Thursday, November 03, 2011

Ms. Happily-Ever-After

If there is a particular difference between the Mr. and me, it would be that he is much nicer to himself than I am to myself. Which I, left to the unspiritual me, often think is really selfishness. In fact, I think many women are vulnerable to this particular spiritual Achilles heel. We push and push ourselves and then look at our men and feel we are doing way more to keep things going then they are. Is it just me? Come on, be honest.
I'll give you an example, our twenty fifth wedding anniversary. Last year while we were away in St. Joseph we started talking about taking a longer trip for this year. Several months ago we started talking about cruises. A few months ago the Mr. mentioned booking a cruise and I said no. Too expensive. Can't take time off of work.
Similarly several months ago I mentioned in passing that I'd like a new wedding ring set. Over fifteen years ago I lost the diamond from my original solitaire engagement ring while building a fort in the back yard with daboyz. The Mr. heard me and in September he announced that he had gone ring shopping and wanted me to choose my new ring. I said no. Too expensive, don't need it.
On the other hand, I asked the Mr. what he wanted for our special anniversary and he quickly came up with a wish list and shortly thereafter had gone as far as Lansing in search of the acoustic bass guitar of his dreams and has narrowed it down to a few. He is now on the look-out for his anniversary gift.
Happily, if you stick it out with the same guy for long enough he figures you out and through some miracle, he learns to balance your craziness.
The Mr. sat me down at the computer and made me ring shop. Then he took me to a jewelry store. Then he put a ring in lay-away and finally at dinner on our anniversary he presented me with me new ring. We didn't book a cruise but we did plan a Michigan road trip that is going to be wonderful, a whole week long! Turns out, maybe we can afford and I can take the time off of work and even though I don't need it I can still open my arms to unnecessary happy things.
Women don't always know how to tend to their souls, we think the only places to seek joy are those that benefit others. Therein lies the resentful woman. The snarky Alice on the Honeymooners, the belittling Debra on Everybody Loves Raymond, the real-life b-word Kate of Jon & Kate + 8 (who became Kate, on her own, with 8.)
We women who secretly within our hearts sing a song, the lyrics of which are: I'm the only one_________, No one else____________, Nobody notices___________, Does anyone even appreciate_____________?
And my personal favorite, It would be nice if once in a while someone took care of me!
Ladies, listen to me, this is a good old-fashioned snare of the devil. We trip face first into this martyrdom and exhaust ourselves spiritually, emotionally and physically. And all of that exhaustion really doesn't make the lives of people around us all that better. They would actually all be better off with a happier wife, partner, sister, daughter, mom, friend. And guess whose job it is to find that happier girl?
You go girl, it's yours.
Now, don't think that I mean that you don't have responsibilities to your home and family. Don't tell me that in order to make others happy you have to be happy and that's the reason you live only for yourself. End of disclaimer.
What I want to know, and I mean I literally want to know the answer to this, is what makes your little heart happy? A quiet day at home (yes please!) or a night out with girlfriends or a romantic date night or a beautiful new pair of earrings or a walk around the neighborhood or a new mattress topper (ha!) or someone else to make dinner plans or or or or or? If you can't make a list of at least five things, that's your homework. If you cannot learn to take gentle care of yourself you are becoming a woman who is going to rob those around you of the blessing of your happiness. And that woman is mean. Women can be very mean, yes we can.
Make your list girls. Post it in comments, put it on your blog or your Facebook. Write it on a piece of paper and hang it on your fridge or your bathroom mirror. I dare you to enjoy.


Margie said...

WOW! that's good!

1. Dinner at Roma's
2. A day at the zoo
3. Scrapbooking
4. Cooking
5. Watching movies I love (top of the list - Invincible)

There are more, but these are in my top 10.

Margie said...

P.S. Thanks for chaging your font... and am I gonna get an answer about the rice? cooked or uncooked, and can we use brown?

Sara said...

Margie-Uncooked rice. You can use brown but it will take significantly longer to soften and require more liquid. And that font was giving me seizures when I proof-read.

Ginger said...

Hi Sara,

I'm working on a list, but that's now why I'm commenting. I just wanted to say that I like you, your real self that just jumps right off to page and makes me smile (or laugh out loud) again and again!

By the way, how about an update on the shoe project at your work?

Diane said...

What an insightful post and so very true. It is so easy to play into that role of self-scrificing saintess! I am so thankful for the years I had my husband with me and even more thankful that, as you say, he knew me well enough to MAKE me do some things all for me. It took a while for me to get the message, but I'm glad I did. I could not have done so without his constant encouragement and love. We are so very blessed to have these incredible men in our lives. I always enjoy reading your posts so much. You have spiritual wisdom and insight much beyond your years!

Becky said...

sewing on the couch
making meals seen at resteraunts
tuesday family movie night
watching louise lick all over ken's head
getting an "ah ha" moment in scripture
trip to salon for a trim