty, aren't they? I've spent a lifetime thinking about them and wondering if I'd ever find someone I could (or would be willing to) consider them with. I am so grateful, so very thankful for this man. I've been so very blessed by having him in my life for who he is, how he speaks into my life, and how committed he is to our marriage. If we and an officiant show up and we are married at the end of the day, I think we both will consider that a very successful wedding regardless of what else happens. So in that sense, wedding planning is going well.


And now for fun, this week's quotable:
[Matt on treating our relationship as a team with various roles for team members] "I'm the official C.I.O. of this wedding and marriage. I also am the guy who shovels the sidewalks. All members wear several hats in this organization."