Saturday, July 9, 2011

July 9, 2011 ~ Day 211
Angel On My Shoulder

Sometimes Life makes better plans for us than we make for ourselves.

That thought flashed through my mind today as I drove down a street not far from our house to pick up a birthday gift for my dear friend's sweet daughter.

As I idled in beach traffic I happened to see a familiar looking figure walking toward where my truck sat.

Sure enough, it turned out to be the ex-boyfriend I'd lived with a million years ago.

Haven't seen that guy in at least ten years. But, it was very clearly him.

A decade ago, this random sighting would've flustered or upset me. There was a lot of blood in the water during our breakup and to the best of my knowledge he is now married to the woman he left me for.

Not to mention, I didn't handle any of it well at the time ~ definitely was NOT the queen of graceful endings ~ so ten or eleven years ago, this near run-in would've smacked of my own humiliation.

Today though, seeing him walk by barely registered, more of a... "Oh look, there's Sam*... " and then I continued on up the street in my truck, turning my attention back easily to the birthday present and the party we'd been looking forward to attending as a family.

In fact, the brief Sam sighting didn't pop back into my head until later tonight as my own husband fell asleep with his head on my shoulder when we sat on the couch relaxing after a party. Gazing affectionately upon his wonderful, handsome face with all of its familiar curves, angles and lines - I couldn't help think to myself,

"I am so blessed that it worked out this way."

Obviously I can't help but think I ended up with the best man; and when I look back upon the last decade that my husband and I have spent together it is hard to imagine anyone else who could possibly have ridden through so many rough currents with me and yet continued to forge confidently ahead in the way that my husband has done.

I was always the optimist in every relationship I had until I met my husband, and I'll be honest - he is truly even more optimistic than I am.

Throughout every tough situation we've tackled together, he has always been the one to live in total confidence that things would turn out all right. From the exciting but unplanned pregnancy which derailed our engagement and turned us into "Insta-marrieds" (but totally worth it!), to the treacherous road we walked with my father's Alzheimer's, to the excruciating anxiety ridden pregnancy with our third child, to my mysterious health issues that turned out to be lyme disease and autoimmunity... a down economy which has significantly impacted our household budget right during the years when we'd decided to become a single income family so that I could raise our children myself, I'd say that there hasn't really been a time in the last seven years ~ other than possibly the last four months ~ that either of us would characterize as easy.

Heck, we had three children in five years... that alone is enough to give any couple a run for their sanity. Time alone together has become something more precious than we'd ever fathomed it could be. Even tonight, as my husband held my hand and rested his head on my shoulder, our nearly six year old son came out of his bedroom and announced very loudly - "DADDY! IT'S GETTING LATE! YOU NEED TO GO TO BED, WE HAVE A BIG DAY TOMORROW!!!"

Ah, romance...

Through it all though, my husband has embraced each new bump in our road with a totally relaxed, peaceful confidence. He was thrilled about our unexpected baby and excited to become a Dad. He believed that somehow my father's Alzheimer's would wrap up before the family finances for special nursing care were totally drained, and he was always very kind to my father under all circumstances - even on Dad's "crazy" days.

Despite all of the bad things doctors told us might be wrong with our third baby, he believed very stubbornly throughout the entire wretched pregnancy that she would be just fine - and she WAS. She is! She is absolutely amazing, strong, healthy as an ox, and just as stubborn as her daddy.

Even during the hardest months of my illness when things were at their worst and the tension and financial stress were really crushing my spirit and stifling the breathing room in our home, my husband believed that I would get better - that we would be fine - that everything was alright.

At the time, his refusal to acknowledge how daunting the problem looked really frustrated me. He adamantly held to faith that I would be well and get ALL of my groove back, at a time when I myself wasn't sure... was searching desperately, fearfully and at a furious pace for answers.

Yet in the end, I *found* the answers and he WAS right about even my health! Slowly but surely it IS coming back. I am no longer a shadow or shade of myself... I am once again vibrant, energetic, hopeful, optimistic and mainly full of health. I'm working and bringing in income. I've got plenty of strength to take care of our kids. People comment on how much better I look.

It's great, and once again, my husband's unwavering belief led the way.

Now that I know more about the Law of Attraction, wherein you hold positive thoughts and mental pictures of what you most want right in the forefront of your mind... and refuse to pay attention to (or allow yourself to devolve into fear over) the more negative issues you face, I've explained a little of the theory to him.

"It's funny," he laughs, "because I'm not really a New-Agey kind of guy but I actually agree with a lot of that."

"I know you do! It's exactly how you live your life!"

My husband may sincerely be the physical embodiment of 'living in a positive vibration'. He genuinely believes that all will be well, and it is. He feels that focusing on the negative will draw it to you, and he refuses to even entertain negative possibilities in his thinking.

"If it happens, I'll deal with it," is his mantra - and then he lets it go.

* * * * * * *

I find it amazing that I've married a red-blooded American male who lacks patience for organized religion but is more spiritual than I am; a sarcastic wit who pokes fun at New Age thinkers but then cheerfully admits that he agrees with and lives according to many of their strongest beliefs!

I'm pretty sure that my husband is my spiritual teacher... someone who shows me daily by example how to live lightly. Sometimes the lessons I've learned from him about patience and faith have been hard for me; there have been moments when I've wanted a partner who would sympathize with me and buy into the drama of it all; someone who would cry with me.

In the end, I'm so glad that he never allowed himself to be my enabler, never sank with me into a pity party for two. In retrospect, his optimism and constancy have been my life raft all along.

My husband is tenacious, loyal and committed. He lives by values of integrity and hard work, infused with rigorous exercise and having fun. He's an outstanding father, the very best I could've hoped for our children, and whenever we actually get ten minutes alone together I remember that he is also one of my best friends.

Neither of us are really the same people that we were when we met a decade ago, but I can say with total certainty that when I look at my husband even now as he sleeps, exhausted, snoring gently with his head on my shoulder... I still feel that surge of strong energy; still see the man I love.

Despite many complexities, ups and downs, surprises and hard knocks along the road we've traveled together ~ I know that Life definitely had a better plan for me than I'd once made for myself.

I am so grateful for my truest partner ~ this kindhearted, optimistic, confident, steadfast, (much-loved!) good man.

*Name changed

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