Sunday, February 7, 2016

winter contemplations

A January sunset, beautiful and bitterly cold.

January was a dreary month. Can I confess that I miss mild and warmer weather? I am anxious for summer again!

Coming into the new year, I am aware I need to balance work and play better than I have been. I work at my day-care/preschool job and, then, I come home to do more work....meals, cleaning, and maintenance of the home. I do not allow myself to rest often and that, I believe, has contributed to my decline of health. I think this will be a year of learning to balance these life routines. 

My journey towards health and emotional wholeness has been rocky and haphazard. I am still trying to listening to my body, to learn what it needs and when. I am seeing a gentle herbalist at my favorite local Durango herb shop. She is helping me focus on key plants and nutrients to feed my body. It will take time to reap long term benefits on this path, but I sense that I am more stabilized since beginning my routine of herb tinctures and homeopathy.  I am giving my adrenals lots of Vitamin C, B complex, and magnesium...building blocks for energy, immunity, and stress management. I love the way my medicine bottles look together, so I had to snap a photo to remember...


One piece at a time, our cozy two bedroom apartment is becoming a place of personality and rest. These are just a couple of the many new items that have found a place in our home. I admit that I have been feeling rather materialistic lately. I am pondering why I feel guilty about spending money on house decor and kitchen items. It's not as if I am blowing money without any forethought. I have spent long hours carefully selecting which items I plan to buy, each of their purpose in our space, and finding the best deal for the style I am looking for. Yet, even with all my wise planning, I still feel tinges of guilt. You see, I grew up in a very privileged family. We always had money. We never wanted for anything. We were a thriving and well-to-do middle class family. As much as I loved being comfortable, I began to slowly, over time, resent our comfy lifestyle because I sensed the relational factor in my family was becoming rather dull and shallow (for many reasons that I knew nothing about at the time!) and that much of our emphasis was placed on money and stuff. Ever since then, I have pushed away from wanting a typical modern American lifestyle of comfort because I sensed that it distracts from the things in life that are most valuable. It certainly can and does, but obviously that doesn't make a comfortable lifestyle in and of itself a sin. Yet, in my heart, it is hard to separate the two. I still equate materialism (even a healthy and wise approach to spending) to a shallow, dull, and distracted life. That's why I feel guilt mingling with my excitement as I purchase items for our place. I haven't been able to shake myself free from it. I truly believe it is important to create beautiful spaces at home. It's important to come home to an inviting space at the end of the day instead of just bare white walls and empty rooms. Perhaps I just haven't reconciled certain things from my past life with my present life. As I find time and again, my past continues to echo loudly into my present in the most unexpected places. It's as if I keep referencing the past as a guide on how to live my new life as an adult, married, living away from my family and all that was once familiar. However, as I am learning, the past is not the best reference for such matters, especially when drastic changes have taken place in such a short amount of time. That was then, this is now. Two different lives, two different seasons. My only guide can be Jesus. In Him, there is no shame, no guilt, no regret. I want to bold with Him, to have courage to face and accept my present life with gratitude.

 As always, the most important part of my life is my husband and our marriage. In just a few days we will celebrate three full married years together. I cannot grasp that we have lived in three different states in just three years! We were both thinking on this wild journey recently and kind of laughing at ourselves. From day one, we threw ourselves intensely into our marriage and our life goals together. After three years of burning hot, we are aware of how much we have worn ourselves down by making it such an upward climb. Sometimes, I observe and try to understand married couples who are super laid-back and know how to play and have fun and take everything in stride. How do they do that, I wonder? My husband and I, although vastly different in our hobbies and interests, are very much alike in temperament. Introverted, intense, idealistic, and we pour our heart and soul into whatever pursuit we feel strongly about. We do both take different approaches (my husband being the more pragmatic, money-savvy one! haha), but everything we do has to be done with a full, invested heart or not at all. Because of this, we suffer from strong emotional highs and lows. Let me just say, married life with someone of the same temperament is pretty intense, particularly when experiencing dramatic life changes and transitions. Somewhere along the way, we became very drained and forgot how to simply have fun. I think adulthood does this to almost everyone, unfortunately. And, sadly, I recognize that this intensity factor of my personality/temperament is part of the reason why I have never had many close friends (haha, my idea of "fun" has always been about being fiercely introspective and contemplative about ALL the deep things of life - one of the many reasons Nolan and I connected from the first time we met). I am starting to create a self-dialogue in my mind to ease myself away from always turning on the burner about every little thing. It's hard, but I think I need to give myself some slack and learn how to "just have fun" for once in my life - in small, doable, and enjoyable ways. I think as we enter into our fourth married year, I want to try to just smile and play more. I want to give my husband those opportunities to enjoy life and laugh again. Sometimes, it's the very, very simple things that nurture a marriage relationship. Marriage is a field in which you are constantly learning and having to adapt and take up new skills....skills that can be as simple as laughing and playing. And those are some memories I want to make with this love of mine.

Christmas with my man, 2015.


  1. Listen to an ENFP, you NEED to have fun hehe. You definitely take certain things too seriously! Not that I am trying to downplay how you feel or who you are, of course not! But I think there is evidence even in the fact that you feel guilty about having nice things that maybe it is the root of this seriousness. Of course we are both deep thinkers and everything has to have meaning for us, but sometimes light and silly things can sweeten life, marriage, and families in ways that you'll remember for the rest of your life. A lot of my fond memories of my parents and Adrian revolve around being silly or lighthearted. We both place extremely hard expectations on ourselves, and let's be honest, when you LIVE like that it sucks the joy right out of you. I hope this year you can be loosely goal minded. You guys are in a good place materialistically speaking, so enjoy those things! Enjoying little things and having fun will heal your health too. There's so much evidence on positivity and joy improving and elongating life. I am kind of giggling because my birthday present to you is entirely fun in theme so I hope it helps. ;-) Love you guys and I truly believe if you take it easier on each other and yourselves, you'll bloom!!

    1. haha! Duly noted. :-P Yeah, I admit that my serious and intensely feeling nature has its letdowns. I do wish I could lighten up more easily sometimes. I think recognizing and acknowledging it is the first step. haha! I do remember how nice it feels to just be silly and have fun. Having to step into adulthood all at once has played a huge part in my forgetting to enjoy life. But you're right - having fun would help boost my health. I have noticed I feel somewhat better when I am laughing a lot around friends. I definitely want to seek out enjoyment in the simple things this year for myself and for Nolan. :) I look forward to this birthday present you speak of! hehe! Also, being able to visit you all next month will be FUN FUN FUN! :-D

    2. Yep! Adulthood brought me down low too, so I totally understand. Fun is what makes the hard times worth it, so live it up while you can! I can't wait for you to visit and your present was sent today so should be there soon! :-D