And this is how you make it work…

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It’s the middle of the day on a chili Saturday in Atlanta. Slightly overcast and all feels calm. I’m in the center of the city where it is usually hussling and bussling. Not today. Today it is a peaceful scene. I’m sitting in my favorite restaurant. A cozy café in the heart of the city. Walking through the door means walking back in time. Ella playing on the speakers, soft and gentle, not overbearing. A quiet table in the corner is to be my preferred spot for this most needed date with myself. A tiny vase sits in the center of the table holding a single stem of the sweetest looking flower. This is my perfection. A good book, a great cup of coffee, a little Ella in the background and a great momentary escape.

Life is full of distractions that can quickly kill the romance. This is why many couples either don’t last or just lose their luster. They go for years simply co-existing.  That’s not for me and it will never be us! I am so in love with her and love how it feels to love her so much that I (we) work to protect its constancy and permanent existence. So I sit in this coffee house by myself: regrouping, re-energizing, re-viving myself. And where is she?…respecting my space.

Our days are filled with work responsibilities, school deadlines, PTA functions, kids concerts, parent/teacher conferences, bill paying, family drama, deaths, births, and the list goes on. In the midst of it all, we make it a point not to forget the why and how we came together. So we work on it. We spend quality time together (regular date nights help) and make it a point to allow ourselves some time apart. For as much as we have in common, we have just as much that sets us apart. After all, we are two different people. I enjoy getting my hair done, she likes playing sports or hanging out at the park. I like coffee, she drinks tea. I enjoy reading books, she likes to listen to music. Her guilty pleasures are not mine. So we allow ourselves those differences and give each other space to enjoy them. Just as important however, is appreciating those things together once in a while. We compromise often and it serves us well. Every so often she goes antiquing with me and other times, I brave it out and climb a rock wall or two with her. I love how we challenge each other that way. Focusing on the good things that our differences bring rather than trying to force one to be more like the other. She takes the time to learn my culture and I take the time to learn her’s. She can make a mean pot of “Arroz con habichuelas” and I actually make a decent pot of “greens.” I love the blend that has become “Us.” Today is about the individuality in each. She spends time with her “Ace” and I sit in this coffee house with myself. Later tonight we’ll meet for a date.

Relationships really are not as difficult as most people make them out to be. You just have to step outside of yourself long enough to notice, there is someone else in this relationship with you. Love each other for who you are together but more importantly, who you are apart from each other. Foster those differences; you were attracted to each other for a reason and that includes the things that make you different from each other. Embrace that. Life is full of enough stressors to then add your own fabricated list of must have’s or should be’s. Allow yourself time to miss each other. This will keep you on your toes. Surprise each other. Impromptu lunch dates in the middle of a workday go further than you think. Do something that the other person usually takes care of before they get a chance to tackle it (do the laundry before she gets to it, make dinner if you get home before her).

My sweetheart wrote the book on this and in my world, it is a number one seller! It’s the simple details…she buys me fresh flowers regularly, I leave her love notes in her lunch bag. She surprises me with soft gentle kisses as I cook, I greet her every day with the warmest embrace and kisses on her face.

We only live once folks, make it count! Consider one another and enjoy life as God meant for us to!  With love-

The Fairytale of LIFE

I heard a song the other day that took me back to my day-dream days. Back when I was a young girl often lost in thought thinking of what life would be like when I finally got to grow up. Will I be married? Who will I love? Is it possible to love one person forever? Will I have kids? What will they look like? Will I like the people that they are? Is real happiness how it is in storybooks? Is that real? That song I heard on the radio took me back to all of those questions and many more that often stumbled around in my pondering head. And in that instant, I remembered everything about that young girl. I remembered how it felt when I imagined what love was and what I anticipated life would be like. Almost as quickly as I remembered her I realized; I am one of the lucky few who get to live life just as I imagined it to be.

I think life itself is more like a fairy tale that we care to take notice of. It has it’s drama, it’s heroes, and it even has the occasional villain. The question is, do we take the time to LIVE it, NOTICE it, APPRECIATE it.

I’ve had the distinct pleasure of living what I call two lifetimes. I lived one life for the first half of my existence and underwent a rebirth that will take me to the end of my days. I can’t say that I regret either one. My first life allowed me to create two amazing individuals that already add to this world of ours in their own right, but this second life…this second life is my fairytale come to life. Everything I dreamed of as a young girl complete with all the feelings I felt then in anticipation. Life is so much richer when you can truly appreciate the simple things in the blessings that surround us each and every day rather than focus on what we lack. I choose not to focus on the fact that I am not rich or that I don’t have the perfect shape. I choose not to notice the many less than favorable aspects of my life or who I am. Instead, I like to focus on the fact that watching my kids play their instruments in school functions fills my heart. I choose to focus on the fact that my daughter’s kindness and philanthropic spirit are awe-inspiring. Or that my son’s level of intellectual ability leaves me thinking, “ I created him?” I also choose to focus on the fact that my life partner is the perfect balance to my often out of sorts approach to life. That after three years together, she can still make my knees weak and butterflies dance in my stomach just from entering the room. I choose to focus on the fact that I have had the presence of mind to know that I have been blessed and to live in that reality long enough to not take those things for granted. I focus on nurturing what I have in order to protect my “Happily Ever After.”

And so, as the song on the radio ends, so does the momentary flashback. And in its wake, it leaves behind a trickled smile that lasts for days; for I have arrived!