I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and I can’t stop thinking about it. Ever since I read the blog titled Marriage Isn’t for You, I can’t get it out of my mind that life isn’t for me.
Life is so much more than just me. Life is huge and complex and sometimes messy, but it’s not for me…it’s for everyone else whose lives bless mine. I don’t mean that in any self-martyrdom kind of way. I mean it in the best way possible.
Life is not all about pleasing myself and looking out for number one, it’s about putting the wants, needs and desires of those I love at the forefront of my mind. I shouldn’t live life just to make myself happy and when I remember that my life runs much more smoothly. But like I said, it’s not a self-martyrdom kind of thing. Martyrs get resentful and bitter. Living life to make someone else’s life a little happier and a little easier is a wonderful thing and sometimes it’s called parenting.
And in my day-to-day life I live for my kiddos by making their lives just a little easier. When I remember that, life isn’t just better for the kids, it’s better for me too. They’re happy. I’m happy. They help me and I help them. It’s a win-win in our family.
Unfortunately for Stan, he sometimes gets the short end of my stick. He gets the rest of me, when in reality, he should get the best of me. But recently, something clicked and I realized how important it is to also live life for Stan. Because marriage isn’t for me. It’s not all about making me happy, it’s about making Stan happy too. When I remember that, life isn’t just better for Stan, it’s better for me too.
Last night and into today is a perfect example. Stan’s parents are in the process of moving to Virginia from a very rural area in Maine with no family around them to help if they need it. They’ll be in a nice, little community not far from here, which is a load off of Stan’s mind. But it’s a crazy, busy time trying to make sure their house is ready for them as the movers roll in to town today. Stan has been working like demon, not only at his job but also parenting and husbanding. Add to the mix running back and forth to his parents’ house and a day trip to Boston to drive one of his parents’ cars down for them and you’ve got the schedule Stan has had in the past month. He added one more task to his to-do list last week when he had a carpenter come to install some crown moulding and a chair rail. It all made the house look so much nicer, but it needed to be painted. Enter the time crunch and the race to get everything completed…Stan said “uncle” and decided the painting of the moulding and chair rail would have to wait until after his parents were settled in. Yesterday, I went over, taped the walls and the ceiling and then Zach and I went back and we painted it all. We didn’t tell Stan a thing. We let it be a surprise this morning when he went over to let the movers in. I lived a moment of my life yesterday doing something to help make life easier for Stan and today, I got the reward…a sweet phone call of thanks. I’m still smiling.
So today I thought, what if I take this one step further? What if, just for a day, I try living my life to make others I encounter daily just a little happier? What if, just for one day, I go out of my way to be more polite than normal, give an extra compliment to someone who looks like they need a kind word or pay it forward by doing something unexpected for someone who looks like they could use a kind deed? And then what if I feel so darn good from this one day I decide to do it for a second day? And then, what if it morphs into a third and a fourth day? In this month of Thanksgiving, what if I just take it one day at a time and let others know how thankful I am? And I don’t mean, blessed with stuff or possessions, I mean truly blessed with love, laughter and life.
So, today I’m committed to not living life for me. Today, I’m committed to living life for others…just a few niceties for today. I think I’m going to have the best day.
Oh, for the love of my children….