Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hiking Without Shoes

Last weekend, Mike suggested we get out of the city and go for a hike. Having been cooped up in the apartment for days with some form of tonsillitis, I felt well enough to get lost for a couple hours and the weather was practically kidnapping me to come outside. We woke up early, bought a hard salami and a block of cheese and two oranges, and drove an hour out of the city up near Bear Mountain.

As we winded our way along Route 106 we took note of the several inches of snow on the ground. We had been convinced most of it must have felted with the warm temperatures the day before. As I looked down at my mesh top sneakers, we shrugged it off, thinking the trail might be packed enough it would be okay. But when we parked and saw two cross country skiers wave as they passed us, we burst out realizing how under-equipped we were - we, who met at a wilderness tripping camp over a decade ago. But alas! That did not stop us. We carried on and found a nice lake with a closed but neatly plowed road to walk along and we did brave the 5-inch deep snow path towards the lake where we smashed snowballs against its frozen surface.  The hike did not look at all what we hoped for, but I suppose the hike wasn't really what the trip was all about.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Married Life: The Difference

When people ask me how married life is, I can't help but say, "Awesome." I once believed I would never marry, because in truth, I think I found it more romantic to find a life partner you travel the world with and together shirk all the social mores about marriage and career and tradition. I liked the idea of never having to officiate anything because what would a piece of paper do anyway? A license doesn't make a commitment. Just like having a religion doesn't make you a good person or having money doesn't make you happy. When people ask me if I feel there's a difference, I can't help but say, "Yes." In many ways, our lives are the same. We were living together for years before we married. Our routine is very much the same as it was before we said I do. The stresses are the same, the date nights the same, but the difference is in the moments when I find myself stepping up in a way that I didn't when I was "just a girlfriend." When I erase that thought He can fold his own socks with the act of folding my husband's socks I catch myself smiling at the simplicity of it all. I wonder if we never got married if I ever would have folded his socks for him. I wonder about respectability and value and identity. I wonder about all the big things within the small things. 

I can't pinpoint what feeling it is that makes me feel a surge of warmth when I hear him say my wife. I can't explain why I suddenly don't remember if he owes me $10 or more often than not, when I owe him. And even better, I can't explain what it means to me when in venting about my finances for the week, he hands me an unexpected $20 bill. When we talk about our joint savings account, a new one we opened just before the wedding with one specific goal in mind, we have shifted out of the mindset of are we both contributing 50/50 and into the trust that one of us may be up and one of us may be down but in the end we'll get there. 

We have always been building a life together, for almost six years now, but now we are building a family. Even if it just the two of us for a long time, we are building our family, helping each other achieve our individual dreams, taking care of each other not just for the present moment but for what lies ahead, for who we both become, and we have created the most awesome 2-person team I could ever want. I don't think it is the license that has inspired this shift. But maybe it is the trust we have given each other. Maybe it was in planning a big celebration and arguing over things that didn't matter to cover up the fears we were really experiencing and successfully pulling it all off. But I think some of it is due in part, despite my younger ideas on love and marriage and romance, that getting married was the most romantic thing we could have ever done and it allowed us to fall in love with each other in a completely new way. It gave us a new kind of love and respect for each other - the kind of love that doesn't mind folding his socks.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Screw That Groundhog

We got chicks! Dare I say, Spring is a-coming!

(These unfortunately are not mine)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Kindness Project

Today at work, I was presented by a lovely paper flower from a group of children as a thank you for helping the community. The gesture was part of our Kindness Project in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and an echoing lesson we are stringing through school discussions while learning about the Civil Rights movement.

I can't tell you how touched I was to get this flower that, unlike other flowers, will not die, wilt away, and smell like mildewy sludge until I empty the grimy vase. It can sit for as long as I like on my desk, stabilized by my canister of pens and pencils as a reminder that a little act of kindness can go a long way.