Thursday, April 24, 2008

Married to a take-it-slow man

Dear friends, an entire week passed by since I last wrote to you, and heard from you, in the bounds of blogland (given that my husband and I don't have a computer or internet connection yet, you can figure out the frequency of my visits to my mother by how often I post). I hope you all have been having a wonderful time, and I was thrilled to come back to a mailbox-full of messages from you.

In the meantime, life is taking its usual course. My husband took the whole week off, and we have been enjoying a blissful, uninterrupted Pesach (Passover). We spent some time with family, but mostly we have been on our own, simply enjoying the magic of each moment before it passes by in its fleeting beauty.

I thought of so many things we needed to do during this week - cleaning; organizing; re-arranging, and all that comes with settling into a new home. I thought I would get up early each day and do some tidying up before we have breakfast and go for some sightseeing in our lovely area. Then we would come home, and I'd cook something delicious for dinner and bake something for dessert, later work on projects or do some creative writing (a venture I have been enjoying for years, but haven't had the chance to share with you just yet).

Here was when I realized that I'm no longer single, in control of my time and plans, but part of a couple. I grew addicted to schedules, to-do lists and satisfaction with accomplishing as much as I possibly can. My husband, on the other hand, is an easy going, laid-back and take-it-slow type of person. I noticed this in the time when we were just getting to know each other, of course, but it became much more evident now. Several times I said to my husband in amazement, "with you, time just slips away so fast! I don't know how it happens!"

I must admit that old habits die hard, and it isn't easy to stop glancing at the watch every few minutes. It isn't easy to stop telling myself, "time is slipping away, and we haven't done anything yet! What a waste!"

I suppose I could be nervous and anxious. I could be frustrated because my husband never hurries, no matter how late we are; I could eat my fingernails because we rarely accomplish what we planned for a given amount of time. But something in my heart tells me it wouldn't be the best choice.

Instead, I choose to love and accept the person my husband is. I choose to accept the fact that none of us is perfect, and that both of us are two completely different people who are, still, just getting to know each other. And I choose to drink in the beauty of slow days and evenings spent together, days on which not much is accomplished but so much is shared and enjoyed together.

36 comments:

AnneK said...

Same thing with me, friend. I am an over achiever. Hubby lovingly calls me gerbil on the wheel. It is my nature. I can't not do anything. I could, for my honeymoon, after that it is back to normal. We PERFECTLY complement each other. :)

Sammybunny said...

Hahhh....I cannot help but sigh in happiness for you! I, too, am a procactive, get it done type person too so I understand how it would be easy to get frustrated but we must remember not to ever forget our place or our love for our beaus!

Terry said...

You are a wise wife, Mrs T! I laughed out loud as I read that your husband never rushes no matter how late you are. My husband is the same way and it drove me nuts for 12 years. It is just now, in our 14th year of marriage that I am learning to relax, stop clock watching (well, maybe a little;0) and go with his flow. I wish I'd had your wisdom when we first married. It would have saved me countless frustrating days.

It's so nice to hear how well things are going for you in your new life and marriage. I look forward to reading your posts. Take care!

~Terry

Mrs Mills said...

Wow, I took a lot longer than you did to figure that out! Your husband is a lucky man:)

Tiffany said...

That is such a wonderful post for me! I, too, am an accomplishment-driven person who hates spending 15 seconds longer on anyhting, if it's not necessary. Yet the point in this post that hit home was not that I may wind up marrying a "take-it-slow" man like you, but that you recognized very quickly that you needed to adjust your life to his, and that you did it without complaining. Thank you for this bit of wisdom!

Abigail said...

As a wife of 16 years I have learned that Wisdom always wins and pays rich dividens in the future.

You are off to a great start. Keep you eyes on the prize.

Catherine R. said...

I think this is sort of a common thing between men and women, I don't know why. The comments you have already received seem to reflect that this is a widespread thing! Maybe we women have just learned to be too ambitious.

Anyhow, I think you also mentioned you have no TV as well as no internet... bless your heart as you enjoy what life has to offer without them. Sometimes I wish my TV and computer would just break so I didn't have to be enslaved by them.

Kelly said...

Anna, Oh what a great post. I'm married to one of those types too. Does your hubby also just like to fly off somewhere with no preplanning?
I've been married 7 years this september and I'm just now getting used to my laid back, take it easy, oh hey let's go out to the zoo today type of guy.
I think God has a real sense of humor since he seems to like to pair up all of us driven, list making, do everything yesterday sort of girls with laid back, so what if we're late guys. LOL.
I am learning from my hubby though. Probably better for me in the long run to slow down a bit.
Good for you figuring it out so early Anna.
Kelly

Kittee said...

*Laugh!*

Me too! Like the first comment above my husband also calls me a "Hamster on a wheel!" I giggled at my desk when I read this because it is soo true!

-Kittee

A Wonderful Life! said...

I have learned to accept my husband over the past 5 years of marriage for who he is. Love him for his strengths and weaknesses. Its a journey that I belive will never end. And maybe its not always him-maybe its me. I belive we are here to build our husbands up and our families. Stephanie PS I love the underlying meaning of your blog.

Anna said...

That's really good, Anna! I can see how your realistic preparation for marriage is helping to tide you over in situations like this one. You're not selfishly expecting your husband to do everything just the way you would like him to; instead, you're flexible and willing to change. That's such a blessing to see.

Suzanne said...

I, too, am married to a take-it-slow man. It drove me crazy at first! But now I have learned to slow down as well, and not be such a slave to my schedule. Remember that most tasks will be there later. Our time with family may not be.

Liedeke said...

LOL, you catch on quick! Like the other ladies mentioned, it takes many of us a lot longer to not get frustrated (as a rule) and instead enjoy our husbands and our moments our lives (as a rule).

Well, thanks for your insight. It helps me a lot.

I suppose it's not for nothing that 'we rushing girls' are attracted to 'steady and stable men'.

~Liedeke

ChelB said...

Your husband sounds very similar (personality-wise) to mine!: ) His favorite saying has to do with one wasting their life away with both "hurry and worry." Until I married my husband I was definitely living an "over scheduled" life. Funny, I also felt that time seemed to pass right by whenever we were together too. I'm now married nearly one year and think that marrying my "non-hurried/worried" husband was the best thing I ever did!! ; ) Finally, my husband and I also used my father-in-law's Internet connection and did our laundry there too for the first few months when we were married as well. We saved quite a bit of money and also read several books together back then too. It's good to see that you're easily adjusting to living in a more relaxed and natural way.

Rachel said...

Wow, that sounds like my dad... I certainly have had to learn how to deal with his "lateness" while I love to be perfectly on time to everything.

Thanks for your thoughts!

lady jane said...

Your last sentence said it all, in my humble opinion.

"...I choose to drink in the beauty of slow days and evenings spent together, days on which not much is accomplished but so much is shared and enjoyed together."

Simply beautiful, AnnaT. May I quote you on my blog?

Anonymous said...

You know what though? You are spending precious time getting to know your husband and enjoying each other's company, that is an accomplishment indeed! Take this season of your life slowly and relish each day, once God blesses you with babies the days will truly fly by!

neuropoet3 said...

It is wonderful how God brings people together who compliment each other like this. :) In time you will be able to slow down (without having to consciously think about it) :) and he will probably learn to "watch the clock" a little (though you'd be surprised at what a non-essential that really is in life) - that's one of the wonders of marriage. We learn so much from each other as we grow together! :)

Peace be with you,
~Jenny

Cherish the Home said...

Very wise Mrs. T! (o:

Buffy said...

It's wonderful that you can see his point of view so clearly and really appreciate the value of his approach.

I have the opposite problem in that my husband likes to achieve as much as possible. When we are on holiday he asks what time to set the alarm.

elena rulli said...

I am a take-it-easy person and love to have someone who is more active and task-focused than me, because we try to complement each other; enjoy these slow moments and take this chance to get to know more and more your lucky husband, I'm sure you'll make beautiful memories for the future :)
Much love
Elena

USAincognito said...

It is good you are learning how to throw out the set schedules and perfect To Do lists! Life is not about what we can check off on a list or accomplish in a day. It is about taking the time to appreciate the beauty around us and spending moments with the ones we love. :)
I continue to pray for you as you grow in your new marriage.

Karen said...

Good for you! Just enjoy your newlywed time and take it easy so you have time to get to know each other and get used to one another.

Allison said...

I am much like you Anna. I often times organize my time to most efficiently get as much done as possible. If I was in your place, it would be easy for me to nag because of the things that need to get done, but it is so much more important to build and strengthen your relationship than to get a few tasks done! How wonderful that you have understood this truth, it will bless your marriage!

Mrs. Rabe said...

Very wise, Mrs. T! Good for you to realize that you may not be getting "things" done, but you are spending time together!

Husbands don't appreciate "nagging" either, so it is wise of you to adjust your schedule!

I am happy for you both.

ChRlswfe4Jesus said...

WOW! Have you described my husband. I have let it so affect me that we are not acting like husband and wife at this time. Keep that attitude and if you find yourself slipping and letting it bother you remember it could ruin a good thing. Dawn

andrea said...

This made me think about me and my fiance. I'm the easy going kind of person, but he's a little more intense than I am. But, I think he handles stress and hard work better than me. I'm so low-key, that anything that disrupts my 'serenity' really drains me easily.

He's also way more outgoing than me. He's able to handle long times of socializing, when the thought of a lot of people makes me uneasy. It'll be interesting to see how that works out in our marriage!

Anonymous said...

my husband and i are like this- I tend to go into "go mode" and when I do, you'd better get out of the way :) but my husband is decidedly more laid back- the combination is nice, he can slow me down and i can speed him up if needs be :) when we compromise it's perfect!

Mrs W said...

The thing is that it isn't usually the men that have to put up with the consequences of the absolute rudeness of being late, so of course they don't care about it. You'd think that for the sake of manners they would, but they don't.

A Wonderful Life! said...

Wow good for you. I hope you enjoy your newly married days and relax.I loook forward toreading your posts. *stephanie

Jessica said...

I just started reading your blog. I found it on a Google search for modesty and just started reading. I love your posts--they are so gentle and kind and calm. Thank you for sharing your life!

Alexandra said...

Chuckles...I married an easy going man as well. It has balanced out through the years. He has gotten better at responding a bit quicker than a slug, and I've relaxed. We've learned from each other. I still have to give him a poke now and then to get him going. ;)

Rebecca Grider said...

I have to admit that I am a feminist, not interested in marriage and very much an athiest. I found your site by a weird series of links that brought me into a world I didn't think existed: women who strive to be housewives.

All that being said, I have become addicted to your site. The writing is sweet, crisp and really fills me with a sense of relaxation. There is obvious peace and joy in your life and I find that instead of being frustrated, as I am with most women who insist on placing themselves in what I consider a subservient role to men, I feel calmer, more appreciative of little things in my own life.

Most importantly, I realize that I am rooting for you - for you to continue to enjoy the life you've created which has given you such obvious contentment and joy. I am honestly excited about you getting married and starting your life with someone you continue to describe as "dear" and "beloved."

So while I may not the be kind of woman you'd respect or understand and at first I thought I'd think the same of you, I want you to know that someone out in the wild world is hoping for the best for you, cheering you on in your life.

Congratulations on your beautiful wedding. You looked radiant, beautiful and happy. Your husband is a lucky man.

The Chatty Housewife- said...

Congratulations and thank you for sharing the wedding photos. :) I always wonder why you never smile- we never see your teeth! I was glad to see that you have a real smile in the photo of you with your husbands family. You have a beautiful smile and should share it with others more often. :) Your husband looks like a very nice man and I hope you are very happy together. Your dress was so pretty- unbelievable! Very modest, but so pretty and styled beautifully.

Anonymous said...

You will learn so much from one another, Anna. I think it's very good, & generous, of you not to inform us of this characteristic in Mr.T as though it were a flaw. We all have a kind of internal clock, for lack of a better phrase. My husband's personality is more laid back, but his "clock" keeps him from running behind...I drive him crazy sometimes, because I try to get too much done in a short amount of time (& I used to be late for everything!). But, as I said earlier (in reference to you & your husband), couples will learn from one another.

My husband & I celebrate our twenty-third anniversary this Sunday. We have three wonderful children, & I am blessed in so many other ways as well. There have been harder years, lackluster years, exciting years. I know I have disappointed him at times, & I can say that he, also, has disappointed me. I don't know what the future holds. But I do know I would not be the person I am today if it were not for my husband. Marriage is not for the faint of heart, to be sure. It requires optimism, courage, selflessness, & a healthy dose of humor!! Where I've been deficient, God has been faithful to help me learn these things. I think you are much more mature as a newly married woman than I remember myself being all those years ago. I congratulate you for the attitude you're taking so early on. Many, many blessings, Mr.& Mrs.T!!

Brenda

MarkyMark said...

Ladies,

I find it hard to believe that you all are the clock watchers. Most of the women in my life are the ones who are late all the time; they drive me nuts! I, being a Navy vet, am very conscious about punctuality. For me, there's no excuse to be late; if I'm late, it's my fault for poor planning, scheduling, leaving late, etc. I used to be neurotic about being on time, because the Navy DRILLS that into you, big time; perhaps that's part of my personality, and the Navy only amplified that. I've gotten better about it though... :)

As for doing tasks, the IMPORTANT stuff gets done (paying bills, stuff like that); the not so important stuff (like cleaning dishes every day) can wait if I'm tired or busy. There are only so many hours in a day, so there will be days when things may not get done-end of story. Some days, I don't feel well, or don't have the energy I used to have; those are also days where things will be let go. For me, the wisdom comes from being able to TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO, i.e. the important, must-do items vs. those that can wait.

That difference between you and your husband sounds like a minor one though. Your husband has the IMPORTANT qualities that matter. I was reading your other post about how he stayed home when you were sick recently. Wow, that SPEAKS VOLUMES about him and his character; I'm impressed! For a lot of reasons, I'm impressed.

You also chose wisely, something most contemporary women fail to do-until it's too late, by which time they're angry, bitter, and used up. I still marvel how you were able to figure out what seems to be glaringly obvious to me and many other men, whereas most women have not, i.e. choosing a mate wisely, and preparing for the big life transition that marriage is. You'll have a long, lovely marriage largely because of your wise choice in a man, not to mention the preparations you undertook long before the big day. Sounds like you have a solid foundation in place. Whether you're talking about buildings, teams, or relationships, if the foundation is solid, what's built upon it will be solid also. The foundation is everything, and it sounds like you have a good one-congratulations!

Oh, if you get ill again, here's something that's worked for me: mixing hot tea with NATURAL, i.e. raw honey; I'm talking about honey that's straight from the beehive, not this processed, watered down stuff you find in the supermarkets. There's an old man, a farmer, near my job, and he sells natural honey. He raises bees on his farm, and that's how he gets the honey. Man, that stuff works MIRACLES! Thanks to the old man's honey, I haven't had to see a doctor for a cold going on two years now! My doctor doesn't like it, because it cuts into his business-oh well... ;)

Because fuel prices are rising here, I've been trying to ride my motorcycle whenever possible; I started doing so in March. My car gets 25-30 mpg, whereas my bikes get 50; it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the possible savings there when commuting to work alone racks up 120 miles. In my zeal to start saving money by riding sooner, I've ridden in to work when it was 30 degrees out a couple of mornings. Predictably, I got sick; can you say duh?!

In years gone by, these colds would have become serious; I would have been sick for days, if not weeks; I probably would have missed work too. When I get sick now, I'll have some hot tea, and mix the old man's honey with it. When I was sick recently, I'd have one cup of hot tea with my breakfast; have another on the way to work; then, at the end of the day, I'd drink another cup or two before going to bed. In each cup, I put a LOT of honey in with the hot tea. Guess what? In 2-3 days, I was better; the cold was GONE! Mixing that natural honey with hot tea works better than ANY ANTIBIOTIC I'VE EVER TAKEN! Between that and eating grapefruit during the winter (I'll finish my last grapefruit early next week), I do not get sick like I used to; when I do become ill, I shake the colds a LOT faster than in the past-I'm talking 2-3 days in most cases. If you can get some natural honey, try it next time you're sick; you'll be surprised at how well that stuff works. :) I'm serious! Since you're in a rural area, I'm sure someone has some for sale nearby; it's just a matter of finding this person...

My mom is ADDICTED to that stuff now! She goes through a 5# jar of honey every month-every month! I got her a little jar before one of my weekend visits as a nice gesture last year, and she just loved the stuff. I went from getting her a 1# jar initially to 2# jars; when the 2# jars didn't last long, I started getting her the 5# jars. Her allergies and arthritis have gotten better since she's been eating the stuff.

Oh, and I noticed you prayed the night you were unable to sleep for more than a half an hour at a shot; I also noticed how you were better afterwards. Hmmm, I think that there might be a link between the two! Thanks for reminding me to pray more often. As long was what we ask for isn't harmful to us, God WILL answer us-provided that we ask in the first place... :)

I'm out of here. As for the differences in temperament (with respect to accomplishing tasks), the wisdom comes from being able to differentiate what HAS to get done, vs. what can wait. Sounds like you have a good head start on this though; you're wise woman, and you'll figure it out. Your marriage sounds like a slice of Heaven on Earth. You chose your mate wisely. You prepared for marriage long before your wedding; you had the wisdom to know that it's a huge life change, and that getting ready beforehand will make the transition easier. You laid a good foundation, so you're reaping good results of your efforts and prayers. I'll give you a tip of the hat from America here, and offer you my congratulations! Finally, before you get sick, find a local farmer who sells NATURAL honey; that stuff works MIRACLES when you're sick! I know it has for me. My doctor isn't happy over the lost business, but I'm happy at having more money in MY wallet. :) You're in a rural area, so I'm sure someone has honey for sale; it's just a matter of FINDING this person. Good luck to you, Anna, and I'll be back to visit again...

MarkyMark