Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What's In Your Toolbox?

At the ripe old age of 27 I was getting my first place (I know... roommates galore) -- Just before this, I had moved back to my dad's house for about 5 months while I was in transition and getting my ball barrings back (maybe more about that later) -- As mentioned several times, my dad is one of a kind and my hero -- He wanted me to be completely safe and taken care of as he would be 900 miles away, so he set me up with a toolbox -- In it contained a hammer, nails, level, small drill, bits, screws and some other things I didn't know I'd need until I got to decorating... I was ready to be on my own -- The toolbox saved my apartment --

When I got married, Dan had all the tools in the world -- Problem was, they were everywhere (we're working on that) and every time we'd do a project, it took longer to find the tools than complete the task -- This made everything we did 10x's as difficult -- Yet, I still have my toolbox, my very special and organized toolbox and use it often --

I have a little bit of a philosophy when it comes to people -- We all have a toolbox -- We are born with it -- Of course it's empty to start out with, but with every kiss on our foreheads, hug when we're sad, word of affirmation when we're not sure, instruction to mind our p's and q's, look under the bed when there's a monster, help with homework at the dinner table and all the other wonderful (or not so wonderful) things our parents instill in us, our toolbox slowly, but very surely gets filled up --

When your mom waves you off to your first day of kindergarten, you're carrying your toolbox -- You use your tools to share, make friends and listen to the teacher (I think I used my tool of talking way too much) -- When you graduate 8th grade and head into high school (mind you, we all feel as awkward as a one-eyed chicken) you buck up and use your tools to excel in academics, become the head cheerleader, an ace athlete or # 1 in shop class -- Going forward, you graduate college and you're sent out into the real world and you're toolbox better be overflowing -- Then... you meet the man/woman of your dreams and you loose all sense of any tools ever put in that toolbox (j/k) -- Seriously? You better put your Tim the Toolman hat on and get to building -- Your toolbox will save your marriage -- (if you don't know who Tim the Toolman is, you're too young to be getting married ;0)

My sweet husband was the second oldest of 6 boys and I the youngest of 5 -- (you think we have the tools of sharing and ability to stay sane?) -- Dan has so many tools in his box such as being an incredibly hard worker, financially stable, business savvy, CLEAN (excepting those toolboxes), a great cook and grill master, ability to get through any tough situation, an engaged listener and cares about my stuff, creative and kind -- I have a few tools of my own, ya know -- I'm empathetic, personable, can talk to anyone, the stage is my home, good sense of humor, hard worker, creative, intelligent, insightful, love to clean! (good thing for Dan), forgiving and incredibly loving --

Dan and I have a lot of great tools to build a strong marriage if I do say so myself :) -- On the flip side, it's when you get married and discover your husband doesn't say please and thank you or you don't put things back where they belong, you start to see the tools that are missing and how it effects you -- Without saying too much, because this is not Dan's blog, I've recently found out some really heart wrenching stuff about Dan's life (which is normal progression in marriage) and it caused me to understand why certain tools (in which I thought were totally normal to have) were missing -- Truth be told... a lot of tools he does have, he gained through years of observing others, overcoming a lot and taking it on himself to continue becoming a better person -- He is amazing --

I have some pretty heart wrenching stories myself and as a result, quite a few missing tools, as well -- While Dan may recognize what's missing he doesn't curse me for it and vise versa -- When you get married, you might as well settle that you're joining forces with someone from a different planet -- It should be the ride of your life finding out about that person... not the fight of your life -- My hope is that you'll take the time to check out your toolbox and your spouse's and have an open mind and understanding heart as to why some tools may be missing -- I'm using my toolbox to build the marriage I believe is possible... My hope is you'll do the same --


Rhonda said...

Great post, Anna! I love those moments of not only gaining understanding as to why the tools are missing, but also hearing how my man has worked so hard to develop tools that were missing due to life circumstances. Quite honestly I consider that work a greater gift (even though doing it was not about me. :0) than anything he could ever buy for me. It's also a gift that he would do the work to develop himself... for himself. I wish that more couples could have the insight to SEE their spouse as a work in progress rather than just reacting out of their own brokenness.

Miss Caught Up said...

Yet, another wonderful post about the complexity of achieving a healthy relationship!

Cocaine Princess said...

I loved your entry, gives a lot to think about.
I particularly like your selected wisdom quotes.

NewlyWed07 said...

MCU -- oh the joys of complex living... that's why you've got to laugh a lot --

CP -- thank you --

Sass said...

I really enjoyed that post.

My husband and I are from different areas, so we didn't know each other before college. We've been together 13 years now, but it's good to remember that he (and I) still carries around things from the past that make him who he is today.

I'm enjoying your blog! ;-)

NewlyWed07 said...

Sass... Thank you! I love that you are enjoying it and I can't wait to hit 13 years... wow -- congrats on having what it takes ;0)

*Kimmie* said...

What an amazingly written post! Looks like you and the Mr. are pretty well grounded in your adventures!

Thanks for sharing!