Thursday, 19 January 2017

We are the Family that Breaks the Christmas Candles

Lighting candles, singing carols, attending a service, going out as a family on Christmas eve--this all sounded like a good idea at the time, not the kind of thing you imagine ending in tears. Anyway, it did.

As a parent, do you ever get the feeling that you don’t know what the hell you’re doing? Or maybe that what you’re doing certainly isn’t the right thing? I feel like that Every. Day. But my kids are fine. Fine enough, I think. I like them most of the time...But it turned out on this particular festive occasion, that they are the kids—we are that family—that breaks all the damn candles at the Christmas Eve service.

 Honestly, I knew, I KNEW, the second that lady in her school marmy dress and put-on Christmas smile handed us those candles that they would either be returned significantly worse for wear or we would set someone on fire. And I was right about the lesser of those two evils. Even though my prediction should have mentally prepared me for this little eventuality, there I was head in my hands, tears streaming, holding three flaccid candles simultaneously in utter disbelief and total defeated acceptance that, yes, we were indeed that family that could not keep candles in tact for twenty minutes in church. My husband put his arm around me--he’s a kind man--believing that it was the moving rendition of Silent Night that pushed me over the edge, made me wistful about my dear old deceased mother. Maybe there was a bit of that, but mostly, it was those damn candles.

‘Why? Why? What grave error in judgement? What offense against the universe led us down this path of destruction? How did our kids lack such basic respect for property? They were probably going to be vandals one day, paying fines or worse for their participation in the defacing of some historic relic.’ I lamented all of this to my husband as we were driving away. He laughed and said they were really brittle and probably lots of them were broken. But I knew the truth...
Not a single one of those angelic boys or sweet little girls in their velveteen Christmas dresses with bows in their hair (with their skinny, successful, put-together mommies who never raised their voice) had so much as harmed a wick on any other candle at that service that night. They were doing it right, you see. Those parents would be attending university convocations and professional speed-skating meets while I bore the humiliation I deserved for being a total crap parent at my son’s parole hearing. We were that family, and my screw-ups made us that way.

We all have those days, but, today is a better day and though I still have no idea what I’m doing, I hold onto hope—hope that every family is that family for some reason or other. Maybe they are not the family that trashes the candles at the Christmas eve service, I think we own the honour for that one—but maybe they are the family that arrives 5 minutes too late for their daughter’s dance recital, or maybe they are the family that can’t exit any social situation without MAJOR meltdown. Maybe they are the family that drags their daughter kicking and screaming into daycare wearing only a diaper on the coldest day of winter. Or maybe they are the family who’s son, on his tester Kindergarten day, decides it’s a good idea to have a quick pee outside in a corner near a window in plain site of an active classroom—no, wait, that’s us again--but I digress, I AM hopeful.

I am hopeful that regardless of how badly I screw up, my kids will know I love them something fierce and that has to count for something. This evening as I was leaving to go out with a friend, my 8 year-old son somewhat uncharacteristically called out, ‘BEST MOM EVER!’ and, though my knee jerk internal dialogue was What evidence would lead you to such an erroneous conclusion, poor child? I know with every fiber of my being that he believed it. We are his family, the best he will ever know... the best I have ever known. And, even though we break candles at Christmas eve services, I wouldn’t trade us for the world. 

Sunday, 18 December 2016

They Don't Make Them Like They Used To...

I was born to a farming family in small town Saskatchewan. I grew up in a 'traditional' home...My mom stayed at home, my Dad was happily married to her and his farming business, but probably the farm got more of his time. Us kids had a good life, there was everything we needed, enough of the basics to go around and bit more, there was love, and a gigantic ice rink every winter.

For better or worse, this was the life I left behind when I moved to the city to attend university. As one does, I met people, I traveled the world for a few years, and eventually married a good man. During this time, I often thought fondly of my parents—of how hard they worked, how generous they were, and of what an amazing family they built. More often than not, I came to the conclusion that 'they just didn't make people like that anymore.' Now, you should know that my parents not only had 16 children and a farm but they also worked tirelessly to better the community we lived in. To this day, what they accomplished in their lives seems impossible to me. 

My mom passed away when I was twelve, and I have never thought of her more often than I do now that I have my own children. I remember her to be calm, wise, and unfailingly kind. Perhaps those are memories tinted with rose-coloured glasses and god knows she's not here to set the record straight, but I'm sure I'm not entirely wrong. Recently, I was describing her to a friend who'd never had the chance to meet her and in my description I chose the word 'tireless' and again used the phrase, 'they just don't make people like that anymore.' Time and again, especially as a mom, I find myself wondering what Mom would have to say about this or that, but if she'd heard me utter those words—tireless, they don't make people like that anymore—I have a pretty good idea what she would say...

She would probably call me a 'Dummkopf,' and say something like... Of course they make em like they used to! Do you think you're any different than me? You think I was 'tireless' raising 16 kids? There's a better word for that....Tiresome. Bleeding tiresome. (except she wouldn't swear, because she never swore, But maybe she did when we were out of earshot). She'd probably tell me she got frustrated with needy kids at her legs during the supper hour, insurmountable laundry, people in the community that were difficult to work with, a marriage that required energy she lacked, and exhausted of working a thankless job.

Except of course, she wouldn't have said any of that because she knew I would figure it out.

After all, when she was a young lady, she probably thought fondly of her own parents who raised their own brood before there were even hospitals or electricity. Perhaps she counted herself lucky for the modern world in which she lived that offered her opportunities and luxuries not afforded to her own mother, and marveled that they just didn't make people like that anymore. But they did—they made her—and maybe they still do.

Perhaps after years of seeing a world my mother never got to see, getting an education that she could only have dreamed of, of working jobs that wouldn't have been available to her, knowing comforts beyond her wildest dreams, its been easy to write her off as a woman of a different time, a legend, a dying breed, the likes of which they don't make anymore. But I can see that for the cop out that it is. I'm sure if I could ask her the question that I have always wanted to ask—How did you do it, Mom?—she would just say she did her best with what time and fate dealt her. And of course, no less should be expected me. After all, when I take a step back from my own life of managing our busy family schedule, sharing my wonderful husband and marriage with a business he created, and even as I look out onto my backyard ice rink, I know we are not that different.

We will never be our parents, for better or worse, but surely they have all taught us something--whether that be lessons of unfailing patience and love or that we want to be nothing like them or anything in between. Whatever those lessons, it seems as you age, you realize just how much you share in the same humanity.    

Monday, 12 December 2016

Christmas--Are Too Many Good Ideas Getting in the Way of the Main Idea?

A bake sale for charity is a good idea. Parents being more involved at school is a good idea. Sponsoring a child through World Vision is a great idea. Christmas parties are good—the work party, the kids party, the work-kids party, the neighbor’s party—they are all great fun. Attending a steak night to raise money for Sally’s volunteer visit to an orphanage is a Peru, well, who can say no to that? Buying poinsettia’s from a school fundraiser only makes sense. Putting up Christmas decorations is a must. Getting a gift card for that helpful neighbor is the least you can do. Volunteering to help with the church Christmas concert seemed like a good idea at the time. A Tim Horton’s gift certificate for hard-working teachers, bus drivers, dance instructors, and sitters is a simple way to show your appreciation for the work they do all year. Setting a puzzle with your kids is a good idea. Reading EVERYDAY with them is a sure way to ensure their lifelong success--so is getting outdoors, remembering to take Vitamin D, and getting enough exercise. Hitting up an AWESOME Christmas sale is a smart way to save a bit of dough at a spendy time of year. Attending work everyday is a good idea, and while you’re there, why not organize a secret Santa exchange?! Not missing the kids’ dance classes, gymnastics, or piano recitals is a good idea. Attending my yoga class is a lifeline. Organizing the house makes everything else run a little smoother. Cooking a healthy meal is a good idea. So is sitting down and eating it while finding out about your kids’ day. A Christmas baking exchange is a good idea. Little O’s special school holiday charity event is so thoughtful! Delivering presents as a family to the local food bank is good idea. Cuddling up with a Christmas movie is a great idea. Writing Christmas cards is a great idea…

But you know what? Doing all of these things in one month? That is a BAD idea.

You know what the problem is with this world sometimes? TOO MANY GOOD IDEAS. With so many things to do that are helpful, philanthropic, fun, progressive, practical, healthy, kind, you name it—it is SO hard to say ‘No!’ Am I mistaken or is the whole point of the Christmas season not to spend some time connecting with dearest of loved ones? Because all these damn ‘good ideas’ are starting to get in the way of that.

The other day my 8 year old son and toddler daughter were crafting together at the kitchen table while I made supper. I was happy for the welcome time to zone out and get some work done while they entertained each other. After about 15 minutes, my son comes running into the room saying, “Mom, Mom, look what I made for Melea!” and he showed me his creation…

10 pages of paper stapled together each with a picture of a different mermaid/princess character of my toddler daughter’s request (ahem, demand) drawn on them in marker. Now this seems like a good enough idea, sweet of him to draw for her, but, honestly, he couldn’t have spent more than a minute on any of those drawings--a book full of half-assed ‘good ideas’ that would hit the recycling bin within a week. I kept this to myself, but I couldn’t help but wish he’d saved the paper and condensed his efforts into a more meaningful, singular creation into which he’d put more time and care! Something worth treasuring.

Poor kid, he comes by it honestly. His quantity over quality efforts are so reflective of my own, especially those I find myself making during the busy lead up to Christmas. Perhaps a singular charitable effort made as a family or community is just as effective (and perhaps more meaningful) than spreading ourselves thin over the 20 charitable opportunities that might present themselves in December. Maybe we need to let someone else have a turn running the Christmas concert or consider the worst case scenario if there is a hiatus with the office secret Santa exchange. Maybe we all need to just spare ourselves the efforts that inevitably end up in our energetic recycle bin, find a place to draw a line and say 'No' to rest of the ‘good ideas’ that come our way. Because it seems to me that if we cram too much into the season, we miss the chance to create much worth treasuring—namely time with the ones we love. Perhaps, all of these good ideas are getting in the way of the main idea?!

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Dear Husbands, Here is a List of Things Your Wife Wants for Christmas

Dear Husbands,

Guys, some days I'd just love to be among your ranks, if only because, seriously, women are SO easy to please! Maybe that sounds like the world's biggest fib to you, and you're probably not alone if that's what you feel, but I can assure you it's the truth. Anyway, I'm writing this letter to help you out a little during the Christmas season. At my house, as the month of December wears on, I inevitably start to sense my husband's stress level increase as each day passes and he realizes he is one day closer to Christmas with no present for me and, worse, no idea where to start! This is really all an unnecessary process, and I hope today to spare as many well-meaning men out this unnecessary unpleasantness. It's not rocket science, guys, here's what you do...just be thoughtful and get your wife a Christmas present she will like. (Cue eyeroll) I can hear you thinking...Easier said than done. I don't know what she wants. Or she already has everything. Well, it can be done, yes you do know, and no she doesn't have everything. I can hear how complicated that sounds, so I'm just going to lay this right out for you...Husbands, here's a list of things your wife wants for Christmas....

She wants to be pampered – It's tough being a lady, a mom, a wife, and women love to be pampered! They love (NEED) time to nurture themselves or be nurtured by others. Here's the trick though--pampering will look different for every woman. Ask yourself, what does your wife love to do for herself? Does she love a pedicure? Does she love time alone? Does she do yoga? Does she feel fantastic after kick-boxing class? How does she re-energize? What makes her feel like her needs matter? Gift her that. For me, this gift would be a gift certificate to a spa, but maybe, for your wife it would be a yoga retreat, or a cooking class (be careful with that one!) or a massage. And if you REALLY want to please her, book the thing and arrange childcare so all she has do is show up and feel awesome!

She wants a date – For the woman who 'has everything,' why not book her a date!? If you're married with young kids, maybe arrange a date for the two of you. If you're free as birds and get enough of each other, arrange a date with her besties to do something they love to do. The key word being 'arrange'--she will feel so much more thought of, so relieved of the stress of doing the 'arranging', if you go this extra mile!

She wants an oil-diffuser – Whoa, DO NOT go buy your wife an oil-diffuser. That's what I want, and I have told my husband this on a number of occasions. What has your wife told you? Listen to her words, all throughout the year. Look at items she picks up and leaves behind with a bit of longing in her eyes. Make notes of these things. Not mental notes, those things go missing like nuts at a squirrel party... Put them in your phone or something, and when a special occasion comes along, you're covered!

She wants tickets – What's you're wife into? Music? Theatre? Jamaica (if you have the $$)? A certain band? Does she keep saying she wouldn't mind seeing the opera? Buy her tickets for something that would interest her. This shows some thought and possibly the intention that you intend to spend this time with her! Double win.

She wants something from that store she loves – Are you tired of finding bags and receipts from a certain store at your house? It's because your wife likes that store (no, NOT Toys R Us, dummy)! Take a hint, buy something for her there and if worse comes to worse, she can return it and get something she does like!

She wants something _________ . Pretty? Useful? Fun? Relaxing? What's a thoughtful word to describe your wife? For me, the word that best fills that blank is 'useful.' I LOVE useful presents, and you know what's useful? Gin. Gin is useful for me, and quite honestly I would be happy with a special bottle of that. Not every wife would. Maybe your wife likes pretty things. Get her something pretty. Maybe she's fun! Send her on an adventure or gift her some activity she's never tried before like paint-balling or an escape room. Give it some thought. I promise it will not go unnoticed!

She wants your heart – Forget Christmas, this is what your wife wants 365 days a year! And when I said women were easy to please, this is EXACTLY what I was talking about. She wants your heart more than any gift you could give her. (No, that does NOT mean you shouldn't get her a Christmas present). For Christmas, she wants a thoughtful present and your heart. Easier said than done? Bullshit, husbands. Spend some of the season playing a game or doing a puzzle with her. Put down your guilty distraction and see what happens. Ask her about her day. Talk about yours. Express concern about something that has been difficult for her. Cuddle up and watch a favourite movie—you make the hot chocolate and popcorn. Write her a love note. Do it again tomorrow, and next week, and on February 3rd and Easter Monday and on Tahitian Independence Day. Give her encouraging words, EVERYDAY. If you do that, I promise you'll be well on your way to understanding just how easy women are to please!

Merry Christmas, husbands! And best of luck!


A Hopeful Wife

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Donald Trump - How the Same Thing is Going to Go Down in Canada

You've probably heard the remarks and rumours of Democrat-Americans coming to take refuge in Canada post-election, fleeing from the anarchy that will imminently ensue. Maybe this has made you cringe for your friends to the south or maybe you inwardly giggle or feel a little proud to be from a country that in so many ways stands for freedom, compassion, and equality. But from where I sit, I think those Americans might want to think twice about where they are fleeing to. And where do I sit, you ask...Well, I would like to sit somewhere where political discussion is vibrant, progressive, and productive. I would like sit somewhere where people can see through left and right ideologies to the common goals they hold—security, family, economy, and justice. But instead I find I am sitting smack dab in the middle of an ever-expanding no-mans-land between the political left and right in this country. The left is blind to the indignation of those around them and self-righteous to the point that they freely sling hateful comments like racist, bigot, and misogynist at every hint of disagreement, and the right feels taken advantage of, abused, unheard, and under-represented and eventually lashes out.

Wait a minute! Aren't these the exact same conditions that led to the rise of an (IMO) extremist for president?

When the dust settled after the recent American election and the votes were all counted, what became clear was that the divide between Republican and Democrat voters largely came down to one divide—rural and urban. And in this case, I'm going to surmise that rural Americans were tired of being left out of the political equation, they were angry at a leftist media that both misrepresented and under-represented them (those results sure did come as a surprise!), their social and economic situations were increasingly stressed, they favoured a less-talk-more-action approach, so to speak, and they wanted to be heard.

Canada, is this ringing any bells?

Trump didn't happen overnight, not even close. And he didn't happen because the people who voted for him were all racist, hater, hill-billies and, if you that’s what you think, you'd best take a careful look at your own biases. No. He happened because good people were not heard and cared for by the institution for many years, and people felt abused, and others felt righteous and wouldn't listen. Then both sides got angry and the political divide grew until conversation stopped and the divide was so great that only a revolution would change the situation. From that was born Donald Trump. The left in America bears as much responsibility for the unfortunate goings-on of this election as the right. And if we Canadians think we are in some way immune to this, we'd better wake up and smell the Tim Horton’s, because here's a few things happening right here at home...

Conservative voters and even the former prime minister endure all manners of hateful comments-- racist, hater, bigot, etc.--during the 2015 election campaign. The right feels abused.

Conversations regarding legislation, immigration, foreign policy, and military intervention degrade quickly to accusations of fear-mongering and racism. The right feels misunderstood.

The West resents years of crippling, liberal-dictated economic policies that see profits shipped eastwards while receiving little in return. The right feels taken advantage of.

The West feels angry when, finally in their hour of need, the once again left-dominated institution responds with a slap-in-the-face carbon tax tempered by a petulant pat on the head of meager assistance provided to their crippled economy. The West feels abandoned and further disenfranchised.

The leftist media... Well, where does one even start with that? Our major political parties completely at odds with it for obvious reasons, a shameless eastern and liberal bias that the west and conservatives are forced to not only endure but pay for. The left doesn't even see it. The right feel misrepresented.

The electoral system is set to perform at Ontario's whim time and time again while the rest of the country just hopes for the best. People feel powerless and voiceless.

Our newly elected prime minister touts his victory as 'hope' triumphing over 'fear'. Canadians applaud at this grossly over-simplified statement which glorifies political extremes and shames conservative voters in the process. The divide grows.

The right, tired of being on the wrong end of insults, policy, and government lashes out. The right moves further right. The left feels offended, righteous and sees this as further justification of their position and efforts. The left moves further left.

One might argue that these are just perceptions, biases, pieces of the picture—of course they are--but these feelings of resentment and righteousness are real and they are an ever-growing source of political polarity and discourse in this country.  This divisive reality persists and grows, little different from what happened in the United States. Canada’s disgruntled right feels angry and voiceless, and our left feels righteous. Conversation stops. Our own revolution is imminent. Wake up, Canada.

Here in Canada we have two choices, we  can either learn from the events that have transpired in the US or we can imminently repeat history. We can drop the insults, the regional discrimination, the political extremism on both sides, we can consider the follies of our electoral system and revise them, we can address the biases of our media, or we can damn well swallow whatever form of a bitter pill our own revolution will take because it will be no one's fault but our own. We can sling insults back and forth over the political fence while we nurse wounded egos and hurt feelings or we can have a damn conversation. 

Friday, 4 November 2016

Small Towns, Small Minds--Lessons Learned Growing Up in Rural Saskatchewan

I have lived a number of places in my life. I grew up in the farming community of Nowheresville, Saskatchewan. Like many, I left that small town and moved to 'the city' where I went to University. After that, I traveled around a bit and lived in a few places varying in population from 7000 to 2 million until I returned to Saskatoon with my husband to start a family. We've been here for 10 years now, and I'm proud call home it home and thrilled to be raising my family here. I have nothing to but the winters to complain about, but one thing is clear to me after years of living here and there...This whole small towns-small minds thing?...It's a load of crap.

During the first number of years when we were back here in Saskatoon, of course we were eager to establish a network of friends. We met lots of people, dabbled in different hobbies and friendships and capitalized on lots of the opportunities living in this city affords us. There was lots of flux and change and new experiences during this time until we had our three children and life “slowed down” a little. After that, some friendships came and went while others stuck and stayed and became a lifeline—people we hope to know and love forever. But I have to be honest, when I reflect on the circle of people I have accumulated in the big city of Saskatoon... I have never been part of a more homogeneous group. I am saying nothing bad of these wonderful friends of mine, but we do all come from the same income bracket (-ish), we live in the same type of neighborhoods, we come from similar backgrounds, and, I would even go as far as to say, we share to same values. Perhaps it is natural that things have played out this way, but I guess the irony of the whole situation strikes me. Here I am settled in metropolis of Saskatoon—by all counts a very diverse community where I brush shoulders every single day with different people of varying races, religions, values, incomes, backgrounds—yet I maintain a more singular circle of people than I ever did in Nowheresville!

Diversity is here in Saskatoon--there's no doubt about that. It's right at our fingertips everyday in this city, but the reality is that the people inside our house that share our lives with our family would all fit pretty nicely into any type of box you'd like to put us into. Living in the city, I think many of us take comfort, not only in surrounding ourselves with like-minded (I've always hated that term) people, but also in anonymity. I certainly do. We value closing our doors at night to what is going on in our community—living in our own bubble, as they say. You know, I used to have this neighbour here in Saskatoon who was a loony as a one dollar coin. She was opinionated, rude, and occasionally a bit nasty to my kids so I as much as I could I avoided her. If she was out front when I pulled up with the van, I took my time parking or rushed the kids into the house and closed the door. It was just easier to pre-empt any unpleasantness that any encounter might bring.

All of this is markedly different than my experience growing up in Nowheresville. There was no 'closing the door.' There we truly lived in community. We all went to the same church, we played on the same hockey teams, we bumped carts at the grocery store, we stole back and forth to each others' houses freely. For better or worse, we built community together. We lived side by side in a way that is different from 'the city.' Rich or poor, culture by culture, different values by different values, we made it work. We didn't have the comfort of 'closing the door' because these people were inside our homes sharing our lives with our family every single day. There was no escape short of being a hermit. We didn't have the luxury of falling out of friendship with another because we knew it would be SO awkward when you had to see that person face-to-face at the hockey rink for the next 10 years. You knew Suzie and Sammy Gossip and kept your mouth shut when your were with them, but you forgave them for the tireless efforts they made for local charities. If experiences like that don't make an open mind, I don't know what does.

I say this because I don't think the size our mind is in any way directly proportional to the size of our town. There are small minds wherever you go, and, believe me when I say Nowheresville has a special way of forcing a small mind wide open! Here's the thing, I don't come from Nowheresville, SK where minds are small and diversity is a nuisance. That place doesn't exist. I come from Macklin, Saskatchewan. And in Macklin Saskatchewan when you have a loony neighbour that's crochety and opinionated, maybe you know that she had a daughter that died at the age of two. Or you forgive her when she's been a bit crappy to your kids because you suspect it's been difficult for her coming from a long line of abusive alcoholics. Maybe you end up sitting next to her at the church social and find you have a few things in common after all. Maybe you see first hand how her fortuitousness serves the community well. In Macklin, you learn about her, from her, and she opens your mind.

In Saskatoon, I just closed the door.

For all the fabulous people who make Macklin, SK a fantastic place to grow up...

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

When the One You're Married to isn't 'the One'...

10 odd years ago when I married my husband, I was convinced he was 'the One'. He was the One I felt utterly safe to be my quirky self with. He was the One who seemed to always have the answer to questions like, 'Where did I put my keys?' Later, he was the One who held my hand during the births of our children and also the One whose simple calming presence gave me something strong to hold onto during some really tough times. He is the One I want to call when one of the kids does something amazing and the One who has helped me put my day to bed for nigh on 15 years. He is still all of those things, and I can't be thankful enough for the person he is. But as the years of our relationship have worn on, I have noticed holes in the whole 'he's the one' theory. Quite early on in our relationship, for instance, it became clear that he was not the One who wanted to share riveting conversation with me at any given hour of the day, nor was he the One who would share some of my greatest passions--long walks, fancy food, and politics. Later on, I learned (with considerable frustration) that he was not the One to call when I needed an sympathetic ear about how long the baby did or didn't sleep that day nor was he the One showing up with a cup of coffee or a ready-made meal when I was at the end of my rope. And, still he wasn't the One interested in riveting conversation, no matter how my topics varied and changed over the years. But I'm here today to tell you that he is not the One, but that is okay... And it is not only okay, it is GREAT actually.

Because if he had been the One, I never would have met some of the finest people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing—people who LOVE to converse about everything from politics to diapers. I would never have needed to find someone to share my Tuesday walk-night with, a hobby that has become nothing short of a life-line over the past few years. I never would have had to challenge myself to sit with own thoughts sometimes rather than succumbing to the verbal diarrhea that I am so prone to. I never would have experienced the humility and honour of accepting those ready-made meals and cups of coffee from people who were not bound by a marriage contract to love and support me. AWESOME. It would never have been necessary for me to re-frame my familial relationships into the adult realm—a valuable and rewarding experience to say the least. Not finding everything I need from the man within the four walls of my home has pushed me to seek new experiences, new people, and new direction. I am immeasurably thankful for all the ways in which he is not the One.

I'm guessing he is pretty thankful for this little revelation of mine too. It is a pretty ridiculous notion after-all to expect one person to be all-things to you. In fact, I'm sure I have seen the look of utter relief on his face when my phone rings just as I am getting fired up for a political rant about something or other. And on the flip side, I am sure I'm not 'the One' for him either. I'm sure he's thrilled to have Tuesday nights by himself to watch all those scary shows I never let him watch. I'm sure as sugar not the One who shares his passion for sailing and who wants to accompany him when he want gets his blood pumping on a windy-day. I'm guessing I'm not the One who he most enjoys conversing with about the ins and outs of his job and, sadly, I KNOW that I'm not the one who gives him the quiet head-space he needs to put his own day to bed. But I am hopeful that this is all as it should be...

So to those of you out there who have found 'the One' that just keeps falling short... Take heart and know that no One person ever needs to be everything to you. There is so much more in this world than what One person can offer. My wish for anybody out there struggling to make their relationship with the One work is this...I hope you find two, three, or thirty people to share your life with—friends who will embrace the all the different aspects of your person-hood. I hope there are gaps in all of those relationships, and I hope no One ever completes you or makes you entirely satisfied. I wish you all the challenges and change that come with finding out that 'the One' is never enough.