Wednesday, February 26, 2014

One Direction Prayers

There's nothing like some warm weather to lift your spirits. We've had some early mornings and long days recently, and we also received some hard news last week about one of Michael's best friends which resulted in us driving to New York last weekend. So the weather we had last week in DC was seriously glorious. And needed.

Last Tuesday, I was driving down P Street in Georgetown and was loving life and dreaming of spring with the windows rolled down and One Direction's "Story of My Life" on the radio. The snow was melting, and all was right in the world. 

Everyone was coming outside in droves, tired of the long hibernation during this seasonal event called WINTER. (It's snowing again today.) I even saw two pairs of older folks, two men walking together and two woman walking together, all looking quite smart as they walked into a sandwich shop for lunch. In my mind, on that bright, non-wintery day, those strangers were going to meet and fall-in-love and live happily, elderly after together. This is how my mind works on non-wintery days.

By the way, when I said they were looking "quite smart," I meant the British use the term: well-dressed, chic, dapper. Reason being -- I just finished reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. It's a love story (or is it a coming-of-age story?) set in England. I love anything British and anything about love so basically I loved this book. And the story makes you majorly cry, which is a nice thing sometimes. My favorite scene from this book will probably be one of my favorite scenes ever from any book: Lou and Will dancing together at a wedding, all eyes on them, almost like normal lovers. Almost.

You may be surprised about my mentioning the British boy band called One Direction. Or maybe you are not surprised at all, considering my maturity level is sometimes that of a 16-year old. I do happen to really like One Direction, especially their song "Story of My Life." I watched the music video, and I of course also watched the "making the video" clip, which I found quite interesting because I was wondering how the boys were moving in slow motion, but they were still singing in sync with the song. Does that even make sense, what I just said? Anyway (where am I going with this? I'm never really sure...) the point is that I told Michael about this little special effect, and then he of course had to watch the video and the "making the video" clip to see what I was talking about. (I love him for even feigning interest in my weird conversation about a British boy band.) So as we were driving out of DC on our way to New York last weekend, Michael was watching a One Direction music video. When on road trips, we always say a prayer for safety and alertness on the road, and so as Michael was praying, he said:

"Lord, please keep us in One Direction as we drive today."

And I fell in love all over again. 

We made it to New York, where Bella, my dog-in-law, will find you if you are napping. And napped we did. 

So maybe if your day is a little grey like it is today (hey hey), you just need some British boy band pick-me-ups. Here are two other Brits whose musical serenades I love: Ed Sheeran's "Give me Love" or "Kiss Me", and of course, Ben Howard's "Old Pine" and "Depth over Distance."


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Wife of a 3rd Year Med Student

It's been a while since I wrote about med school. Since this is a rather hard time in the med school process, I thought it would be good to get my thoughts down on paper. I know that I'm not the only one going through this -- being married to a med student -- so hopefully these words will be encouraging.

...But you may have to wait until the end of this post because what I'm about to say is not going to sound encouraging.

Practicing his knots

Sometimes I feel like I'm in a long-distance relationship.  Michael, my 3rd-year med student husband, gets up at 3:00am (you heard me, THREE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING) to get to the Georgetown hospital to round with his patients before scrubbing into surgery. He's in surgery all day and comes home anywhere between 5:00pm and 9:00pm. If he comes home at 5:00pm, he usually will take a nap. So when I come home around 5:30, he is sleeping. I'll make dinner and we'll talk about our days for 15 minutes while eating. If he comes home at 9:00pm, then we'll sit on the sofa for 15 minutes to hear about our days before Michael goes to bed at 9:30pm.

We used to love going to bed and waking up together, but that hasn't happened in four months. We used to have more face time, but now we are just ships passing in the night. We are in desperate need of a date night. We are in desperate need of re-connecting.

And I'm in desperate need of trying to keep myself from being self-pitying and selfish and from complaining the day away. I can SO EASILY slip into a resentful and mean-spirited wife. I make Michael's lunch, I do the laundry, I clean the house, I make money, I do the grocery shopping, I run errands, I cook dinner. And I only see my husband for 15 minutes a day. I get tired of talking about med school and what specialty Michael should go into, and I get tired of our normal nightly convos about how the day was. I just get tired of it all! And I want to see my husband more! And I want him to know that this isn't easy for me!

All I want to do is sulk.

But this strategy... basically.... doesn't work at all. I've tried it. In fact, if I don't check myself, my natural inclination would be to sulk and pout and be a terrible wife to my desperately tired husband. When I do this, I might be vindicated for.... like... three seconds.

"You haven't taken me on a date in a month!"

"You don't make time for me!"

And then Michael stares at me speechless because he knows that I'm right, but he also knows that he literally and physically can't do anything about it. He really can't make time for me. He literally doesn't have enough hours in the day, and he physically is so tired that he would fall asleep at dinner if we went out. (I feel like this is making Michael out to be a terrible husband. He is so incredibly far from being a terrible husband. He is my angel man, I swear. He just doesn't have that precious thing called time. He is not on call this coming weekend -- something that I am OVER-THE-MOON happy about.)

Question: What to do in this situation??

Answer: Get yourself to Bible Study and tell your girls your problems and have them remind you of some solid truth.


I was doing that very thing last night when my dear friend Jen reminded me of a talk we heard last year about how to better understand your man. John Yates, the pastor at the Falls Church, said that sometimes the wife has to take charge and plan a date night. Pick a restaurant, make a reservation, schedule the babysitter, and tell your husband. Understand that right now, he doesn't have the time or energy to figure these pieces out. And understand that if you (the wife) don't take charge and schedule time to re-connect, you are just going to pile resentment on resentment.

A few years ago, I read something from this blog that has stuck with me: "My marriage is the most important thing." And there is a sweetness that comes with that reality. That no matter what the circumstances are or how I feel like I am taking 2nd place to this big THING (med school,) my marriage is the most important thing.

My marriage is always the most important thing.

And I can't wait for the weekend.