“Clean”

It took me a while, but I’ve learned a lesson. Lindsey and I speak different languages. It turns out we mean different things by the word “clean”.

Lindsey has a couple days off school, and today she got downright industrious in the house. When she texted me while I was at work she described her work as “cleaning”. When I got home I found out that it was much more than that.

She cleaned out closets, scrubbed things clean, re-decorated two rooms in part and more. I would not have called it cleaning, I would have called it something… I don’t know, something much more involved.

You see to me “clean” means, an absence of dirt, and a small amount of organization. Before Lindsey moved in I thought my house was, for the most part, clean. To Lindsey the word carries connotations of organization, sparkling floors, made beds, and well, a general sense of order. We’re clearly not on the same page yet.

So today I came home to a wonderfully “clean” home, in both senses of the word.

Adjustment

I was a bachelor for 10 years before I met Lindsey. That fact still amazes me, I never thought it would be that long. By the time Lindsey came along I had pretty much given up on the idea of being married, I had also became very, very set in my ways.

Because of this, I set my home up exactly as I wanted. There was no one around to suggest any alternatives. Expensive modernist bedroom furniture? Why not? Guest room in orange and black, filled with OSU memorabilia? Check! Really ugly TV stand in the middle of the living room? Who cares what a TV stand looks like?

So obviously adjusting to Lindsey being around, to her having a say in things, and even changing my precious setup, was tough. I would say things like, “You can do anything you want, except for…” and then list off 25 different things I didn’t want her to change. Yeah, I was an awesomely welcoming husband.

I’ve come to realize how antithetical this approach is for a new marriage. Sure, it makes sense that some things won’t be changed. There are good reasons to make certain decisions, but let’s not kid ourselves, I know I’ve made a lot of bad choices (and not just in decoration) that I have been holding onto.

I’m still not giving up the fight on some things (come on, how awesomely rare is an OSU bedroom like we’ve got! I’ll have to post pictures…), but I need to surrender some of my comfort, my likes, and my fear of change for the good of our marriage. I keep coming back to the words said on our wedding day, “two become one flesh”. If I can’t let go of my small preferences, how can I give up more?

Becoming one certainly does not entail Lindsey just becoming like me, it is about our new identity in our marriage. That is a shocking message to some. I know that many these days see this as a dangerous thought. But that’s okay. It may be old-fashioned, but we like it that way.

Recovering on a Saturday

Well, if you’ve been reading the blog this week you know that it was a very long one. Lindsey had her first week in a new job, and I led one of the most important efforts of my career to its (almost) completion in less than two weeks. It’s really been crazy around here.

Today we spent a good portion of the day together. We crashed early last night and got a good night’s sleep, in fact I think I broke through the 12 hour mark. We got up, had a slow morning, and had a late breakfast at Torchy’s. It was basically a really great Saturday.

Tonight, after spending the day together in the most chill way possible, Lindsey commented that we haven’t spent this much time together in weeks. She’s right, and it felt weird.

Summer had us spoiled. I was working from home a lot, Lindsey was around the house and it was great. Then she got her miracle job and I got swamped. We were pulled back into the real world.

So today, this day to spend time together, was absolutely required. It was perfect.

I imagine the trick to a healthy marriage is exactly what we have been told: keep our eyes on God, trust him, love and serve each other. It’s working so far, I know it is. But there are some weeks, this one most of all, that it seems like it’s working awfully slow.

But we know it’s working.