Happy Birthday, Matthew! (+ a rant about hard times)

Wild Wild West EventToday is this guy’s birthday. At first, I thought this would be a post about my thankfulness for him. A post about his dedication to our vision and our family. At first, I thought I might share my favorite qualities of his or stories about previous birthdays and adventures. I knew that I’d use this post to celebrate him and everything he does for us on a daily basis.

Then I realized that this post was going to be a bit more than that. You see, the past few weeks have been hard. Honestly, they’ve been hard in almost every facet of the word. I’ve felt like I’m drowning amidst all of the many things swirling around me. Life is like that, you know. Some days/weeks/months are harder than others. It’s part of the ebb and flow of life. You have to take the good with the bad.

Before I continue, I want to be clear about the fact that things are ok. Nothing tragic or detrimental is happening and everything will switch back to a manageable speed soon. Right now though, things feel difficult.

Matthew and I are still adjusting to his new work schedule. Today is his forth day of working in a row, and he usually works 12+ hour shifts. Tomorrow will be his only day off and then he’ll go back for two more days. In reality, working hard to take care of patients for over 12 hours a day is very taxing. At this point in our transition, Matthew still comes homes completely wiped…as would I.

In addition to his work schedule this past week, my schedule has been jam-packed and color coded and scheduled with only minutes to spare between each task. I’ve been working nonstop and putting out fires like its my job (and it is). Let me be clear. I am thankful for a busy work schedule. I love my clients and it pays my bills. On top of working like a mad woman, my social calendar has been equally full. There are state championship games, graduations, weddings, movie nights, and milestones left and right that I need to be present for. I’m closing the door on one compartment of my daily life to immediately spin and open another. The reality is, I haven’t gotten home before 9:00 or 10:00 any this week. Most of the time, Matthew has already been asleep. We’ve literally only had maybe 2 hours of waking time together for over a week.

Amidst fighting to see my husband through our crazy schedules, I’m drowning in laundry. The dishes are piling up, and I’m sure the bathrooms need cleaning. My closet room looks like a tornado hit it and is spilling over with both summer and winter clothes/shoes because I haven’t had time to sort through it all. I’m honestly afraid to look at how dirty the floors might be. I like things to be tidy and organized, and that’s not my life right now.

For most of last week, I was just trying to make it until Sunday. On Sunday, I would clean the house. I would also sit quietly alone on the couch and decompress. I’d read and regroup. I’d relax from what felt like a treacherous few weeks. I’d finally have time to plan something special for Matthew’s birthday. I booked myself up all day on Monday when I had intended to take off and create birthday greatness for Matthew to come home to. I’ll likely feel guilty for that all day, so Sunday was now my only day to create something special for him. Then I realized it was Mother’s Day. Granted, I certainly want to spend time honoring my mother with my family. However, it felt like another task had been piled on top of me. I wouldn’t have time to rest or plan and the laundry probably wouldn’t be done. At this point, I considered running away.

flat tireThen Sunday morning came. I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen. I made it through several loads of laundry and tidied here and there. I started making a lose plan for birthdaycelebrations. I attended Mother’s Day lunch with dirty hair and no make up. I intended to leave early to finish my 1,000 tasks and buy birthday presents. Then, I had a flat tire. (Razor blade??) Luckily, my brother-in-law and nephew were there to save the day. Nonetheless, my afternoon did not go as planned.

The reality is sometimes you have to make sacrifices. Sometimes you have to realize that you just can’t do everything and that your best will have to be good enough. My best in this moment is that I’ve been present for events even if I didn’t have a gift or wasn’t 100% prepared. Matthew won’t have homemade cupcakes for his birthday. He will have a home cooked meal of his choice and we will likely sit on the couch and watch movies in silence. While I first felt guilty for the simplicity of this evening, I think he will actually be grateful for the time to take it easy. We will continue to step over the heavy duty extension cord that’s powering our washing machine from the kitchen, (The laundry outlet randomly went out last week.) and life will go on. Things will level out and we’ll get back to normal eventually.

Happy Birthday MatthewWhile my original intention was to use this post to celebrate Matthew, I couldn’t really do that without explaining a bit of my struggle lately. I needed to do so to get to the heart of why this guy is so great. Even amidst the craziness, he’ll still keep going. He’ll still support me and encourage me when I feel like I’m failing at everything. He’ll still approach life with the same optimism, even though he’s exhausted to his core. He’ll be just as happy with a quiet dinner on the couch as he would have been if this house was filled with 1,000 balloons. He deserves the very best, yet he rocks on, without judging, when I deliver mediocrity on his special day. He expects nothing of me, so that when I deliver something he’s just as thrilled. That in itself is a quality to celebrate.

Despite my own craziness at the moment, I’m immensely thankful for this guy. I’m thankful for his patience and perseverance. I’m thankful for his unwavering love and support and for sometimes letting me be “good enough” instead of great. I don’t think I could make it through this life without you, Matthew Petrus. Happy Birthday.

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