IMG_0842Christine here.  I always seem to turn to this blog when I have something to complain about.  I try to also throw in something interesting about braiding, also, but really I just want to b—-.

So, today is my birthday.  My husband and I share a birthday, although 9 years apart.  (Usually at this point in the explanation, my husband usually cuts in and says, “She’s a cougar.”  Which I am not:  he’s older. )  In any case, we discovered that we had the same birthday on our second date, which was in the middle of a game of Pictionary that we were playing at a house party, when I lived with 4 other young women in a ramshackle old beautiful house in West Philadelphia.  We each pulled out our driver’s licenses to verify that yes, we both were January 15.  It is sort of amusing, but not really that interesting.

Our usual approach to our birthdays is that, at some point today, John will say to me:  “We should go out to dinner.  To celebrate.  You know, our birthdays.”  And I’ll say back, “Yeah, we should do that.”  That’s usually as far as it goes.

We used to love to go out to dinner.  When I lived in Philly and he lived out in Haverford, he would drive in and we would go to some ethnic place — Thai, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Palestinian, etc.  Since I veered toward vegetarian, and there were more likely to be good options in the ethnic restaurants, we tended to go to those places.  Besides, I’ve always liked ethnic food, and Philadelphia is wonderful for ethnic food.

Then we moved to Pittsburgh in the early 1990’s.  I have slowly come to appreciate Pittsburgh, but when I first moved out here, I was a bit dismayed.  Although now Pittsburgh is known as a “foodie” place, back then, it was a food desert — for the ethnic food that I liked, that is.  There were a couple moderately good Chinese places, and some too-oily Indian places, and that’s about it.

With John’s grad school and my residency, we just couldn’t find the time to go out, and when we did, we were disappointed.  Then we had kids and ate at Wendy’s and Chuck-E-Cheese, and the Burger King with the play land (yes, I was one of those bad Happy Meal mothers).  Due to my son’s persistently abysmal tastes (mac & cheese, pizza) we haven’t gotten much further than that.  We have one restaurant that is our Go-To place for fine dining when we have parents or cousins or other guests in town.

So what am I complaining about?  I’m complaining about myself.  I am just sick to death of my own lassitude, and even laziness, in making efforts toward doing some of the things that my husband and I used to do together — going out to dinner, going for walks in the evenings, just doing things together.  The guy isn’t getting any younger, which his birthday is reminding me of.  I need to pay more attention to him.  He is my husband, after all.

Yes, I’m busy.  I seem to spend the days running around like crazy.  Last night I came home from a weekend away (braid guild meeting),  with the intention of helping my son pack last night for going back to college today.  Of course he had put off doing laundry until last night, and wouldn’t you know that our 10 year old washing machine died last night?  So we had to pack up all of Jack’s laundry and go out to a laundromat last night, in the cold and ice and snow.  So it wasn’t an evening at home at all.

Today, Jack and I are doing a Target run for shampoo and soap and a new sweatshirt, and then heading up to school moving him back in, making his bed which he still pretends that he has never learned to do, and then I’ll head back home.  My daughter is still home from college for another week, and the my husband and daughter are close, so they’ll probably be out somewhere together when I get home.  I’m angry already about coming home to an empty house, and on my birthday, of all things.

I think I need to spend a little more time paying attention to the details of my marriage, and setting up things that we can do together.  I’ve always delighted in the fact that we were so comfortably independent — he flies off to his astronaut and space-oriented events, and track events, and I drive or fly off to braiding events.  But I think we’ve gotten to the point that we just don’t do anything together anymore, except live in the same house.  We’re not unhappy… we’re just sort of preoccupied with our own things.

I need to work on that.

And, I need to finish the newsletter issue, and get to work on my Challenge Rug, and get to work on some of the handouts for classes at the braid in….

IMG_0897 (1)

Ocean Waves Border: one of my classes I’m teaching at the braid in.

But what I’m really interested in at the moment is scrolls.  I’ll be teaching the class on the “Ocean Waves Border” at the braid in, which is two S-shaped braids that inter-link.  And I worked on the 6-braid scroll for the upcoming newsletter — although I think it’s a bit complicated and will probably hold off on the directions for anything other than the 6-braid spiral.

IMG_0895.jpgI think the rug that I’m going to make for the “Contemporary Braided Art Rugs” exhibit will be something that has a lot of spirals and scrolls, perhaps in a sort of Persian Rug kind of design.  We’ll see…








12 thoughts on “Preoccupied

  1. I don’t have time to tell you all about my crazy life.
    My husband is in heaven and I miss him. I wish we had spent more time together after our 5 children grew up. I also miss my oldest son who went to heaven a few years ago too.
    Think about how you felt about your spouse when you were dating and first married. Try to recapture the feeling. Also remember how you felt when your children were born.
    My friends thru my hobbies and
    church are helping to fill the void.
    Life and people are not perfect. Only God is.
    Do what you have to do and and try to enjoy each moment.
    God bless us all

  2. I hear what you’re saying about doing nothing together. We, too, have struggled with it for years. Physical ailments have prevented my husband from doing active things other than biking. (At least we do that together) Now that he has new body parts i am anxious to see if anything changes. Hang in there. After the kids are gone you might see improvement. As you said, we talk about going out an never do. Take charge and make the reservations insuring that you will go out. In today’s world too many people sit next to each other texting. Leave your phones at home and actually talk.. Take a weekend away together. It might help.

  3. Hi Christine, Happy birthday to both of you. Thank you for being so open and candid with your blog and life. I see the encouragement of Anne and Carol being in concert with my thoughts. Take the lead and make arrangements for a special dinner place or concert or bed and breakfast that he and you would enjoy just to say “I’m glad to be with you and here’s to what we are together.” Being married to a dear man who is my senior I count each day, month, and year a privilege to not take for granted. Blessings….braiding sister. And yes, continue on with the lovely scrolls.

  4. Hi Christine, I always enjoy your posts no matter what you write, and Im glad that you trust us enough to share your troubles and worries with us. You know that old saying, “life is short”? Well the older I get, 63, the older I realize how very true it is. My life and marriage ended on
    Feb. 10, 2015. Oh, not because anyone died or moved, but because my husband of 45 years had a stroke. He never was an affectionate man, had worked hard to become a P.A. (physician assistant), but no matter what he was, he is now gone. Some days are not so bad and he seems somewhat normal, but other days, I’m not sure how we will get through and to my shame, if I even want to continue like this anymore. Maybe you questioning if you should spend more time with your husband is God’s way of saying, “Live for today! With the Blessings He has given you.” I always tell people to live in a such a way that when they look back on life, they will have no regrets. I pray you find your answer and joy!
    God Bless
    Jackie Noel
    I wish there were some way of joining you ladies on facebook without facebook, I got rid of mine years ago when it became time consuming and aggravating. Also, am I mistaken but
    wasn’t one of you talented ladies working on a book? Is it out and I missed it?
    Take care, I always wonder where everyone is in all the bad weather I hear about.

    • Jackie, I appreciate the story you shared. Yes, things can change in an instant — and it’s an important thing to think about while life is going pretty well.
      Regarding the book… I am Not Talking About It!

    • Jackie, very good words for all to heed. May you continue to have strength to be a helpful and compassionate mate. Thank you.

  5. Gosh…I hope you didn’t come home to an empty house for your birthday… This may sound trite, but it’s too bad that you share the same birthday. I love my birthday – it’s MY day and it took my husband some years to learn that… I feel like it s a day to celebrate me! I usually plan something fun or at least a dinner out for my DH and he does the same for me. We also make cakes for each other. Perhaps you could celebrate on different days or one of you plan the birthday events one year and the other the next. It should be a special day!
    I understand that you are discussing more than birthdays though. We do not have children and so we don’t get so distracted and pulled in different directions.We like to do things separately as well, but we are interested in what the other one does and enjoy talking at dinner about what’s going on.
    Perhaps taking the time to make that dinner reservation and being waited on and not having your phones on and just paying attention to each other would make a difference. Since we don’t have kids, people wonder why we like to go out, but there are distractions aplenty when one is at home. It sounds to me like a belated dinner is in order. ;-D
    Take care….Debbie

Comments are closed.