Dear Stress-Ball-Cranky-Pants Self,

You have been a ball of stress these past few weeks (ok, ok, maybe months or possibly years), but you really need to stop.  You keep coming up with these lame excuses.  Yes, you have a new job.  Yes, you have to take this insane exam in two weeks.  Yes, money has been tight for the past two years.  And yes, you are adjusting to married life.  But you know what?  These are just excuses.  You are in control.  You do not need to let the stress take ahold of every fiber of your body.  It’s just silly, you are stronger than this.

Now, take a minute and think about all that you have.  All that you are a part of and all that makes you smile.  You have a loving husband who makes you laugh each and every day.  You have a cozy home that keeps you safe and warm.  You have an incredible family who surrounds you with love and encouragement.  You have this new career that, given some time, will challenge and motivate you to do amazing things in this world.  You have friends, near and far, who are just so awesome.  You have a kick-ass shoe collection, too many handbags, two stacks of beautiful denim, and snow tires that are seriously the bomb!  And last but not least, two of the best fur-babies out there!

So you see, crazy stress-ball self, it’s really not as bad as you think.  You have everything you need, you simply need to let go of a few things.  Let go of the anxiety.  Let go of the stress.  Let go of the insecurities and fears.  They are weighing you down and creating a cloud of negativity in your life.  You say you feel like you are putting on a show, that you are not able to be yourself.  Well, the first step is to let go.  Just see what happens.  See if your smile starts to return.  See how being silly and living in the moment helps to put the spring back into your step.  Just try, ok?  And stop taking yourself so seriously, this is life, and it’s the only one you’ll get.

Sincerely,

Me.

What’s Different?

It’s been just over a month since we gathered on my parents beach in the warm embrace of love and said our vows to each other.  A month can feel like an eternity or pass by in the blink of an eye, depending on the circumstances.  For me, it’s been the latter!  I cannot believe how fast this summer has passed and how happy I am with my husband.

It’s funny, people keep asking me how we are and what has changed since we got married and honestly, this is not easy to answer.  Our day to day lives are pretty much the same as always, since we’ve been living together for years.  However, there is this deep sense of peace that overcomes me at the most random times.  I’ll be going about my day and then it hits me that I am the luckiest girl ever.  I have this amazing husband, a blessed life, goals and dreams, and so much love that I sometimes just want to burst.  How awesome is that?!

But really, how would I characterize what’s different now?  There is a sense of security that I feel in our relationship that I wasn’t aware of before.  Even though we had been committed to each other in the years leading up to our marriage, signing that piece of paper and declaring our love to each other in the presence of our loved ones truly has a profound effect on the stability of our relationship.  We made the choice to be with each other.  To support each other through the good times and the bad.  We choose to enter this union as individuals and create a life together.  I look at this strong and loving man and I see our future.  I am not naive, I know that there will be tough days, fights and sadness, but we entered this union with a foundation of mutual love and respect.  We will continue to cultivate our love by supporting our individual strengths and work together to grow as a couple as we start this journey of married life.
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Advice: From My Mom

My mother has always told me that marriage {and relationships} are work.  Now, she does not mean this negatively, simply that it takes more than just being together to make the partnership successful.  It takes time, dedication, mutual respect, and love.

You have to actively work on the marriage, treating it like a job {an awesome job!, but still, a job}.  Think about it, would you be able to just jump into a new job, let’s say, a surgeon, without putting some work into it first?  I think not!  A marriage is like this.  You start with two individual people and you combine lives.  As the years pass each person grows separately and you must nurture the marriage unit to accommodate for these individual changes and make the unit grow right along with it.

I have taken this advice to heart and applied it to my relationships thus far.   I know that I will continue to be an active member of my marriage and work to grow as an individual and as an equal partner in this awesome new journey!