Journal Entry

I have a book at home that has many recipes that I have collected over the years. It is one of the things I would grab in a fire if I could. It has proven even more meaningful and special recently.

At the very beginning of the book I wrote a journal entry. I meant to use it for that and for keeping recipes. That entry is the only one I ever made. Before this blog I had good intentions of writing a journal but it just never really happened.

That entry was written in 1993 on the day my now 19-year-old son turned 6-months-old and a week before my now 21-year-old daughter turned 2. The descriptions I wrote about what they were like and what they were doing are priceless. In her 21st birthday card I rewrote what I had recorded in the journal about her at 2. I know she will appreciate seeing what I said about her back then.

In that same entry I wrote the following about Alex.

Alex started his MBA two weeks ago with a residency program. He went to class last Friday and will go this Saturday. He will go every other Friday or Saturday. I am glad he is going but I am very apprehensive about this process. He is going to be working so much and studying a lot. I just want to be supportive and help him through this whole thing.

He is such a wonderful man and I am so lucky to have him. I love him so much.

I am really struck all these years later with what I wrote and expressed. I could have written about me. I could have said that I was apprehensive about having a 6-month-old and a 2-year-old and a husband in a MBA program and with a full-time job. I could have written about how his MBA meant no time for myself but I didn’t.

I wrote about supporting him and being there for him. And I expressed my love for him. I feel pretty proud of this.

I had pushed him into the MBA program. He was apprehensive about how much time he would be away from us, as I was, but I knew that as our children grew that the demands they placed on our time would only increase so I wanted him to do it then. It was the right decision. Because they were so little there were no games or recitals to miss and so there were no disappointments there. I knew that the longer he waited the harder it would be for all of us. It was never going to be easy and that was the best time.

Back when I wrote this I would not have considered what I wrote in a submissive context but when I look back I know that was at least a part of it. Making that process easier for him was important. Maybe submissive is not exactly the right term but more like supportive. As his wife I knew that my job was to support him so he could do what he needed for his career and to take care of us.

I’ve said this before, but we went through a lot of time where we had both forgotten those feelings. We had both allowed the pressures of life to come between us. Much of the support had disappeared.

One of the things that I find so beneficial about how we live now is that we don’t allow those pressures to do that anymore. In big and small ways I am more mindful of how what I do throughout my day will affect him and my whole family. It’s hard to explain in a way. The things I do are things that need to be done anyway –  making the bed, keeping the house clean and in good order, making nice meals for the family – but my mindset is changed. Often when I don’t feel like doing something I do it, not because of the possibility of punishment, but because it will make all our lives better and easier in the long run. I feel like in many ways I have returned to the priorities I had then and somehow lost or let fall away. I support him so he can take care of us.

He in turn can be more productive at work and at home because he is not fighting battles everywhere. He has less stress because he can relax at home and not walk into one more conflict. He is able to do what he needs to do because he is supported.

It is so easy to loose sight of what is important. That journal entry allowed me to glimpse an old me that in many ways I had forgotten and who, it turns out, is a lot more familiar than I would ever have thought.

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20 Comments

  1. mypersonalthinkingspot

     /  09/09/2012

    I love finding old snippets of things I thought, wrote, felt, or anything like that. I did keep a diary after my first boyfriend broke up with me, but never started with DH. One of the reasons I love my blog.
    Isn’t it wonderful to see how long you have been together and the support and love you have always had for him?

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  09/10/2012

      It really is wonderful to be able to look back and see how we have grown.

      Reply
  2. Tess

     /  09/09/2012

    What a special keepsake to have! You have come so far in your relationship…but maybe a better way to look at it is that this lifestyle has really enabled you to come back to where you began. I bet your daughter will truly cherish your memories of her as a child. That kind of thing is so precious!

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  09/10/2012

      It really has brought us back to where we began. It is nice to be back to those old feelings.

      Reply
  3. Slightly Naughty Princess (SNP)

     /  09/09/2012

    Very Cool, Zoe. The support you show each other is wonderful. I loved that you found that old journal entry that YOU wrote and how much it meant at the time and how much it means to you today looking back. As I started….very cool.

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  09/10/2012

      Thanks SNP. I think it’s pretty cool too. It feels like we are on the right path right now.

      Reply
  4. That is so special! They grow up so fast. And our relationship changes over the years too. It’s nice to look back and realize that changes and see where you went full circle.

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  09/10/2012

      It does feel like we have gone full circle. I’m glad you thought so.

      Reply
  5. We are very much alike here Zoe. I do things for H and my family- not to avoid punishment, but b/c I know it will benefit all of us.
    My husband also feels more productive at work b/c there are fewer other things that he needs to worry about. Dd gives us both more time to do the things we need to do for each other and our family.
    So sweet how you copied that entry in your daughters card. What a treasure! 🙂

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  09/10/2012

      Thanks Elysia. I love that what we are doing helps him feel so much calmer. It is such a nice benefit. The description of her at 2 was too cute not to share with her. They grow too fast.

      Reply
  6. I loved this Zoe. It’s pretty neat that you found a part of your new self in your old self. The heart attitude was always there, even if you did go through some hard years.

    Your daughter is going to love her card. I wonder if she will squirrel it away to share with a child of her own someday.

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  09/10/2012

      I’m so glad you liked it Susie. It was really surprising but in a good way.

      And I hope she keeps it. It would indeed be fun to share later on.

      Reply
  7. Thanks for this post, Zoe. Today, with the blues crowding in, I needed this post to put things back in perspective.

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  09/10/2012

      Ah Saoirse. I am sorry you are down but am happy that this helped at least a little.

      Reply
  8. Marie

     /  09/10/2012

    Thanks for the post. I’m sure I’m alot younger than you, and my relationship is fairly new. Reading this helps me to keep in mind the importance of holding on to how I feel now, so I don’t lose it. It’s hard, sometimes I notice it slipping away already, but like you, I know I need to be supportive to my Man, and I know I need to keep in mind that he is trying to be supportive to me too. I don’t want to lose that. Thanks for reminding me of the importance of it all.

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  09/10/2012

      It can be easy to loose that feeling but being mindful of it is an important step to not loosing it. It sounds like you are both helping each other which is great. I’m glad the post helped you.

      Reply
  9. Great post, Zoe. Thanks for sharing your journal entry with us, it was lovely.

    Reply
  10. There’s a lot of wisdom in this post Zoe and I can certainly relate to it. How awesome that you have that journal entry to look back on. What you described about your journey, starting out supportive of one another and then losing your way and finding your way back to it now, with the help of ttwd, rings true for Michael and I as well.

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  09/11/2012

      It feels kind of comforting that you (and others too) have a similar story as us. It is one of the best things about this community. I log on and read and time after time I see myself in other’s posts. Pretty cool.

      Reply

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