the balance.


Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed my gratitude levels haven’t been stellar. There’s been some moments. Frustration has been trying to peek around the corner. Checking up on me, almost like it senses when there’s a weakness in the system.

It’s always been easy for me to disconnect and revert to that inwardly safe space. The funny thing about that space, it’s not really safe for me. I had an old friend that referred to our minds as a dangerous neighborhood that we should never be in alone. I have a tendency to overthink and cause mini explosions of emotion. Normally after the smoke settles I kindly remind myself that I was being ridiculous and it’s time to get back to this life thing on life’s terms, not mine. My terms generally consist of being a control freak ego maniac.

When I take some time to get serious with myself and set the bullshit aside, typically the gratitude starts showing up again, the smiles a little brighter, the days more tolerable. Digging deep within hasn’t always come naturally. IT still doesn’t. What does come naturally now is the desire to be real. Even if it’s sloppy. So here we are.

Lots of change happening all at once can be a bit overwhelming. Add a few crazy kiddos, a new job, and all kinds of fear into the mix and we have an official shit show. BUT, I signed up for ALL of this. Willingly, with the expectations that it wouldn’t be easy, but worth it. Every last bit of it. And so it is.

I watch Caroline a lot more than she realizes. Most of the time it’s because I’m wondering what she’s thinking about. The cool thing about her, she’ll tell me if I ask. I rarely do though. Her body language, the look in her eyes, her smile, even the prized raised eyebrow. All of it. Tell me exactly what she’s thinking about. There’s days when her strengths come in her weaknesses. Watching someone intentionally break a little so they can rebuild stronger each time is remarkable.

Our story is hard for me to understand at times. I often ask myself when is the crew gonna jump outta the bushes… SURPRISE. You’re on candid camera. Seriously though. Being available to each other has become very easy. The tricky part, that balance thing. Allowing ourselves the crucial time for self-care, the growth on both individual levels and as a couple. Being mindful of her well-being has become a priority of mine, and in many ways I’m still learning.

Today as I was working my new job I had a moment of clarity. I was standing on a rooftop overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. The emerald waters, palms swaying in the wind, with a cool breeze, beautiful blue skies, and sunshine shining down upon me. I just stood there and laughed. Looking out at all the people walking around so disconnected from the person they were with, everyone on cell phones, and in a hurry to get somewhere. Totally missing the beauty that surrounded them, oblivious to the idea that this could very well be their last opportunity to witness any of it. It hit me, like a rock. I needed to add some gratitude back in my diet.

So there’s that. Where do I get the motivation to self start the gratitude machine. Its an inside job, really. Well, it came in the form of an e-mail. I was laying on the couch after today’s events of shoveling gravel, scrubbing roofing membranes, and questioning what the hell I was doing at 39 years young doing a gig like that. The e-mail was a notification from Caroline’s blog. A new post. As I was reading it I almost started crying. I was trying to secretly read it and not get emotional. I found my gratitude extremely quick, let’s say that. The loyalty and the way she loves is breathtaking. Never in a million years did I think I would ever want to be a part of someone’s love story, unless it was my own.

Caroline has a way with expressing herself in such a way that it’s basically impossible not to get addicted to her writing. I find myself waiting for her next blog like the iPhone freaks that stand in line at stores. And it’s generally about another guy. WHAT THE WHAT?!?!?! It’s more than her writing though. It’s her food, her touch, her laugh. It’s all a labor of love with the utmost detail. She’s a modest masterpiece. When I think about her, this place we call home, and the new tribe of people loving me hard AF…

I find my gratitude.


– JMag



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