Saturday, 20 June 2015

marching to the beat of different drums

midlife blog ~ cresting the hill
UW Marching Band drummers perform during
a football game at Camp Randall Stadium.
by Jeff Miller 2000
I met my husband when I was 20 years old and he was 21. Full of the fresh flush of youth and all the optimism that goes with it, we got married less than 12 months later and launched into happily ever after. Or so it would seem...What the fine print in the fairy tales didn't mention is that, while opposites attract and compliment each other, they can also drive each other stir crazy at times!

I've been married to my dearly beloved husband for 32 years and it has taken me most of that time to work out that he marches to the beat of a completely different drum than the one I'm busy marching to. He comes across as sensible and ordered and competent - and he is all of those things, but he is also creative and easy going and apparently (I only found this out a year ago) he doesn't like to make plans. This last revelation threw me completely - we always make plans! We know what is happening and where we are going and what we are doing weeks in advance. The penny dropped when I realized that we know these things because I make plans! Everything is so streamlined that I didn't notice that it was me who was the driving force.

He is very smooth in his delegating of these things - case in point is gift buying. I have bought presents for every member of both our families since we were married - he is very complimentary and tells me how I have a talent in this area......meanwhile he is completely off the hook when it comes to finding yet another Mothers Day present or an engagement present or whatever else is needed. Because I am "the planner" apparently, I have all these occasions neatly filed in my brain and have gifts bought in time for them - he just goes with the flow and I never really noticed - Shrewd! ......Although I must admit he is excellent when it comes to buying gifts for me - so there is some balance in the equation.

I've also struggled constantly with the fact that he doesn't stay in full-time 9-5 work for any length of time - he much prefers to be working freelance and having flexible work time and schedules. I have been trying to squash him into the working husband box for all of our married life without stopping for a moment to see that he doesn't march to that drumbeat at all. I've kept pounding away at the 9-5 because I thought that was what I needed to do until he woke up one day and realized that it was his responsibility to do this and you know what? It's not! He's allowed to work how he likes without me making him feel bad about it and I can now step out of my 9-5 working box and have some freedom too. Maybe his drum is better than mine or maybe it's not but finally - after 33 years - I'm working out that it's okay to have more than one drumbeat marking time in our dance of life.

midlife blog ~ cresting the hill
Burning Man 2013 by Tristan Savatier

20 comments:

  1. I'm always amazed that the people who we live with still manage to surprise us, and how we still manage to surprise ourselves! Lovely insight, Leanne.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by again - you would think that after 30 or so years I'd have him worked out, but.....no :)

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  2. Oh how I love this line: "What the fine print in the fairy tales didn't mention is that, while opposites attract and compliment each other, they can also drive each other stir crazy at times!" Time and wisdom are our best friends aren't they? Love this piece!

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    1. Thanks so much Ruth for the encouragement and yes, wisdom is certainly a help at times :)

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  3. Nice post! I wanted you to keep going... maybe next week?

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    1. I'm doing a little something on the family as a whole next week - I started to think about doing more on my poor husband but I didn't want it to be a whinge fest - most of his little quirks are a counterpoint to mine!

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  4. Great post. Our marriage works the opposite way around - I'm the disorganised one and hubby is the organised one. Although he's not organised enough for us to function as a normal couple - we are totally disorganised and rather too spontaneous, especially as we've got two kids!x

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    1. Hi Natalie - I'd love to be more spontaneous but I am rather lacking in that department! I'm sure it's good for the kids to grow up in a flexible environment - ours had very defined boundaries (my OCD coming to the fore!)

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  5. Great post Leanne! My husband always manages to surprise me- except I hate surprises. I'm this kind of person: as long as everything is my way, I'm totally flexible:)

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    1. Hi Abby - I think I have that flexible quote saved on one of my pinterest boards because it applies to me too :)

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  6. My partner also doesn't like to make plans and it drives me nuts.I now just make all the plans then tell him on the day what we are doing! You have been together a long time so it obviously works!

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    1. Hi Anne - I think it all comes out in the wash and you find a way to make differences work out. I'm just amazed that it took me 30 years to realize that I did all the planning. :)

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  7. It seems like you finally have the time to figure out all kinds of things these days. My husband and I are opposites too. It can be wonderful and it can drive you up the wall all at the same time.

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    1. That's probably true Rena - I was so busy (making plans?) that I hadn't noticed these things! And we all know that opposites attract :)

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  8. I am so glad you are discovering new things about your husband too. My husband and I are polar opposites...not a dull moment for sure

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    1. Thanks Donna - it does keep married life interesting!

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  9. Different beats make for better dancing! :)

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  10. My husband and I have been married for 25 years, together for 33, and I'm still trying to figure him out. I guess it's good that we're opposites, but sometimes....

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    1. Hi Lana - yep sometimes I just shake my head.......my husband read my post and thought I'd overstated it - when I asked him "which bit?" he couldn't actually tell me :)

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