Listen, we all get to that point. The point at which we think to ourselves, “What am I even doing anymore? Did I really just get upset over _____?” For me, it’s coming home to dishes in my sink or Presley destroying her 4th full trashcan of the week… I find myself irrationally and uncontrollably crying over, sometimes quite literally, spilled milk. This “adulting” thing, if you will, can get overwhelming, you know? I am 24 years old, just celebrated my third wedding anniversary, launched my own official company in November, and am constantly in the business of simplifying. Yet, still, on cycle somehow I am having a pep talk with Paul about what I can cut out or slow down on. But, thanks to grace and effort, I have to say this has gotten SO MUCH BETTER over the last few months. My brain is just the type that has a tendency to never stop thinking… like literally ever. I am constantly building, constantly thinking about how to better a, b, and c, which is great… except for when it is 2 AM and I can’t sleep because I am causing myself panic about all the things I feel I haven’t nailed yet. (The whole “it’s great” thing was definitely seasoned with some sarcasm.) Thank God for his peace that surpasses all understanding, though. The more I have focused on what God has accomplished and less on what I need to accomplish, the more freedom I have found.
It’s great to be thinking about how we can better ourselves… until it causes you to view yourself as less-than, subpar, and you take yourself too seriously. You follow?
Paul and I just spent 4 days at Four Seasons here in Dallas for a staycation, which we did last summer as well. We love this place. It’s tranquil, and it forces us to relax. Literally forces. I mean especially with it being too chilly to swim quite yet, we had to fill our time and figure out ways to connect with absolutely nothing but ourselves. WHAT A CONCEPT. We found ourselves playing a ton of Yahtzee, taking strolls, playing sports we literally have never played (hello tennis and racket ball, and my very sore forearms), trying new food, ordering chocolate cake to our room at 10 PM, and laughing a ton. Too often in our day to day lives, I fail at loving Paul well because I am so focused on building, perfecting, and creating. Ahhh, that one thing I can idolize. And, unfortunately, if I am being honest, connecting with my best friend is what gets put on the back burner way more than I would like to admit because of it. Paul thrives on adventure and playing games, and that is what I suck at the most. He loves to be kids together, which is so good for me because I can be too serious sometimes. Paul really balances out my logical and methodical self. If you recall, one of my new year resolutions was to take myself less seriously, and I think I have actually done a decent job at it three months in thanks to grace and Paul pushing me. I think one of the characteristics of Paul that attracted me the most to him is that I saw my dad in him when it comes to not caring what people think. Paul has walked around in Crocks and bright orange Nike shorts at the Four Seasons for 4 days, and I can’t help but laugh because it’s so my dad. Although, if it was my dad, it would be a pair of Wranglers and a holey tee shirt.
To truly love is to love someone the way they best receive it. “Experiences” is Paul’s unofficial love language. And, to be frank, thank God I married somebody who tells me to loosen up. Thank god my best friend builds me up in the things I am good at, but also challenges me to be better at being present and caring less about what others might think. I have learned to love Paul for his camo Crocks (trust me, y’all, it’s a lost cause anyways), because he literally teaches me to care less and enjoy what you enjoy without fear.
So on our trip, we found ourselves at the tennis courts hitting balls at one another, not even sure how to keep score for tennis. I hit ball after ball over the top of the net- sending them straight toward all the BMW’s and Mercedes in the parking lot below us. We were dying laughing, and it was so liberating. We weren’t following rules, we weren’t following protocol, and we were absolutely embarrassing ourselves… and it was awesome. The next day we went to play racket ball… a sport I had never even considered and certainly had never stepped into one of those glass boxes you play in. I was horrified at first as the tiny racket ball was slamming against the walls and flying every which direction. And, with a gap at the top of the box, every single person in the gym could hear us laughing (errr… screaming), and absolutely not playing the sport by the rules. Men in their suits with their gym bags walked by with a smirk on their face as they watched the two of us smack one another with the ball, dodging from our horrible aim.
Again, it was liberating to care less and less. Eventually forgetting about people as they walked by, focusing on just enjoying my time with Paul.
Read: This is how I want to live my life.
As the chaos of figuring out life keeps happening, and there are some seriously fun things panning out right now, like the tennis balls that kept flying at me, I want to swing and hit with more laughter. I want to care less about the form, and more about the experience. I want to swing and woof, or swing and send the tennis balls over the fence, but at least I tried without needing to methodically calculate my swing. Life is better with a little bit of recklessness. Life is a little more fun with a bit of accepted chaos.
Last week was exactly what we needed. Nothing to do, nowhere to be, the best sleep both of us have had in months, and a whole lot of laughter. Here’s to living life a little more like our game of tennis- fully accepting of the chaos and imperfection that comes along with it.