I love you, but….

I truly believe that my husband is my other half. No one, not my ex-husband, former boyfriends, friends or even family have seemed so close to me in my entire life. We are very similar, but with enough difference to keep life interesting. We genuinely enjoy spending time together, he’s my best friend and my first choice of who I want to hang out with, always. That said, because he is so much like me, there are times he gets on my last good nerve. These times don’t happen often, but this weekend it happened.

My husband is smart, well read on so many topics and loves to debate is his point, often to the “death”. I love his passion and while 90% of the time we are on the same side of the debate, the times we aren’t, watch out. Again, being we are so similar, I too have great passion and we will get into heated debates. Nothing too serious and without fail at the end of the day we can put anything aside, because nothing is more important than our relationship. This weekend the debates were more with his mom, which is where his passion comes from. I woke up yesterday asking if he had apologized to his mom yet, as I really felt he crossed a line. He had not and had no intention of doing so. I let it go, as I was in no mood to ruin my Sunday with carry-over drama from the day before.

This got me thinking about the shit we let go for the sake of the relationships in our lives. Not just with a spouse, but we all make allowance for those people closest to us, allowances we would not afford a stranger on the street. My husband’s mother is a perfect example. While I feel he owes his mom an apology, not because he was wrong, but for how he handled himself, I am typically on the opposite side of her in most of the time. We don’t have the same views on many thing, yet it doesn’t keep me from loving her and having a wonderful relationship. When she pushes me too far, I tend to physically remove myself, as I don’t want to be disrespectful and the debates are usually nothing so personal that I feel I need to cross a line to make my point. There have been friends I have fallen out contact with because we were on the opposite side and I couldn’t let it go any longer. Maybe it is due to the changing political climate over the past several years, but what was once water cooler talk seems to have a far greater personal impact than it once did. I don’t completely cut everyone out of my life who doesn’t see things the way I do, that is not how mature adults act. You have to find a balance.

What is your line in the sand? What are the things you can’t let slip, no matter the stakes? I have a few, but this isn’t really about  what pushes me to the breaking point, but how I handle it when I’m there. I do not like confrontation, I don’t know many people that do, other than my husband upon occasion. Since I will do pretty much whatever it takes to avoid confrontation, often my first reaction is to give the benefit of the doubt. To excuse a comment or behavior as an isolated slip in judgement. The second time, well, as the saying goes, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. That is when I will make every effort to talk to the person about how I feel and how their behavior is affecting me. If there is open and productive dialogue, even if we can’t come to an agreement, I can agree to disagree and move on. I have said my peace, they know how I feel and should things escalate in down the road, they know where I stand. However, if my attempt to have a mature discussion is met with defense and devolves into an argument, well I have no problem cutting my losses. I’ve gotten to a point in my life were I don’t need to be “right”, I just need to be heard and if someone can’t hear my side, well, whatever relationship I thought I had with them wasn’t at all what I thought. Yes, it hurts to walk away from friend and even family member, but there is also very freeing to have that weight lifted, because as time passes you come to realize what a burden those relationships can be.

So, you can love someone with all your heart and still be annoyed with them, doesn’t mean you don’t love them, you may not like them in that moment. And you can let go of someone you thought you loved when you start not liking yourself for what you put up with to keep them in your life.

An unplanned epic weekend

I’m a planner. It is my nature to plan and organize, whether its meals, weekends, events or vacations. That’s not to say I can’t be spontaneous, I can, but when things need to be planned, I am in my element.

This past weekend was originally going to be nothing special. A nice quiet weekend with no plans, just go with the flow. Friday morning I get a message asking if I want to attend the U2 concert. HELLO… SURE! While I have never been a huge U2 fan, they are legends and as my mother taught me long ago, when you get the opportunity to see a legend, you take it. When I was 18 the Rolling Stones came to town and again, I was not a huge fan. My mom got me tickets for my birthday. I still remember how I protested, I did NOT want to go, but to this day I am so glad I did. I have seen the Rolling Stones, wow. And now I can say I have seen U2 and it was beyond any expectations I had. I love concerts. Live music is simply amazing. I have seen some of the best performers live and I can say U2 had the best show from a production stand point I have ever seen. I had also forgotten now many songs from the Joshua Tree album (which they played in it’s entirety) I loved. Bono remains passionate about causes near and dear to his heart and isn’t afraid to talk about them, even in a deep red state with our “Trump light” governor in attendance. It was emotional and beautiful and the performance was amazing.

Saturday started out with no plans, but like Friday, it took a fabulous turn. First we checked a major item off the family “to do” list: we bought a new mattress set. I have found as I talked to folks about the need to tackle this, mattress shopping is a very big deal. Unlike any other furniture, your bed truly needs to be the perfect purchase. You spend 8 hours (if you are lucky) every night in your bed. It is required to comfort and cradle you, to ensure you drift off into restful slumber so you awake the next day refreshed and ready to take on the day. When you are sick its a safe haven that protects you from the outside world and provides a place to recover. When your mattress fails you, life is off balance somehow.

Shopping for a mattress is an odd process. Yes, you sit on a chair or sofa when you shop, but rarely do you lay down and attempt to make yourself comfortable….IN FRONT OF STRANGERS! And silly me, I thought enough ahead to wear sandals so I could easily remove my shoes to test drive the mattresses, but not enough to realize a short sundress was a HORRIBLE idea. So there I was, awkwardly trying to get into  bed after bed, attempting to appear to be testing the comfort level and  all I was thinking was “am I flashing everyone?”. Finally we settled on a set, but honestly, they all felt the same to me, so I hope we made the right decision. We have a 120 night sleep test, which sounds like a great thing, but the return sounds like a huge hassle. Removing a king sized bed is no easy task, so unless I wake in as much pain and misery as I have been of late, not to mention being more exhausted than when I went to bed, this bad boy will be home to stay. And if our track record holds, it will be our mattress for MANY years.

After the successful shopping trip, we were invited to some friends’ house to just hang out. We listened to music, had some adult beverages and just chatted about all kinds of fun, stress-free topics. It was a nice summer evening.  It is interesting how the dynamic of a group can shift when another person joins. Another lady joined us later in the evening. She was very nice and outgoing, I’m sure under other circumstances we would have a great time hanging out. I could tell fairly early on that there was a heaviness about her. The mood shifted to political talk, which always gets heated and impassioned. It was getting late and after the very late night on Friday, we used that as an excuse to make our exit. Apparently our timing was perfect, as after we left the woman had  full emotional meltdown. Perhaps is happened because we were gone, but I am grateful we were not there to witness it. Being emotional support for my friends is something I do well- I’m a good listener and I try to give sound advice when it is asked of me or simply comforting words and support when its not. But to deal with a stranger’s emotional breakdown, that is a bit too much for a Saturday night.

Sunday was Father’s Day. I do not have a relationship with my father. I had emotional closure many years ago, so it no longer affects me. Father’s Day is meant to be a day to honor my husband who is a wonderful father to his two children, as well as our furkids,  and my father in-law who I could not love more. I’m very lucky to have the love and support of my in-laws, especially since my parents are absent from my life. Family gatherings are always interesting for us. My husband has a brother who is the polar opposite of him in every way, except one; their need to debate and be right. Yesterday was no exception. As we finished dinner they got into a debate on government funding and it got heated…VERY heated. I am not even sure they noticed that everyone left the room, leaving them alone to battle their points. The epic debates between the two are so legendary it was decided that a safe word was needed so the rest of us could call it out to put a stop to any discussion we felt was getting out of hand, as they rarely can see this for themselves. I was very impressed that they were able to escalate, argue and come back to a place of calm without anyone using the safe word. Maybe they are maturing…. at 46 and 42 years of age.

As I sit here this Monday morning thinking back on my weekend, one that I had no plans or hopes of greatness- it was truly one epic 72 hours.