Life is what we make it

Every year around this time, I ask myself, why do you enjoy torturing yourself so much? I quickly remind myself that a little work isn’t torture and it’s worth it in the end and that I’ll be a super happy mama come winter.

What am I referring to? Turning these suckers:

tomatoes

Into this:

jars

Around this time every year I start getting a tomato twitch. They come in so quickly I feel like I’m canning 24/7 and I inevitably ask myself that question and then quickly remind myself of the answer: because you like to do it and because you are able to do it.

I love canning. I love gardening, well vegetable gardening anyway. I love flowers, but I have a black thumb when it comes to flowering plants outside. Let’s just say sometimes I forget that you have to water plants that are outside too (oops!). Lucky for me, I normally can just plant my garden and nature handles the rest. I’m extremely lucky that I had a mom and grandmother that taught me that sometimes food tastes the best when you grow it yourself.

All this got me to thinking about how fortunate I am. There’s all sorts of times that I could ask myself that question, why  (why me, why do I do this to myself, why, why, why?!), but I then quickly remember the answer.

My husband is a full time firefighter and so I’m friends with a lot of the wives. That why questions gets asked a lot by firefighter wives. Seriously, some of them act like because they don’t see their husbands 24/7 that they are the biggest martyr in the world and trust me, they find every moment to complain about their lives and how “bored” they are because they have to stay home in the evenings and take care of their child(ren) by themselves.

I get it. Sometimes you do feel like a single parent, but it’s nice to look at it in a different light. Instead of thinking you are a single parent and getting discouraged by your spouse not being at home, think of it as you get to spend some one on one time with your child. They get your undivided attention (well my son does since he’s an only child). We eat the meals that his dad isn’t so fond of when his dad isn’t home. We do fun activities that his dad doesn’t necessarily enjoy on the weekends that he’s working, like going to museums (yes, my child loves the museums, and the state ones are free admission, so that’s awesome!). Who knows, all that one on one time might get you the favorite parent award. Yeah, keep dreaming. We pulled up to the house yesterday and immediately my son started saying “daddy, daddy, daddy.” As soon as my husband pulled into the driveway (he has a second job as a brick mason on his days off) my son started leaping up and down screaming and signing “daddy” as fast as he possibly could (it was the cutest thing ever and made me love my husband even more because my son just radiates how much he loves him– it’s very contagious). You know what they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. =)

The other thing that I see complaints about is having to sleep alone. Seriously?! That’s one of the best things I like about my husband working a 24 hour job. I actually get the whole bed to myself and don’t have to worry about kicking him or stealing the covers (not that I have ever done that). I sleep my best sleep most of the time when he’s not home. In fact, just last night I told him I pitied him because he never gets to sleep in a room by himself. Besides, when he’s not home, I don’t have to listen to the pager going off in my ear. Even on their days off they have to leave there pagers on just in case they have a call back. My husband never truly gets a day off where he can turn that thing off except when we go out of town (obviously, if we aren’t at home there is not need to have the pager with him) That sucker went off 4 times last night (no calls that he had to run), so even when he’s off he still doesn’t get good sleep (and neither do I).

All the time apart actually strengthens our marriage, I think, too. What I said earlier about absence makes the heart grow fonder is true. Let’s face it, my husband isn’t a big talker or a very sociable person, odd given his career choice, I know. When we aren’t together all the time, it gives up more to talk about because I can fill him in on what happened when he wasn’t at home. It gives me the opportunity to text him a super cute photo of our son because he’s not able to sit there and watch the cuteness unfold. It honestly gives up more to talk about. That might seem sad but it’s not…well it might be to my husband. He enjoys the pictures though and has fussed at me a few times if I haven’t sent him a picture when he’s working. =)

See, there can be good sides to things that can be viewed as being bad and nothing good could come of it (a.k.a. those why questions). Sometimes I lose focus on what good could come out of something frustrating or bad, but then I remind myself that it could be worse or that there actually is good in it. So, like last night, the positive on spending my whole night canning tomatoes was that we are going to have plenty for soup this winter, my husband and son got to spend some one on one time themselves, and I’m not gardening like these guys:

Working_in_a_Gardenhttp://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/ttt/id/33720/rec/7

Thank goodness for technology, am I right?!

 

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