Why Bother Doing Whatever It Takes?

Why Bother Doing Whatever It Takes?

I love my husband and his domestic abilities. He cleans up behind me after I cook, does the grocery shopping and helps me with the Saturday morning house cleaning. Recently, he extended his talents by searching for and purchasing an item for our household and it wasn’t a T.V.

I’d been looking for a new set of bed sheets. I began my search by looking for them at a box store, but I didn’t like the limited selection. Then I browsed an upscale thrift shop with no luck. My husband suggested shopping online. I’m not an online shopper, I told him. 

Then, one Sunday morning, after a leisure breakfast, he asked if I wanted to talk about bed sheets. Bed sheets and not football? I was curious and waited. He picked up his phone and read some reviews about cotton sheets versus bamboo. I sipped my coffee and stared at my husband. He’d researched bedding? He had my undivided attention. 

He continued reading the comments and I asked a question or two—what about the price? There is a sale right now on the bamboo sheets. Okay, why don’t you order them. You choose the color because I don’t have a preference. Then, while I took a shower, he ordered sheets and cleaned the kitchen. It hasn’t always been this way.

Commitment Changes Everything 

Later, while taking a walk along the sandy shoreline of the lake, I brought up the topic of  bed sheets. My comment that I don’t shop online had not hindered him. 

“We’ve come a long way in our relationship,” I said.  

“Yep, we’ve both changed.”

“ I know, but how did that happen?”

“I decided I’d do whatever it took to make it work.”

“What was the biggest change you had to make?”

“Deciding to communicate with you. How about you?” 

“I had to wait for you to communicate, because demanding it did nothing.” 

I love my husband and our marriage. It hasn’t always been this way, but when we decided we’d do whatever it took, it changed everything.

Why bother doing whatever it takes? It is worth doing whatever it takes, especially when it comes to the union of marriage. In doing so, we may be pleasantly surprised with the results. 

Why Bother Thinking About The Other Fifty Percent?


Why Bother Thinking About The Other Fifty Percent?

Recently, while at the grocery store, I was reminded of my earlier days of marriage. As the familiar female clerk, whose age I gauged to be mid thirties, waited for me to write out my check, she conversed with a man who’d come and stood next to her. She spoke softly into his ear, while he leaned toward her. It was a brief, but personal encounter between the two.

When I handed her my check she smiled and said with a blush, “That was my husband. He is just getting off work.”

I looked at the clock on the wall, it was 6:30 a.m. “So he works the night shift and you work days.” She nodded as she processed my check. “Do you ever have time off together?” I asked, thinking about how difficult it must be for them to nurture their relationship with opposite work schedules.

“Yes, we schedule our days off so we can spend time with each other and our kids, ” she said with a smile. 

The Decisions Made

I thanked her and rolled my grocery cart out the door, reminiscing on all the decisions married couples have to make together. First, comes the one to tie the knot.

It was the commitment to a marriage that had scared me, not the tall, lean, blond haired, blue eyed man I’d become infatuated with. I’d come of age in the 70s, and envisioned marriage to be more like a ball and chain around my ankle, the loss of freedom, and the diminishing of my true self. I shook my head at the funny imaginings that had almost kept me from the bond of matrimony and my happy union. 

Then after marriage, every couple weighs the pros and cons of bringing offspring into the world and if they do, they have to answer the question, “Who will raise our child?”

Loading my groceries into the back end of my car, I remembered how at first, it had been hard for me to stay home. I’d kept my job until our first son was born and was convinced I’d go back after maternity leave. But it didn’t happen that way. Instead, I was given a lay off notice. At first, I was devastated, but not for long. Every time I’d gaze into the eyes of my newborn, I was convinced I was the one to raise him, and not someone at a child-care center. 

Staying home meant raising a family on one income. Not an easy choice. During those years, my husband worked six days a week and we often batted around various ideas of how we could make more money. Finally we concluded that it wasn’t so much about how to have more income. It was more about how to live contently with what we had. 

I closed the car’s hatch, now full of groceries, and stashed the cart with others in the parking lot. Getting into the driver’s seat, I started my car and thought back to some of the tougher moments in our marriage when I’d thought about throwing in the towel. I’m glad I never did. I steered my car back home where I knew my husband would be waiting to help me unload and put away the groceries. I smiled with gratitude thinking of how we’d stayed together in spite of  those hard moments and over the long haul. 

Fifty percent of those who say, “I do,” will later say, “I can’t do this anymore,” and file for divorce. But the other fifty percent who say, “I do,” and stick with their commitment may find their pledge to each other worth the effort it takes to stay together. I pray that my grocery clerk and her husband find that to be true.


Why Bother to Mark the Halfway Point?

Why Bother to Mark the Halfway Point?

Depending upon if you are an optimist or a pessimist will determine if you see January as halfway done or with still too many days to go.

Since my personality leans toward finding the sunny side of a circumstance, I’m looking at the days behind me and well as the days ahead. 

January weather has been nasty with rain, wind, fog and some sporadic sunshine, yet on the mornings when I go out for a run, I’ve been blessed by dry weather. One day last week, the wind blew trees down causing power outages that cancelled school for a day. I took it as a respite day and settled in at home with a good book. When the sun did shine and the sky turned blue, I looked up and breathed in a hint of warm spring. 

The days that are absent of rain, and give a glimpse of blue sky and sun, I count as an unexpected interlude from January’s harshness and a gift to be enjoyed.  It is these little intervals that give me the encouragement I need to stick with the commitments I’ve made; look toward the bright side, drink more water than wine and eat more vegetables than chocolate. 

Halfway Finished

Today marks the halfway point of January and I believe that a halfway point is important to note. 

Back in the day when I was much more competitive, I’d signed up to participate in a half marathon run. I knew I’d never do 26.2 miles, the distance of a full marathon, but 13. 5 miles I thought would be doable. 

 Yet at the start, with a longer course than I’d ever ran before, the race felt like a mistake. Why did I sign up for this? I’ll never make it. I could only think of the distance that stretched before me as being too long, and the finish line too far away.

Then I got to the halfway mark where a group of bystanders stood blowing their horns, clapping their hands, and waving their signs with encouraging messages; You are almost there, You can do this. I glimpsed someone dressed as Big Bird flapping their wings and ran on with a fresh boost of energy making it to the finish line.

Yes, there are still quite a few days left ahead of nasty rain, wind, and fog with some sporadic sunshine. But, when the days that are absent of rain, giving a glimpse of blue sky and sun, or when you are given an unexpected  day of rest, count them as unexpected interludes from January’s harshness.  Accept them as gifts and enjoy them. These little intervals will give you the encouragement you need to stick with whatever commitment you made at the beginning of this new year.  

Why bother to mark the halfway point? It is worth it to note how many days we’ve gone forward and how much ground has already been covered. The finish line is up ahead. Stay the course. We’ve got what it takes.