Tomorrow commences the 32 day countdown to my 32nd birthday. In celebration, because this honestly is a gift to myself, I will be blogging for each of those 32 days. I need to get back into this and figure out how to work it into my life. I feel like if I work out then I have no time to blog. If I knit, I can't read. If I read, I can't keep up with my trashy TV. If I do any of those things then I am "behind" on my endless litany of tasks that keep the house going. Basically, there is no actual way to do this without making it a Thing, so a Thing it shall be.
Thankfully I do have lots to write about, both personal and otherwise. I will start off with a classic-Alexis tale of Chris and I going on a little get-away to VT. Several months ago Chris commented that he would "never try to take me on a spontaneous vacation" because I would never go. The implication being that this is purely due to me the biggest killjoy in all of NoFunsVille. After setting him straight that vacations for me are anything but when you factor in all the work required to get kids/house/pets/laundry/packing under control pre-trip, followed by actual parenting mid-trip with cranky-over-stimulated-off-routine kids followed by the tiresome unpack/re-laundry/re-establish routines that comes post trip....maybe disliking doing all that, essentially on my own, makes me a killjoy. Honestly, I can live with that. So, he took that to heart, took two days off work, "totally organized babysitting" with his mom and promised to help out.
The babysitting was the usual situation, wherein Chris "totally having it under control" either did not involve him telling his Mom the actual dates of our plans and/or him not accounting for the fact that his mom doesn't drive herself on the highway so all this only works if my FIL can take a day off and oh BTW, no one has even so much as mentioned this to said FIL. That did all get worked out, and I wasn't too stressed at the time because really, I do not expect someone to endanger themselves (physically or mentally) just so I can go on a mini-vacation. The entirety of the epic-poem-worthy passive aggression within Chris' family is a story for another day, but in this case, it all worked out as Chris desired and would have worked out in an infinite number of other ways regardless of the timing of babysitting.
However, that was pretty much it. That was Chris' entire contribution to the event. I still did all the housework, grocery shopping, kid prep and pet prep required for the weekend. I picked and booked the hotel and found the activities we wanted to do. I made sure our bikes were serviced and set to go, that the car was gassed up, that Chris had a bike helmet and...well...pretty much everything outside of the half-set-up babysitting.
With all that in mind you can imagine why I kind of lost it Thursday night upon discovering that Chris' version of "putting dishes away" actually translated to "just shoving shit randomly into cabinets because he can't be bothered to figure out where it really goes." So we had a nice big, bitchy blow-out fight in front of his parents. Happy vacation to meeeeee!!!!!!! The real icing on the whole "totally relaxing" vacation cake was watching everyone tiptoe around me all weekend because now the family narrative is that I am some kind of psycho who will freak out over every little thing in my house. In our version of Sleeping With the Enemy Chris gets to be Julia Roberts. Outstanding!
When it all played out we did have an amazing weekend. We ate good food, drank great beer and stayed in an amazing hotel. It was the first time I have ever gone on a vacation where physical activity was the main focus and actually enjoyed it. I am now the kind of person who goes away on outdoorsy, active trips that feature hiking, running, swimming and mountain biking. If nothing else, my fitness quest has paid for itself right there. The fabric and yarn shop right next to the hotel certainly helped too. Being without the kids, as much as I do love them to bits, was freeing in a way that I had forgotten I needed. Chris and I also had a chance to spend time with each other instead of each other as filtered through kids, work and the endless monotony of adulthood. I am insanely grateful that we have such amazing sets of grandparents and I can absolutely take off for a few days and know that my kids will be well-cared for and spoiled as fully as possible. There is no freedom quite as delicious as the freedom to be kid-free while secure in the knowledge that your kids are safe, happy and loved.
My point, as always, is not that I have a bad marriage or that this experience is atypical for adults all over the world, but to merely point out that adulthood is hard. Relationships take work. Juggling work (be it a traditional job, SAHP-dom or something in between) and marriage, and kids, and houses, and all the everything, is not always a smooth ride. However, it is all worth it because my husband is pretty cool and a really good friend as well as partner, my kids are fabulous and when all is said and done, a few freak outs over measuring cups is not the worst thing that can happen to a person.