The wave rolls in. It violently crashes into me and I’m momentarily stunned by the shock of it all. Clarity returns and I realize I have a choice. I can fight against the wave, wasting precious energy or I can submit to the force throwing me forward, taking me far away from my safe place into the unknown. I choose to submit. Although the wave is thrashing me, throwing me around, taking me further and further away from where I want to be, I feel calm. Peace. Strength. I see the wave, not as my enemy, but as the path to something greater than I know.
For five years I’ve identified myself as a homeschool review blogger. I’ve pursued relationships that support that identity. I’ve developed an online identity synonymous with my blog. I’ve secured contacts with publishers that leave my inbox full of requests to read and share my opinion. I’ve attended blogging conferences, blogging groups and writer forums. I’ve worked countless hours trying to be a successful blogger while maintaining my unique voice, style and passions. I’ve changed my blog name three times, my family’s pseudo names twice and my name once. My life has revolved around blogging. And with one decision…I’ve walked away from it all.
Why? His name is The Husband. And I love him. More than having a voice. More than being known. More than having an online presence and having people talk about me. I have given it all up. For him. For US.
When his profession changed in 2009 due to government regulations, I came to his rescue. I pushed him forward into creating a business that would sustain us, our employees and our community at large. I had passion, vision and a whole lot of arrogant opinions. After a year of trying to figure out what I was doing, lacking diplomacy skills and one threatened lawsuit later, we agreed I needed to leave the company. I was heartbroken. It was my baby…my identity. But I let it go, because I really was NOT the best person to be running the company. My sister took my place. I watched her take the company and fly. I watched her make mistakes, learn from them and change. I watched her be able to handle disagreements with the husband and not cause a war. She blossomed where I had floundered.
I’ve spent most of our marriage trying to prove myself. Trying to prove I was just as capable and smart as he was. Trying to prove that if he left me, I could take care of myself. Trying to prove that I was worthy of being his wife. And failing miserably. Until I found my voice through blogging. Suddenly, I had an identity. People liked what I had to say. Secrets that I was willing to share spoke deeply to those who tried to keep their secrets safe. It was humbling to know my vulnerability was giving others wings to heal. Blogging was bringing me alive and I was growing stronger everyday.
Meanwhile…back at the ranch….the husband’s job was increasing in difficulty. The pressure was causing health issues and putting a wedge between us. I knew he wanted me to help, just a little, and I refused. I was not willing to give up what was feeding me, my ego, to help with a job that has blessed us with a wonderful life but demanded too much. Besides, we both agreed that homeschooling was important to our family. I was not willing to sacrifice my children’s lives to take on a job I didn’t want.
We had a crisis a few years ago and I was brought back into the company. I resented the entire situation. I stepped on people’s toes and hurt feelings. I made decisions that needed to be made, but I didn’t regard the people who had been making decisions years without me. I was angry…I was angry at the husband. For taking me away from my life…what I was doing…to fix what I viewed as his mistakes. After a month the crisis abated and I was granted permission to once more return home. I removed myself from being an owner of the company and refused to be a part of any decisions that needed to be made. I let the husband know that it was his job to figure it out and it would be his fault if the thing failed. Once again I refused to help lift his burden.
This month the husband needed my help once again. He needed an employee who knew what to do and I was the likeliest candidate. I agreed to work for the summer. Suddenly I went from being home all day with time for blogging, appointments and hanging out with my kids — to waking up at 5, getting work by 7, staying until 7 and falling exhausted into bed at 9, seeing my kids for about 15 minutes if I was lucky. I’ve done this for three weeks. This time something’s happened. I saw my husband…the man who owns two companies and manages to not be insane from the weight of it all. I saw my sister, managing a company that demands more hours than she has available. I watched the employees deal with more work than a human can possibly handle. I watched it all and realized that I could either turn my head, return to my safe little blogging mommy world or I could roll up my sleeves, get to work and help lift the burden from their shoulders.
What I thought would be temporary, will be permanent — I am employed as my husband’s assistant. The hours I worked blogging and reviewing will be spent managing his workload and helping with production. As the girls are entering the high school years, I will be able to do this from home so we can continue homeschooling. My willingness to help the husband with his burden has made our relationship deeper. I’m learning what it means to be his helpmeet and I’m so thankful I still have the opportunity.
So, that’s what’s up with me. Where I’ve been. Why I went silent. I still write blog posts in my head — I just don’t have time to write them on the computer. I will always be grateful for blogging, but for now I’m going to ride this wave with the husband. Hand-in-Hand. Excited to see where it takes us.