Category Archives: Marriage

Attack Panic

Growing up has more to do with battles fought on the inside than with the passing of time.

There are events that came with what I thought was ‘growing up’.
With birthday parties, graduation ceremonies, a wedding and a first baby, a lot of life has flown by to make me feel properly ‘grown up’.

Smaller events that mark my road add to this feeling. Getting a driving license, opening a savings account (to, y’know, actually SAVE money from that first salary I got so excited about), buying insurance and using a kettle with a lifetime warranty. [<<How did this happen?!]

The list of roles I play(ed) in the greatest show of my life grows.
To my family, a baby girl to middle kid to rebel child to arrogant youth to girlfriend, fiancée, wife and now to someone new, a mother.
To friends, a sporadic friend.
To my employers, a resource.
To the economy, a consumer, a driver, an asset and a drain.

What am I to myself?
Now there, in defining that, is where the growing up happens. It’s in that honest exploration of my innermost Self that I realise I cannot be me without faith.

Stay with me.
Faith is seeing what is real but invisible.
Faith is trusting.
Faith is pushing past fear and doubt.
Faith is courageous acceptance of something greater than what is staring me in the face.

So, you see, faith for me is an essential part in the process of growing up. Faith helps me to see what I am because it attacks the fear that drives me to be someone I’m not. Growing up is learning to be myself without fear.

Attack panic.

{But HOW?!
If you want to tell me how you attack panic or want to know more of how I attack panic, leave me a comment and let’s talk}

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Fall Fashion

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My September Issue involved a bit more fall fashion than I hoped for. Shortly after my last post in 2012, I had a nasty fall (an accident) which altered more than just my wardrobe for my favourite season. My right shoulder got dislocated. One arm a hand longer than the other. No big deal right? Ouch but they can just click it back in and you’re good to go. So I thought. After slotting my bones back in place as best he could, my emergency doctor cheers me with the fact that the majority of shoulder dislocations recur and they get less painful after the 10th time or so. Good news for me though, I could be recommended for surgery because my shoulder dislocated in a particularly gruesome manner. Not exactly the comfort I was expecting. Throughout my ‘recovery’ I was the pet shoulder-trauma case study for the local teaching hospital. Glad to be of service to mankind but I wish it could have been in a less painful way.

I had the mandatory fixed sling wrapped around my body which I rocked under my top for 4 weeks. Autumn was the best season for this as I could layer with flowy fabrics and disguise the lack of an arm. Small, everyday things became mountains to climb and I slowly learnt to accept the overwhelming amount of love, care and support I was shown. My students had no complaints about my left-hand writing, my bosses were kind and my friends cheered me up no end. My husband and I grew a lot closer. He washed my hair, dried and styled it. That in itself deserves a medal. He also helped me bathe, get dressed, hardly slept because he kept propping me up so I could sleep in a seated position, opened doors, cut my food up for me, did all the household chores we normally share, put up with my bouts of depressed sobbing, helped me re-focus when I thought of all the short-term ways my life was being affected and encouraged me to go ahead and start my diploma in management like I wanted. This was definitely a big lesson in marriage and love.

Fast-forward through physiotherapy and winter to the time I stopped working full-time to focus on my diploma. Apparently, the risk of me having another painful dislocation was too high as the things holding my bones in place were mere threads now. I ended up having surgery, and going through 4 weeks of a fixed sling again with new opportunities to accept incredible love and support. I learnt a lot of German, met brilliant people, regained strength and movement in my right arm, learnt how to write again, conquered a lot of fears, passed an exam, enjoyed a brilliant summer of getting healthy and now on Day 43 of Insanity, can do a full push-up.

Things wither and nearly die but with seemingly small amounts of faith, hope and love, they can come back to life.

Little by little, things change.

Pictures clockwise from top left: At a concert 3 days after my fall with my sling disguise. My left-hand handwriting. The first long autumn walk that didn’t hurt too much: a blessed birthday. The diploma underway. Hospital food served by wonderful nurses. My lovely hospital room where I received so much help pre- and post-surgery.

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Long Island Iced Tea

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When I decided on this thing called marriage I knew I had to make some pretty incredible promises. I promised the love of my life that I would above all, prioritise our relationship. I would always work hard at keeping ‘us’. My promises mean that I make time for us even when there are a million other things that I just have to do. I love having many things on the go at the same time so carving out special time for just the two of us can be tricky. A life-lesson I choose to learn everyday. I have to give my full attention to the one I made my promises to and re-discover why I made them! It is easy to roll off a few tender sounding goodbye phrases without thinking but when I realise that they were the only interaction we had all week, some alarm bells start ringing.

My husband has an amazing ability to slow down and give me a hug whatever is going on and I sometimes wish I was quicker at giving and receiving love when I’m in the middle of something. Truth is, I’m always going to be in the middle of something. I need to choose. I need to prioritise. My laundry, lesson-planning, hosting, baking and other things can fit around what’s really important. In an effort to get my mind to leave what my hands have left behind, I have to ask questions. I get my mind to focus on our conversation rather than the task I busied myself with earlier. This tests my promises more than anything I had ever anticipated.

We spent a Saturday strolling along the long island in the middle of the Danube, baking slowly in the sun as we watched various groups of people enjoying time out together. We spoke very little for the first part of our 5 mile walk because we had some quarrel so unimportant I cannot even remember what it was about. As we marched through our conflicted feelings, drinking our iced teas to avoid snapping, we both reached the end of our stubborn resistance and through gritted teeth conceded that we loved each other. That gave way to remembering the promises we had made. This softened us to the point of wanting to understand each other, asking questions without being distracted by the activity or beauty around us, to become interested in the answers. We decided to be interested in ‘us’.

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Starter for 10

There are few things I relish more than a leisurely breakfast. I usually don’t make time for this important meal during the week however, as I relish my sleep more. A muesli bar on the train to work usually does the trick until I find time to get a second. In an effort to revolutionise my poor eating habits, I have chosen to simply start work at 10 a.m. on two days a week. So far, so good. The temptation to cram more productivity into my waking hours is creeping in but for the sake of my health and wellbeing, I hereby recommit to guarding my breakfast-time like a dog guards a bone.

The best part of slowing down is the quality-time I get to spend with my husband when he is cogent. A vast improvement on the 6:30 a.m. comatose version. We get to catch up in reverse. Look forward, speculate and share trivia. Not just which sock finally found its partner in the laundry basket but also our favourite didyouknows. I think we would have both been amazing at University Challenge. Then again, I’m still not sure why the sky is blue. Maybe I shall find out before our next starter for 10.

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Better Together

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The last few days have been heavy on the milestone-making and light on the mundane. The highlight of them all was the birth of my nephew on Friday. What affected me most was the tidal wave of support and encouragement produced for the parents-to-be. It was stunning to see how they got through the long and exhausting labour together. Personal victories are much better shared and better yet are the shared victories.

Today, my husband and I went through our wedding photos with some friends,
re-living our happy celebration exactly one year on. I was enjoying reminiscing of course but it was fantastic to share the completion of one exciting year of married life with new friends. Friends who I couldn’t imagine knowing a mere 365 days ago.

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There are places I want to go and new experiences I want to have but more often than not, I have no clue where or how it will be. The constants in my life take the fear out of the unknown and replace it with anticipation and excitement. I would like to Vespa across Europe, for example, but only with the love of my life. Colour-coordination is par for the course.

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There are some things that are great by themselves and there are others that are better together. Recently, I found this strange and wonderful combination of strawberry and pineapple preserve in one of my all-time favourite shops and I keep telling myself that I must give it a try. I don’t know how the combo works but it definitely looks interesting and experience-stretching. Two fairly normal fruits might just be perfect put together. Without insulting my husband too much with the fruit analogy, I feel blessed to be with someone so different. I think we’re better together.

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