We all know about the “fight or flight” instinct. When faced with something formidable most creatures, whether human or animal, feel an adrenaline rush and have all but a split second to decide whether they are going to stand their ground and fight the good fight or whether that are going to turn tail and run in the other direction.

Neither choice is more noble than the other. Sometimes, straightening your shoulders and taking on your enemy is the best course of action. Other times, the wisest thing you can do is walk away and prevent further trauma for yourself and the people you love. There are times that you need to put up your dukes and other times where you need to breathe a deep sigh, turn on your heel and walk until you cannot walk anymore.

This past weekend found me in that in-between state. All that I have on the go and all that is coming down the pipe caught up to me and I felt that all-too-familiar tightening in my chest. I spent the bulk of Saturday at the office followed by a big grocery shop. I arrived home and immediately started prepping dinner for that night and the next. Matthew had to bring a bunch of yard waste to the dump and upon his return he walked into the kitchen, wrapped his arms tightly around me and said something that struck me as both odd and wonderful at the same time.

“I like you.”

It is no secret that I strive on words of affirmation and that switch-up from the usual, “I love you” made me smile from the inside out.

We talked about the stresses we are both facing. Me with the bazillion work hours and him trying to balance his part-time work while the kids are on spring break. (One week down, one more week to go. He deserves a HUGE treat (if, and) when he survives it.) We then sat down together and booked our first! ever! family vacation that does not involve staying with relatives or doing a whirlwind tour de √Čtats-Unis. We’re going to spend three nights in Vancouver (BC) at the kids’ request and take in big tourist attractions: The Zoo, Science World, the Aquarium. Can you believe that I lived in Vancouver for six years and never went to the Aquarium? Me neither. It’s time to remedy that.

Right about the time that Matthew’s tolerance for The Big City wears out, we’ll be heading to Cannon Beach. While we managed to squeeze an afternoon down there during our annual fall shopping trip, we liked it so much that we think it’s the perfect place for us to get away to and relax. We’ve booked four nights in a cute little cottage that’s only two blocks from the beach. There will be walks on the ocean, trips to the ice cream parlor, evenings spent sitting on the deck and just being. We plan on spending a day in Portland to (hit up our beloved Powell’s Books, and) see Kerri and any of the other Portlanders who want to (Finally!) meet ma familia.

Cementing those plans made them feel real finally and gave me something to look forward to as I hunker down for these next seven weeks. If that glimmer of hope wasn’t enough to boost my spirits, Matthew insisted that I stay home from church on Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon/evening is time spent playing in the yard with the kids, taking photos and just hanging out. After the kids are in bed I try to read or write or something that quiets my spirit. It’s basically a time to recharge before diving in to Monday morning. I guard Sundays fiercely because it keeps me (mostly) balanced.

We had family in town and the only day that worked for the big family dinner was Sunday. I love our extended family and knew we’d have another great visit filled with lots of laughter but Matthew knows how much I need my down time. He insisted that I sleep in and take the morning to do whatever I wanted. I woke up as they were driving away and put those three hours of alone time to good use. I cleaned the bathrooms (He usually does them, so it only seemed fair) and then I set to work having “me time”. I read for a bit, I journaled for a bit, I mapped out my week so that I could feel ready for the days to come.

The rest of the day consisted of the playing in the yard, the taking of the photos, the hanging out with extended family. Now I sit here with a little sense of foreboding because Monday is coming but I think that all of the good from Sunday should carry me through it. If not, there’s always chocolate.

I know that I will get through the next seven weeks. I always do. I’m a fighter. I’ll dig in my heels, stand my ground and get ‘er done. I just may have a few meltdowns in the process. Brace yourselves.

Another thing that has brightened my week is this video by OK Go. I’m sure you’ve seen it, but if not, you must.

This too shall pass, INDEED.

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  1. Maria March 15, 2010 3:16 am edit

    It’s so important to like your partner, maybe more so than to love them, in some ways. Such a sweet man you’ve got.

    And OMG that video blew my mind the first time! It took them months to make that contraption!
    .-= Maria´s last blog ..Ebonics, and other things. =-.

  2. LauraRad March 15, 2010 5:09 am edit

    Have you read The Five Love Languages book by Gary Chapman? It’s a fantastic book that talks about how each person ‘speaks’ a different love language, and it’s only when you know your spouse’s language and can learn to speak it that your relationship can really grow into itself. The love languages are Quality Time, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, and Physical Touch. I am a Words of Affirmation, which is what triggered me to think of the book; you mentioning that you thrive on words of affirmation.

    Anyway, it’s a lovely book – I 100% recommend it to anyone, even people who have fantastic marriages.
    .-= LauraRad´s last blog ..St. Patrick’s Day Parade Love =-.

  3. angella March 16, 2010 8:26 am edit

    I haven’t read the book, but we took the Alpha marriage course a few years ago and they incorporated the love languages as part of it.

    Matthew and I are both “words of affirmation” and “acts of service”, which explains why we get along so well. :)

  4. Sharon March 15, 2010 6:44 am edit

    That’s awesome that you’ve planned a family vacation! Some of my best childhood memories are from our various vacations over the years. They were wonderful trips. Hope you guys have a fantastic time!
    .-= Sharon´s last blog ..Flying through the air =-.

  5. Jen March 15, 2010 7:59 am edit

    I am so happy to hear that you have a great family vacation planned. You guys all deserve it! You and Matthew sound like a wonderful team. It’s important to both like AND love your partner. I hope that the next 7 weeks aren’t too bad, and I’m happy you got a chance to take care of yourself on Sunday.

  6. Heather March 15, 2010 8:45 am edit

    Yay for vacations! The anticipication is worth so much for me.

    Yay for down time!

    Yay for liking!

  7. hillary March 15, 2010 9:06 am edit

    Dude! Your kids + my dogs. Let’s do this.
    .-= hillary´s last blog ..I Am Hated For Loving Anonymous Call Poison Pen =-.

  8. angella March 16, 2010 8:27 am edit

    We’ll be down there for a few days and staying in Burnaby… :)

  9. Kim Bosch March 15, 2010 9:11 am edit

    There is something to be said about connecting the idea of “this too shall pass” to Rube Goldberg contraptions…that is, a Rube Goldberg machine can (especially on this large a scale) be a metaphor for the various stages and happenings of life. It all goes on regardless of what form it takes (bowling ball hitting a target, one domino hitting another, etc. etc.) either way, it moves. Even in a FAILED Rube Goldberg moment, if one of the dominoes REALLY doesn’t hit the next one and you find yourself at a stand still, you can count on someone external to come and push you on your way.

    So great. Thanks for this excellent post.
    .-= Kim Bosch´s last blog ..Day 46 – Hummingbird =-.

  10. angella March 16, 2010 8:27 am edit

    Thanks for a great comment. Awesome.

  11. victoria winters March 15, 2010 10:39 am edit

    I so like it when my husband says he loves me, but to be told you are liked is almost better.

    We were just thinking of taking a vacation that does NOT involve staying with relatives. You know, a REAL vacation? We haven’t really done that before (other than the awesome one to Europe back in 2005). Only problem is? Traveling with a 2 year old doesn’t sound fun.

    How do you travel with children and still enjoy yourself as an adult?
    .-= victoria winters´s last blog ..Team Whip It Good =-.

  12. angella March 16, 2010 8:31 am edit

    I think you just have to have different expectations.

    Matthew & I went to Mexico without the kids to years ago and it was AMAZING. We know that if we ever go as a family, it will be a whole different vibe. Laying on the beach all day, reading books, won’t really fly. At least until they are teenagers. :)

  13. Kami's Khlopchyk March 15, 2010 11:18 am edit

    Hip hip hooray for the vacation! And the trip to NYC!

    I know you are feeling overwhelmed right now but I also know how amazing and strong you are. You will get through this!

    .-= Kami’s Khlopchyk´s last blog ..Negative Nellie Be Gone =-.

  14. Elizabeth March 15, 2010 1:05 pm edit

    Hang in there. I think that blogging has caused my love language to shift to words of affirmation, too. Funny, no??
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Squint =-.

  15. M.Bailey March 15, 2010 4:17 pm edit

    Something that strikes me in all of your posts is your amazing sense of strength – and Matthew’s great support. One day at a time – and before you know it, you will be on vacation eating chocolate ice cream.

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