120 days down, 245 to go!
Thank you for being my #1 supporter along with our boys on this little Orange Rhino endeavor. Your unwavering support amazes me and I am quite grateful…especially since lately I know I haven’t been giving you the same love and support back. Since lately I know I have been prioritizing kids and myself and forgetting that you TOO are a priority. I know I don’t show it nearly as much as I should but I do love you with all my heart and you still are my one and only love. For so many reasons. But one good one is this little getaway we are on right now. You sensed that we were getting into that little “place” we go to every 15 to 18 months or so. The “place” where we are not as connected as we wish, as we need to be, the “place” where we just go along accepting things as is, not actively trying to make them better. The “place” where we stop communicating and start bickering. A lot. The “place” where our kids stop seeing loving parents but complacent, distant parents. The “place” where I start doubting us. I hate that “place.” I hate it when we fall into what I affectionately call “our little marriage rut.” While we both are great at seeing the red flags YOU are the one who excels at doing something about it. About taking action. About making sure we get away just the two of us to get back on track. And for that I am grateful. SO grateful. We desperately needed a jolt to get out of our rut and you made it happen. Thank you.
The Orange Rhino
Ruts. They suck. Whether it be a marriage rut, an I’m unhappy rut, an I’m not losing weight rut, or an I’m yelling too much rut, they suck. They suck because the negative feelings attract more negative feelings. They suck because to get out of said rut I need to admit I am in one, I need to admit that I have made a mistake, that I am frustrated, that something is wrong, or that is nothing is wrong per say but that changes need to happen. They suck because as if admitting I am in a rut isn’t hard enough, I have to then find the courage, the strength and the commitment to get out of the rut. I have to find a way to WORK HARD despite all the oppressive forces against me encouraging me to stay complacent, to stay in the rut because even though it isn’t always a happy place it doesn’t require work per say.
But I know staying in a rut doesn’t lead to good things. And boy do I know that getting out of a rut is hard, hard, hard, pure and simple.
I am not great at acknowledging ruts until I am in so deep that I need a serious Epiphany to wake me the hell up. Strike that. I am great at acknowledging them. I am not great at getting out. Because it feels so overwhelming, so daunting. Because acknowledging the need for change is one thing, making change happen is a whole separate story.
Before I started The Orange Rhino Challenge I was totally in a parenting rut. I yelled way too much and I didn’t like it. There were red flags everywhere that change needed to happen, the kids individual behavior, their behavior towards each other, their response to me, their NOT responding to me. Oh were the red flags a waving that the yelling needed to go, that I was in a rut, but I didn’t know how to get out, I didn’t know how to change. So I kept yelling and that made me more annoyed so the rut grew and the amount I yelled grew. To this day I am grateful to Larry the contractor for giving me the jolt I needed to get out of my yelling rut.
And today I am grateful to my husband, the take-action-guru, for giving us the jolt we needed to get out of our current marriage “rut.” Because not only was it not good for us, it wasn’t good for the kids. Not just because they weren’t seeing positive role models in parents as a loving couple (loving parents, yes? loving couple, debatable) but because I was feeling such disconnect with my husband that at times during the day if my boys looked at me wrong while I was in lalaland thinking about rut-ville I oopsie snapped. For no reason. Well for real reason. Because I was feeling scared about the current state of my marriage. Not because I was mad at my boys. One of my worst triggers for snapping at my kids? Being stuck in a rut. In a marriage rut, a weight loss rut, an I am losing friends rut. Whatever rut it is that I am in at any given time makes me so mentally preoccupied that I snap at my kids. Not cool.
Look, ruts happen. Marriage is HARD work. Parenting is HARD work. But just because ruts happen doesn’t me I have to stay in one. I just need to remind myself that I am an Orange Rhino. That if I could find the strength and determination and COURAGE to get out of the 3.5 year yelling rut, that I can keeping finding that same strength and determination and courage to create change whenever I get in another rut. Whatever kind it is.
Note: I still continue to be amazed how my journey of learning not to yell is positively impacting all aspects of my life as a mom, a wife, a friend and more. Still considering taking the challenge but too daunted? Let this be your jolt. Did you feel that?! That was the Orange Rhino Horn gently poking you in the back, encouraging you to create change….
Note #2: I know I am supposed to be on vacation connecting with my husband. I am. He is the one who encouraged me to write.