Not much has been going on the past couple weeks - work on the house has slowed a bit, not that for a lack of things to do but more to just sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor for a week or two. I have a list of things to get done by the end of the month before Nerf, Lindz and Beckett get here, but it's fairly minor. I did purchase a pair of nice shovels at The Home Depot so I can start to clean the exterior as the weather is shaping up. Good times; chance to work on the farmer's tan.
Last Saturday only a couple hours was spent on the house, after which Paula gave her blessing for me to participate in frivolous guy-time activities. I went over to Greg's where we started up Nitemare Symfony, currently doing shows throughout
Speaking of Paula, it was our anniversary this week - Round 2 of a lot of rounds. So far we're both still standing, so that's good. We managed to pick up a house, a daughter, some frequent flyer miles and a couple pounds this second half of this year of marriage, so we were pretty busy. But busy is good; keeps Paula out of mischief. She can really wear me out sometimes - forgetting to do the little things, wasting time gaming and forcing me to go to scary movies - so being busy has slowed her down a bit. She goes to bed at a decent hour now, not staying up till all hours of the night gaming online with teenagers and 40 year old men living with their mothers. Sometimes it's like there are two kids I'm trying to raise and I wonder if she’ll ever help me clean up after dinner. But I love her anyway, and she makes me laugh, so it's cool.
But, moving back to Earth from Bizarro World…
I’ve known I wanted to put a post up in commemoration of two years as The Roberts Family, but I haven’t really known what to say. I reviewed last year’s anniversary post and it was pretty good. I could have probably reposted it, changed a couple things and it would have worked for this year. But that’s sorta weak. And I’m not one to be sensitive, or rather put the sensitivity I may have on display for the world. It’s a conundrum.
As I’ve been thinking about our marriage, it’s led me down some interesting trails of thought – not only about our marriage but relationships in general. Reflecting on why I love Paula and what makes our marriage work, I can’t help but chuckle at the uniqueness of it. A perfect example is how Paula was cool with me being gone from to hanging out with Greg; there are a lot of wives who would not have let that happen, or at least not without making their husband feel like the world’s worst. It’s like how we go to the movies theater together but buy tickets for different movies once we get there. She’ll go and watch Becoming Jane while I check out Live Free Or Die Hard.
I'm a big-picture kind of guy - I can see things from a large, long-range view and work from that vantage point to accomplish a task. The little details, however, I am not good at. Not at all. If I can't set up the bill pay online so it's automatic, there will definitely be months where we get a double bill. Finding things around the house is hard for me - not because I have a bad memory, but the thing is usually small and I just miss it.
Conversely, Paula is detail-oriented. She is uber-organized and our house is always spotless; everything has a place and everything in its place; lists abound. People tease her about it (myself included) but make no mistake - if there's something that needs to be done that has a lot of moving parts, Paula gets the phone call. It's not a glamorous talent but is one that our household could go without. Now that Paula's learning Quicken, we'll never get our phone disconnected because I forgot to pay it (it happened - twice) and we are going to save over $600 a year in car insurance because she's so good at the details. When it comes to matters on the home front, I can honestly say I have no worries
As I was reflecting on our differences I was surprised how many things we differ on. I thought we had a ton in common – and we do; the list is easily as long of things we have in common – but there is a lot we are different on, or the one has a strength that is the other's weak point. It ends up being quite a complimentary pairing:
Paula: Details/Current needs
Paula: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
As you can see, the balance is uncanny.
In previous relationships, I was always doing 'sweet' things - writing flowery prose, elaborate gifts, driving hundreds (even thousands) of miles for the other half of the relationship. I don't do that now - I don't think I've ever written a poem or the like for Paula. And it doesn't have anything to do with my affections for her, because I love her far more then anyone else - look at the lengths I went to even be in a position to date her (quit job, ended relationship, moved to different state, etc...)
The reason I did those things before was because I was putting everything I could into the relationship and it wasn't enough, so I had to put more in to sustain it. In every one of those relationships, my emotional bank account became overdrawn and the relationship would crumble and end.
I never feel like I have to give more than I can with Paula; sure, there’s times when more is required of me (or vice versa) and we have to dig into some emotional savings, but it’s the exception, not the rule. It’s an incredible and reassuring feeling to know your best is enough for your other half – whether in business, friendship or marriage, the principal remains the same – and that your shortcomings will be accounted for and forgiven as long as you keep trying. If one person is always making all the effort to keep the relationship together, or one is making constant demands with little return, the relationship will crumble and end.