Before I get into the real blog post- if you haven't been over to my review blog lately, go check it out! I'm giving away a pair of See Kai Run shoes and a Baby or Toddler Bistro Box!
Have you all seen the movie City Slickers? I know, it's probably been a while. The main premise of the movie is that this middle-aged guy has gotten run down and tired from the demands of work and family life, and he has lost his joy. His wife sees this and sends him off on his own for a two-week trip and tells him "go and find your smile." I've been thinking about this a lot lately with my beloved husband.
As most of you know, we got married later in life, relatively speaking. I was 29 when we got married and Daniel was 38. He had lived on his own since he was in his early 20s. When we met he had a big, 3-bedroom house with plenty of space for his things, brand-new furniture, a fairly good sized savings account, a BMW and a motorcycle. Flash forward 5 years, and he lives in a 900 square foot condo, has a wife with a phobia of accumulating too much stuff, two cats who have destroyed his nice furniture, two kids that take up all his time when he's not at work, a vastly depleted savings account, a scooter (that he's trying to sell) and a Mazda.
I talk a lot here about the transitions in my life and the stress of finding my new identity as a mom of two small kids rather than as a career woman. I whine and I moan about lack of sleep and time to myself and loneliness. But the thing is, Daniel has gone through just as many changes and is under even more stress, since he's financially responsible for us. And he doesn't have a blog to vent in and he too rarely gets any time with friends or just to himself. When he gets home after spending an hour sitting in traffic on his commute from his very high-stress job, he immediately jumps into helping me with the kids' evening routines. He helps out with chores and cooking and then sometimes works several more hours after that. And you know what? He NEVER complains. Not one word. Not one comment that he's stressed or tired or overwhelmed. Never.
I'm a fairly self-centered person, so I have the tendency to take as much as Daniel will give, without stopping to realize how worn out he's getting. Since I'm one to speak up when I need something, I expect that others will do the same. And I've had to learn that Daniel doesn't do that, that I have to pay closer attention to him and be aware of his unspoken needs.
Yesterday, I got a travel email with info on a airline ticket sale. Fares right now to the city where one of his closest friends lives are really cheap, so I'm working on sending him off for a few days of just being himself again, without us or his job to weigh him down. I'm really praying hard that it'll work out. I asked him about the possibility of him going on this trip last night, and he looked so happy about the idea, so now I'm even more determined to get him on a plane. I need him to find his smile again. I hate that I've been (a large) part of his smile getting lost. He is such a blessing to me, and I don't want to keep taking him for granted.