Archive for the ‘Survival tips’ Category

Escape v. Rest

If you are a medical wife, or the wife of anyone with a crazy schedule, then you know how precious “down time” can be. This month is especially busy for my husband, and this past weekend was the first days off he had since the month started. Not to mention that he has been getting home no earlier than 6 (and often around 10) each night of the week. And did I mention the 5am wake-up time? Suffice it to say, it was really precious to have time together.

One thing I have noticed, however, is that whenever my husband and I have down time, we can often find ways to escape the busyness of life. For us, escape is usually found in the form of mindless entertaiment. TV shows or movies. We sit side by side and engage in another plot that is not our own. And while it does give our brains a few hours of relief, we have both found that our hearts are not refreshed afterwards. Because here is the truth – escape does not equal rest.

This past weekend we sat down and made a list of all the things we needed and wanted to do with our weekend. He had charts to catch up on. I needed to kick some laundry in the booty. I wanted some alone time. He wanted to catch up on sleep. We both wanted to initiate our outdoor fire pit. We also wanted to catch up on our current TV show, but as we put together our wants and needs, we saw that the TV show would definintly need to be the last thing on our list if we were to try and have a truly restful weekend. So he worked on charts during our girls naps, and I folded clothes while he distracted our toddler. And then, instead of zoning out to the television, we wrapped ourselves up in blankets and lit a fire. We talked about our future – about our hearts post-residency and the dreams that brought us together. And when our heads hit the pillows, we felt rested and connected.

So what am I saying? I am saying that you need to watch out for the things in your life that are escape but not rest. And it doesn’t mean you can’t do them (we actually did squeeze in a movie one night), but it means that when you do them you recognize that at it will not put your heart at rest – that it won’t connect you to your spouse. You recognize that at the end of whatever it is you will have disconnected from stress, but not necessarily connected to life.

Your marriage isn’t mine. So movies & TV might truly be restful for you. But it might be helpful to ask yourself, how do I try to escape stress? What are ways I can rest with & connect to my spouse rather than just retreat into escape mechanisms? Perhaps it might behove you to turn off the TV and light a fire. You don’t even have to have a deep conversation. Just get some tea and think of fun memories. Laugh. Stay silent. Hold hands. Connect.

Find joy in the journey,
~ Melissa

Warm little baby legs, some tea and curry soup

It has been a good few days. The dashing Dr. is on a rather challenging rotation right now & spends many hours away from home. I have found myself shut away for days and days. In fact, at some point last week I realized that except for groceries & maybe a library run I hadn’t left the house in nearly TWO WEEKS. What??

Unhealthy.

So I asked a friend to rescue me. And she did. With tea, and a curry soup that made my heart sing. Her sweet little boy is just weeks old, and it’s already hard for me to remember what my own was like at that age. So little! Of course, the fact that my own is already in 12-18 month clothes also means she outgrew that little stage rather fast.

Speaking of baby girl & her uncanny ability to outgrow EVERYTHING, I had some time to whip up these adorable leg warmers before tea. Thank you Pinterest! I think I need to start a new board called “I rocked this”. Because these warmers would need to be on that board. It took me all of 15 minutes to cut & sew these by hand. Granted, the sewing is a little sketch, but they are adorable all the same! I have a few more I am making, so I will post that project soon!

I mean, come on, isn’t she adorable?

Later, inspired by my amazing craftiness, I stopped by the sewing shop to get needles & thread for an old sewing machine I was given. I imagined myself spending hours churning out leg warmers, doll clothes, all sorts of amazing cloth creations. I got home, threaded it up & then. It didn’t work. Well, it turned on. But it sounds like the belt is broken. Boo! So off it goes to the shop. I will let you know how this story ends, but don’t think I am done for. O, no, sewing machine. I shall conquer you yet.

The truth is, of course, that unless I had cried out for some tea and curry soup, I would have never had the heart energy to think about crafting. I needed to be rescued from my lonely little state. Thank God for friends who are willing to rescue.

If you need to be rescued, I highly recommend you pick up the phone. Or a pen. Or perhaps even a good book, or the The Truest Book. Don’t be like me and sit alone in your house for weeks on end moping coming up with good excuses not to go out.

More to come on my craftiness soon!
~ Melissa

When he’s gone: my top 7 survival tips (#1)

Over the last few weeks I have been giving you some things that I do while my darling Dr. is away. It’s so important to take care of yourself, and that in turn will take care of your wonderful spouse!

Let’s take a minute and review the last six tips:

Survival Tip #7:
Enjoy the women in your life!


Survival Tip #6:
Chase him.

Survival Tip #5:
Take up a new hobby (or revive an old one)

Survival Tip #4:
Communicate….LOTS

Survival Tip #3:
Remember the days of yore

Survival Tip #2:
Journal

Today, I am going to tell you my last tip in this series.
This is the most important one, by far.

Survival Tip #1:
Take time to make first things first

When I got married, I found that it was easy to lose sight of the most important person in my life, Jesus Christ.

If you are reading this blog and either don’t know Christ or (more likely) have been incredibly hurt or turned-off by people who profess to follow Him, take heart.

I believe He is the most important person that has every walked the face of the earth. And He has made such an unbelievable, organic and life-altering difference in my life.

I hope to tell you more about it as you keep reading this blog.

For the rest of you who do profess to know Him…know Him.
That, without a doubt is the single most important survival skill for when your loved one is gone…

Stay tuned for yard sale updates soon! 🙂

In the meantime, what other survival tips do you guys have? I would love to hear!

Finding joy in the journey today,
~ Melissa

When he’s gone: my top 7 survival tips (#2)

Over the last few weeks I have been writing about how to fill time in healthy ways while your loved one may be gone for extended periods of time.

Today, I want to talk a little bit about this one:

Survival Tip #2:
Journal

We as women often need a place to pour out our hearts. Journals can be so important in that process. When I first got married I stopped journaling as much as I had as a single woman.
That was a mistake.

I needed a safe place to be totally raw as much married as I had single.
Perhaps it would have helped me not to “emotionally throw up” on my husband quite as much in the early years.

So why journal?
These times are precious you and you will want to remember them.
These times are hard and you need a place to be completely honest.

Find a journal that’s beautiful. Pick a pen that you love the way it writes.

Get into a comfy spot, probably with a comforting beverage of choice….and write your heart out.
Literally.

Enjoy the journey today,
~ Melissa

PS. Here’s Survival Tip #7Survival Tip #6Survival Tip #5, and Survival Tip #4 and Survival Tip #3 if you would like to peruse them!

When he’s gone: my top 7 survival tips (#3)

As a physician’s wife (or sometimes, just as a wife), we often have to face many hours, days and weeks without the one we love. During our fourth year of medical school my darling Dr. spent 3 months (out of 4 in a row) on rotations away from home.

I am taking time to talk about ways to survive during these absences.

Here is Survival Tip #7, Survival Tip #6, Survival Tip #5, and Survival Tip #4

Today’s Survival Tip?

#3: Remember the days of yore
(i.e. what used to fill your time before you were married?)

“Young Woman at Piano” by Julius LeBlanc Stewart

Now, before you run off and say that I am proposing your forget all about your covenant and start acting like a crazy single lady….let me just clarify: that’s NOT what I am saying.

What I am urging you to do is to enjoy this time you have to do some things that are more difficult when you are occupied with taking good care of that wonderful man.

Like?

Watch oldies. Three in a row. And don’t make dinner. Just have toast and tea.

Have a girl’s sleepover. Watch some great chick flicks (which, if they are the right ones, will ultimately make you fall more in love with your wonderful husband)

Stay at a bookstore until it closes.

Rejuvenate your heart, body and mind by fasting for a while (which becomes much harder to do after marriage, at least I have found)

Go home and hang out with your family. (Ok, you can do this one with your husband too, but it can be some precious time without him.)

Take a class (pottery, cooking, or a piano a la Mr. Julius LeBlanc Stewart)

You get the picture.
As a bonus, when your dearest gets home you will have all sorts of fun stories to tell him, and maybe even a new skill.

Enjoy the journey,
~ Melissa

When he’s gone: my top 7 survival tips (#4)

Well…maybe this post should be called what to do when I’m gone…

Sorry it’s been a while. And I didn’t even post Thousand Word Thursday??

Boo on me.
No good excuses.

I’m baaack!

I have been slowly working my way through a survival list of what to do when your darling spouse is gone for long stretches at a time. Of course, nothing like what our amazing military wives have to go through, but it can be strenuous nonetheless.

Here’s Survival Tip #7, Survival Tip #6 and Survival Tip #5

Survival Tip #4:
Communicate….LOTS

Photo credit: College Magazine

I have no idea how much the dear Dr. and I have texted over the past four years…but let me say this: it’s ALOT. We both have unlimited texting & we use it. We text all the time about everything. It helps keep us connected.

If you both have Iphones, you could even use that new gismo “Face Time”, which we used today…it’s pretty unbelievable.

Or, if he’s somewhere that cell phone don’t reach (my hubby spent a month in aforementioned place), do what I did. Call the hospital & talk to him. Those nurses got to know my voice well 🙂

There could be lots more said about this.
How writing a letter & sending it to him could be exactly what he needs.
Or having a phone “date”, where you just spend time talking. Come up with a list of fun questions to ask each other. Pretend like your dating.
Or you could do like some of my friends and just call each other, put the phone on speaker and keep doing what you were before, just talking to each other as you think of things (almost as if you were in the same room).

However and whatever way you choose, choose to communicate.
It will make all the difference.

Enjoying the journey!
~ Melissa

When he’s gone: my top 7 survival list (#5)

For many of us as wives, it is difficult to know what to do or how to cope when the Dr. is away for long periods. Here is my personal survival list.

Survival tip #5:
Take up a new hobby (or revive an old one)

picture credit: She Knows Food & Recipes

Wether it’s getting into reading, gardening, stamp collecting…you name it. Sometimes we forget the things we love, or that we desire to learn because our life gets so busy.

When our dearest ones are away, it can be a great time to refresh an old love or find a new one.

One of my personal goals this year is to learn to reupholster.
Its something I’ve always wanted to do, and a way to stay busy while my dearest is busy with intern year.

photo credit: Poetic Home

Yes, I think that should keep me nice and occupied.

What about you? What’s a favorite hobby that you would like to take back up? Or a new one you dream about doing?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Enjoying the journey,
~ Melissa

P.S. Here’s the first two of this list:
Survival Tip #7
Survival Tip #6