A Letter to the Anxious Newlywed: You Are Doing Just Fine…

Blogger PSA: We are posting late today because the blogger’s oldest cat was quite needy and energetic, swatting at bloggers hand and arm when enough attention was not given. After this went on for almost 2 hours (seriously), normal activities could resume as the cat slept and snored on the couch. The good news is she has recently lost weight. The bad news is she now has boundless energy that can only be drained by kicking the snot out of the youngest and many rounds of ribbon toy play……While I have some free moments, lets get today started……. 🙂

Before our topic of the day, a follow-up to a letter I wrote about Pizza Hut. Last night we ordered pizza again. This time we wrote in the “special instructions” section to put the spinach underneath the cheese. They did it and it was divine!! Moral of the story is; when you want something changed, it doesn’t hurt to ask! 🙂

Last night I did some the housework. Ok, I lied. I only did the dishes. But I did them all till the sink was empty leaving behind only the rust stains in the sink from previous dishes that were forgotten for a long period (sidenote: anyone know how to get rid of rust stains in a white deep tub sink? Let me know-thanks! 🙂 ). Washing them till they are all clean is something that hasn’t happened a lot since we’ve been married (we lived apart till after we married). And I was pretty sure things would end up this way. We’ve been married almost 3 years.

See, I’ve known for quite some time that my anxiety makes it hard to transition to change. Actually I know now that it’s my anxiety, but my aversion to change has been noticeable for way longer.

I first noticed it in college when I’d leave campus for Christmas and then come back a few weeks later. Getting back into the swing of classes was challenging for me. My anxiety at the time manifested itself in the constant need to visit the bathroom–and there were plenty of times this need would come up so quickly I’d not have time to get there. This reaction to transition would go away after a few weeks, but it would be rough till I rode it out. Mostly in silence. My parents knew, but not my friends.

Then there was the semester that my bladder leakage issues triggered from transition changed to under eye twitching. I had never been so happy about an anxiety symptom in my life! Finally I didn’t have to worry about making it to the bathroom in time. This time I could just sit there and let my eyelid twitch to its heart’s content.

Years later when Chad and I were preparing for marriage, I brought this up. I told him that my body reacts weirdly to change and transition; the bigger the change, the bigger the response from my body. So far in my life, marriage has been the biggest transition I’ve gone through. And getting settled and figuring out how to be married and how things also get done around the house has taken time.

We’ve been married almost 3 years and I am just now feeling like we are finally grooving. We are starting to figure out a good way to get things done around the house, and find time for each other.

Dear newlywed (especially those with anxiety), it’s OK if you’ve been married several years and haven’t figured out how to get it all done. It’s normal that your home is not like those uber clean houses on TV. Doesn’t matter that you don’t have kids.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Do what you can and celebrate the little things, like when you finally get all the dishes done.

Remember you are NEVER EVER alone. I’m rooting for you. You can do this!



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If Change Were an Herb it Would be Cilantro……

I love how, as a blogger, inspiration can strike anywhere. Especially in conversation. Yesterday was no different. As I was talking to my mom on the phone, doing our weekly catch up session, I asked what they were doing. Here is her breezy response: “Oh, we are driving around looking at houses.” Panic set in and I managed to utter a “WHAT??” See, when my mom told me this, I thought my parents were moving out of their house. Why did this make me panic, you may ask? Simply this-I hate change (and cilantro, in case you were wondering, but at least the latter and I can tolerate each other in small doses). 

As it turns out, my parents are NOT moving, but they simply wanted ideas about how to finish their basement. My mom now knows that she should have led with this little nugget of information. See, I grew up in the house my parents own. We never moved. The interior may have changed a few times, even our address (long story), but we never physically moved from our house. 

It seems that this aversion to change may be steeped deep within my own family. Here are some examples:

1. Many years ago when my siblings and cousins were kids, my grandma B did the unthinkable and changed the wallpaper in her bathroom. We all had fond memories of the wall paper and were so devastated, presumably because we were not consulted prior to its demise, that for christmas that year she gave us each a manilla folder with a piece of the original wallpaper securely taped to the front. I can’t decide if this made her an enabler or the world’s best grandma. For now I’m going with the latter description.

2. If you grew up in a composting family, you probably remember “the bucket.” You know the one I’m talking about. The bucket that was used to hold food scraps collected after every meal. When it was full the bucket would be taken out to the compost pile to begin the biodegrading process. All through my growing up years, we only went through two buckets. Why only two, you ask? Well, it’s simple. Our original compost bucket, of sturdy metal, served us faithfully for many years until a leak in the bottom rendered it useless.  So an alternative bucket was found and promoted. But things were never the same. Sure the bucket did a fine job of holding our leftover scraps, but there was still something missing from our kitchen. So what did my parents do? Yep, they went out and bought one the exact color and shape of the original.  

And what may be the craziest example of an aversion to change within my own family is the story of The Clock:

3. When I was a kid, my parents had an old clock in their kitchen via 1960 something. If you’ve ever seen and paid close attention to the US sit-com “Everybody Loves Raymond” you know what clock I’m talking about. Turns out the clock that hangs in Marie Barone’s kitchen is a dead ringer for the clock that I grew up with in my own parent’s kitchen. Unfortunately I am not able to find a picture of said clock, so let me just describe it to you. This clock, of a flat honeycomb shape, was in mosaic style and had tiny pastel ceramic tiles inside of it. The face of the clock was white with black numbers. 

Around late 1990-something, the clock bit the dust. Despite a valiant attempt at fixing the clock, the effort failed. Apparently parts for a clock made in the 60’s are not widely available. With sadness, the clock was taken off the wall and a new one purchased. This one was still honey combed shaped, but was solid wood with gold around the face. It took the same position in the kitchen as the old ceramic clock. I can’t remember how long it hung on the wall before it happened. We all began to notice how loud the clock was. With each movement of the hands, the clock sounded like someone was clipping their toenails in a room full of monks who’d taken a vow of silence. After awhile it really began to get on everyone’s nerves. 

After living with this annoying clock for months, Christmas morning arrived. My mom received a small box from my dad. Inside the box was a card with an address in Chicago. The address was for a clock maker that specialized in vintage clock parts. The old clock was shipped immediately to the address in Chicago, and joyfully hung back up in my parents kitchen weeks later where it still occupies space today. The loud, toe nail clipping monk clock was moved permanently to a less conspicuous area of the house. 

Change is hard. For some it can be very hard. If you are one that struggles with change, I hope this blog helps you realize you are not alone or in any way crazy–seriously, read the compost bucket story again 😉 . 



*Wayne’s World meme on change appears courtesy: www.wordstream.com