Lessons learned

We’ve had friends staying with us the past 10 nights. That doesn’t sound like a long time. I read that sentence and think “Wow. Only ten days?” It feels like it’s been a lot longer.  Let me stop RIGHT HERE and tell you – we could not have asked for better house guests. They weren’t intrusive or demanding. Hello! They deep cleaned my kitchen one day. And washed the windows. And vacuumed.  And regularly did dishes. I neither required nor expected any of that (although I wasn’t going to fuss about it either!) They were pleasant and enjoyable. In short, they were fabulous. 

However, I have a lot to learn about hospitality. Granted we don’t have overnight (much less long-term) guests often but there are several small things I could do in the house to accommodate visitors and make them more comfortable/at home.  And personally I have a lot to work on which leads me to point #2…

I don’t share well and am still EXTREMELY selfish.  I thought I’d come a long way on those issues. But this challenge, the first I’ve truly encountered in this era of my life, clearly highlighted that I have, in fact, not made much progress at all.  My routine has remained largely intact – I have my quiet and workout times in the morning. But I’m finding that I’m selfish with my space. I want my living room back. I want to curl up in my comfy chair under my purple blanket for quiet time. I want to do the Insanity workouts. (Talk about a first world issue!) I’m also selfish with my husband.  I miss the option for private time. I would not make a good sister-wife. I resent having to share his time and attention and love for anytime longer than a “standard” visit. I miss having the option of a confidential conversation.  I miss being husband and wife instead of host/hostess. (I usually LOVE playing hostess but 24/7 is exhausting.) And I miss feeling peaceful in my home. Do not read that statement as commentary on our guests either personally or as a whole. I seem to possess this knack for internalizing any ambient tension…which leads me to probably the most crucial realization… my peace should not be dependent on my circumstances. And I know that. I KNOW that. I KNOW THAT. But apparently? I don’t live that.

Thank goodness for my husband. I’ve watched him comfort and challenge, engage and answer, listens and advise. He has shown indescribable love and patience and strength. He has been friend, confidant, leader, father and husband as needed. He has tried to hold everyone and everything together even as I have frayed around the edges. He is truly amazing. I’ve said on many occasions I don’t deserve him and this situation only highlights that but I’m very thankful I get to be married to him anyway.

 If we were to continue the current arrangement, changes would be made to accommodate everyone’s needs, including turning the computer room into an extra bedroom and scheduling time alone. I don’t think that will be the case. I believe our life will return its approximation of normal in a couple of days. But despite the knots in my neck/shoulders and exhaustion I am glad to have the opportunity to learn what I need to work on AND to realize all over again just how what an awesome man my husband is.

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