What a fabulous few weeks! The weather has been absolutely amazing (I walked to school this FEBRUARY morning without a jacket!) and maybe just it's the general feeling of spring in the air, but we have had such a beautiful month.
Gene and I have started on renovating the "town house," and I love the entire process. We've been working in the attic, now that we have a pull-down ladder installed, so that it can become a storage space. Once we saw how big the attic was, we automatically started brainstorming about adding dormers and a master bedroom up there . . . but then we came back to earth and decided to stick with our current plan and just be glad for the extra storage space.
Starting this process has reinforced something I've known for a while: Gene is an amazing person. He works harder than anyone I know, and he never complains at all about it. While I graded papers, he carried wood to the attic and started preparing the floor space. He spends every free moment taking care of his family -- filling the pellet stove, checking in on his sons, maintaining his daughter's car, helping my kids with their homework, writing me thoughtful notes.
Dating someone who is 10 years older than I am has been an interesting journey (as in, because his son is 23, I'm going to be a grandmother in May) and because we have both been married before, we bring a lot of history and experiences to our relationship. A common theme we've discovered is "I never knew life could be like this." And it's so very true. When you are in the right place in life, everything just clicks. This doesn't mean, of course, that we don't have any problems. But, it does mean that our problems come from outside sources, and not from within our relationship.
Facing problems together with a united front is key to our relationship as well. We don't take stress out on each other. If I have a lot of essays to grade, or if he has to work overtime, or if the kids have an issue at school, we always say, "We've got this."
And so, that is our approach to the house renovations. Will it be challenging to remodel our house and move Gene and his kids? Sure, but it will also be very rewarding because it's all part of the loving home we are creating and the beautiful life we are building together.
I feel like I should apologize for gushing about how awesome my life is, but believe me, it's been a long time coming. My advice would be: if you aren't happy in your life -- and I mean overall unhappiness, not just "I had a crappy Tuesday" -- then figure out what's wrong and fix it. Don't blame other people. Be honest with yourself if YOU are the toxic person in your own life. Stop being jealous of those who have what you think you should have. Take a hard look at your life, and change it if you need to. It's not always easy; in fact, staying unhappy and maintaining the status quo is much easier than changing your life -- be it your relationship, your career, your health. In the end, when you are truly satisfied and where you are meant to be, it is worth it. Trust me. Better yet -- trust yourself.