Goal #3 Improve our marriage
This is a sensitive point. However, I don’t want veils, I don’t want to ignore what is happening and I want to face this problem eyes on eyes (is this the way we say it?)
Changes in a relationship with the arrival of a child.
Like anything else in life, changes improve or worsen what was previously acquired. Some couples feel that it was the perfect decision to intensify their love by bringing a child to this world; others lose all tolerance, patience, attachment and affection for each other, drained by the arrival of a little human. A simple cry that can throw the house down gives us a new perspective on what love is.
Alice's arrival made me a woman. I’m absolutely sure of that. An adult woman, with the sense of responsibility, the weight of having a new being to look after and the consideration every initiative, every decision, every step requires.
And he... He was my Prince Charming until our daughter arrived. He was the one who never bothered, the chilled-out sort of guy who told me I was beautiful even on the worse acne attack, a proper laid back fella that I fought for each time we were less... well. He was the one I wanted to live with, growing older and happier and wiser. Forever.
What else could break that spell?
Then a newborn landed on my arms after four days in hospital, our love quickly cracked and I found myself alone at home with a newborn because he decided to do night shifts. In a new house, a new city, a new baby, alone night after night, no help at all or begging for my parents to come and sleep with us.
Looking back, almost three and a half years now, I have no doubt that giving him the "reins" of our life (because I was so besotted for being a first time mum to the most hairy, grumpy, unhappy and loud little creature) was the worst mistake of my life.
I dragged myself down and I shouldn't.
I kind of 'unpromoted' myself and I shouldn't.
I thought he had enough time to learn from our previous experiences and way of living.
I thought my role was being a mum only.
We were never that unhappy, frustrated, depressed and with such tied budget since I decided to offer him the ‘keys of the household’.
If you, couples out there, disagree with all this, let me congratulate you: You are lucky!
If the arrival of a child came to unify you, let me confess: I must envy you somehow, but at the same time I am incredibly happy to know the theory applies, the theory I thought would apply to us too.
It came to the point of resembling a battlefield: All details are enough to throw to each other’s face what was done wrong; from one moment to the next one, shopping is the ultimate futility, buying a car a barbarity, and what seemed to be such a simple math - Oh, we're always in tune and we agree with almost everything! - fell off the cliff.
I was at a very small step to say It's over. Enough. Get out. When you're at home you’re always so selfish, so moody, so ignorant and emotionless, you'd better get going.
There is room for improvement as long as there is the will to seek out the best of us as individuals, as Alice's parents and most of anything, as husband and wife.
I bet it would be easier to turn my back and just give up. Wanting to do good for our relationship is a way more complicated and boring (most likely) path that requires effort. But I'm willing to do that. And a couple’s therapy is not out of my wishing list either.
We were once a strong team, a cohesive one, passionate one, more friendly one.
Once, so long ago, being in love was so good... Can we try it again?
Goal #4 Finish our house
Yes, it may be a futile request for this year.
No, it's not the drama from Goal #3, nor the existential crisis of Goal #2.
For me, designing a plan that allows me from January to December to put in place everything that is incomplete in this house that we call ours since August 2017 is super exciting - and necessary.
Isn’t it important to create goals, after all? Planning to achieve something based on our efforts, dreams and ambitions?
I already created a vision board, stipulated savings to turn into investments and a working plan was separated based on what needs doing:
1) Within the next 30 days
2) Done from March to May
3) To do during Summer and
4) Autumn/Winter indoors works
The entrance of our house eagerly awaits the Spring’s arrival so we can give it some affection - there are flower beds to arrange, grass to put and palm trees to trim; the bathroom needs a severe VIP treatment in shades of white and grey - it is mandatory to throw down those tiles and that stone age’s sink too; our backyard begs for that handmade vegetable patch, my studio demands progress and a more generous organization, floorings in need and bits and bobs everywhere.
Hey, you! Don’t forget about me! - The house shouts at me every day.
Goal #5 Slow Living
We live for the ephemeral, the super speed of things, the sudden.
We live in trends, for trends and from trends.
Back in 2013 when we married, no one took their phones out of their pockets to register our first dance. Selfies weren’t THE thing and sharing 200 photos from our honeymoon in Greece on Facebook almost seemed like opportunism:
There she is showing off!
I'm 29 now, but it feels like I was only 27 last year.
I remember how it felt to be 24 and planning a wedding - and Oh! I wish I had watched more Makeup tutorials on Youtube! - and even better I remember being 22 living in London on the first or second day we arrived, buying our first meal - Sweet and Sour Chicken from the closest Tesco - and prepare it on the shared microware from the shared basement kitchen on the hostel we lived for the first 3 days.
Everything goes so fast.
Sometimes we're awake, we've just had breakfast but we're already in a wretched maze about what to do for lunch, and if we're alone with a completely hyper daughter, we can hardly wait for Dad to come home or we can hardly wait for bedtime. Or, we can hardly wait for tomorrow because it's preschool day!
So this year, I am living slowly and intensely. And it's working!
For the good and for the bad, crying more for what makes me suffer; smile openly at what makes me happy, what I have conquered, what I have done, what I have lived, with whom I have been, what I have eaten.
Living for the day, living for the moment.
To be happy with the expectation of a special date, yes, it is good to project, it is good to live with a reason, but living the present is equally essential. Even if the day was banal. Even if we've been in our PJs all day. Even if we had Chinese for dinner for the third consecutive Sunday.
Live for the little things. That is why we walk around here, right? So what are we waiting for? A quarter century of my life has passed and I can not believe it. I never imagined myself at this age... no! But I have it, I am embracing it, I am living for it.
Let's live, my lovelies!
Enjoy the banal. Let's live!