Sunday, January 19, 2014


I've been thinking a lot lately about balance.

Balancing family and work and faith and media and finance and health and......

I recently purchased the new issue of Real Simple magazine and the entire issue was about balance. So many stories and tips and during this hospitalization I have delved into it getting ideas that are practical for my life.

However, the one editorial that has stuck with me most out of the entire issue said this (and I wish I could quote the entire thing but it isn't in front of me):
it said that the fact that we were looking for balance should be seen as a luxury in itself. It probably meant we were not working two or more jobs. It said that it was a class phenomenon that we thought we deserved to be happy, rather than just clothed and fed.

This  humbled me. She is exactly right. We are not promised that life would or even should be happy and easy and equal. In fact, if anything, we are promised the opposite. I am not saying that we should not strive for happy. I believe wholeheartedly that we should strive for balance and equality and overall happiness. Perhaps it would be easier to be satisfied with life if we all kept this in mind as we continue to search for balance in the chaotic reality in which we live.

The issue did what it set out to helped me find a bit of perspective and a bit of balance. I am feeling more than just a little blessed this morning. In fact, there isn't balance or moderation in how blessed I feel....My cup runneth over.

I made this little video while Mickey slept and I was sleepless last night. Truly we have no balance when it comes to love...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Have I Loved You Well?

I am sitting in the waiting room right now as my beloved lies open a table getting a pretty big surgery today. I have been anticipating this day since we learned of his cancer. I just wanted to get this thing out and get the final staging and make a plan for the future.

The surgery itself has never worried me. if anything,  I have been mostly consumed with what I cannot control, which is "what if it comes back in three years?"

I learned last weekend that Mickey's mind has been mostly concerned with this surgery. What if something happens on the table? Etc. These thoughts are not unwarranted fears as I have had a cousin and uncle who went in for very routine elective procedures and had significant complications that nearly took their lives. Mickey has been nervous about this surgery getting complicated.

Really, I should not be surprised by the differences in where our worries lay, because Mickey tends to stay in the here and now while my mind is usually looking way far ahead.

The past month has been stressful. This cancer diagnosis has come as a big blow to us. There are already so many unknowns regarding our future and it's hard for me to feel so much confusion about what is the right thing for our lives and where is the right place etc. It's hard being so far from family through cancer and hydrops. There are many days that I have felt very alone and have thought of all the what ifs and truly not known what is the best thing for us to do in all of those different circumstances.
When we discussed Mickey's fears,  I suddenly started thinking about those things too and I also temporarily got concerned about the surgery and something going wrong.

 I started feeling even more emotional and wondering about all the things I could have done differently. Had I loved him well enough? Did he feel a full life with me? Had he done all he wanted to do? Was he satisfied with life with me and the kids?
I didn't know the best way to talk about these things with him without coming across as negative, but Monday night I decided it was a conversation that we needed to have.
I asked him those very questions. I know that in our [almost] eight years of marriage! we have seen and done and gone through more than many people do in a lifetime.....and with that comes a great deal of stress. I got my masters degree, he got his PhD, we have lived in three states and had four children and battled prematurity with one child and hydrops with another. I have felt like maybe all of this was more than Mickey ever expected would come his way when choosing to marry me. What if he had regrets? What if he felt unloved by me? Had I loved him well?
Mickey's answers were that he thinks he has a super cool life with four beautiful kids and a smart wife and he feels he has truly lived and loved more than he ever had expectations for in life. This of course, is what I needed to hear. It gives me peace now, as I wait in the waiting room. I just know things will be ok.
It also reminded me that I need to start living my life with the focus of loving my family well. Being present. Being kind. Being gentle. Listening. Nurturing. Loving.
Can eBe present. Don't always live three years ahead of present in today and make these moments count because the future is not guaranteed.
I write and tell you this today because not all are facing cancer, but we all face death at some point or another. It is imminent. It is the only sure thing that does await us all. I implore you not to wait until you have a face off with a life threatening illness to ask these questions. Don't wait because a time might come when it is too late.
Talk to your loved ones. Ask them how you can show them more love. Tell them you love them. Tell them how they have made a difference in your life. And spend time loving them well.