Look to the Left, Look to the Right…

I must admit, nothing made me feel more proud than watching my wife and our daughters open their gifts Christmas morning. See, I’m a simple man, and if you want to laugh at me, go ahead. But Lynyrd Skynyrd had it right when they wrote the song. My Dad passed along that mentality to me long before the song ever came out. But that is the generation I come from.

Between August being one daughter’s birthday, our Anniversary in September, our other daughter’s birthday in October and mine, and Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s, and then my wife’s birthday (HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY, BABY), then Valentine’s Day, I have learned one major thing: SHOP EARLY LOL. I refuse to be one of those clueless guys walking around the mall the day before a major holiday. So I start shopping/collecting, sometime in June/July. So I have anywhere up to 6 months of anticipation for my wife to open her gifts. I try to get a variety of gifts based on funny, personal, romantic, etc.

On my wife’s birthday, it will mark us knowing each other for 9 years. We met on her 21st birthday, out at her celebration. A mutual friend invited me because I had just had (“just” being a month or so lol) bad break-up.

My wife and I often sit around and talk about the things we’ve been through together, as well as the things we’ve seen, since being together. I mean, we talk about how we saw the events of the terrorist attack on Sept. 11th, 2001 unfold on TV bright and early that morning, and how we’ll explain those feelings to our daughters when they start to study that in their history classes. How, when they get older, we can help them understand the TRUE history changing moment an African-American was elected the highest office in the free world, and a Woman came within an eyelash of being in the race for that same spot. As well as a Woman almost was the Vice-President. Regardless of political feelings, one has to simply be in awe of that.

Now, here we are on the cusp of closing out the first decade of the new millennium. And to make me feel REALLY old, we go to open house for my oldest daughter’s kindergarten that she starts in the fall, next month?!?!? Is it really time for her to go to kindergarten?? Wasn’t it last week when my arms were the FIRST to hold her, and she struggled to open her eyes to see the face to the familiar voice who read to her while she was in my wife’s womb?? Wasn’t it a few of days ago, she decided her first steps would be in the bathtub?? Wasn’t it a couple of days ago when my wife was potty training her?? Wasn’t it yesterday when she lost her first tooth?? Ok, that last one happened a couple of months ago, BUT STILL??

My point, simply, is this? Appreciate who you are surrounded by. Too many times, life feels like a war of wills. Be thankful you have people who WANT to be in the foxhole with you. No matter how much your spouse annoys you, doesn’t communicate with you the way you want them too, flirts too much, whatever…they CHOOSE to build a life with you.

At the same time, if you are someone who is miserable with the person you are with, allow both of your souls to grow and separate. True love is about wanting the other person to be happy, regardless of how.

This time of year I hear about people who don’t appreciate the ones they are closest too, but will drop anything for acquaintances or lesser people. We need to remember our spouses are NOT the ones we dump everything on, only to turn around and walk away and leave them to carry our baggage.

We should REJOICE in the fact that someone would care so much about us; they are willing to load their own shoulders with our burdens…AND carry us until we feel better.

Taking someone for granted only happens when one party is so good at doing more than there share in a relationship, that instead of being praised for their effort, it is demanded everyday!!

Whomever is reading this, maybe the party that is taken for granted, or the person who has forgotten how wonderful their spouse is? I have no idea if ANYONE is even reading this…but the riddle me this: If you are so wonderful and your spouse should bow down to you, even though they are the one you secretly rely on? Then let them go, I am sure there is a line forming of people who would show them appreciation. If you are the one who is being taken for granted and getting no love shown in return?? Then stand up, and stop going the extra mile for that person. Take some “you” time and let them realize how much love you bring.

Yes, I know this Blog posting has been everywhere. But at this time of year, this time of endings and beginnings; retrospectives and resolutions…maybe, just maybe, we start at home.

Look to your left, look to your right…start with THOSE people first.

-Until the Wheels Fall Off
-Corey

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