Someone who’ll watch over me

All week long I’ve been aching to write something fresh, pithy, substantial and really wedding-centric… but somehow I keep being diverted by a great sale, or cool company I know you’ll love, or (and more to the point) real life.

But, here I find myself… typing without thinking, about anything but my wedding website, bridal party, or florist. I’m unable to focus my mind, and I know why, but can’t stop it. I figure, maybe if I write it out then it will quiet. I’m guessing I’m not alone here… so why not just let it out?

As many of you all-too-well know, the job market is reallllllly bleak right now. Unemployment is at its highest in 14 years, so competition is high, and the state unemployment fund is 6 weeks from possible insolvency. We’re scrambling for work, but so is everyone else. No bueno.

On the bright side, we’re also shopping 2 projects around that could pick up at any moment, which is very exciting, and gives us great hope. I really feel confident something will come of them, and we’ve been very proactive in working to keep them moving along. But you can only do so much at a time.

So, stress has been high in our home. We’ve been handling it surprisingly well together, which is comforting. I’ve mentioned before that I sometimes have a hard time leaning on those that love me during hard times, and I’ve been working on that. Hunter has also been patient and gentle, which helps. He is my rock….

…until he gets stressed out. Then I must either become his rock, or we sink together.

I’ve been keenly aware lately of the “give and take” part of supporting each other. Its hard, when the chips are down and we’re both feeling miserable, for one of us to shore up and lead the charge toward hope. It works well to trade it off… one day I’ll need his help to get by, and the next he’ll need mine… but the rare day that we’re both struggling to breathe, its hard to not feel:
a) pressured to suck it up and carry Hunter to shore, or
b) annoyed that Hunter isn’t sucking it up and carrying me to shore.
I’m sure he feels the same way too. Does that make sense?

Its like the old adage, if both of us are sick, who will take care of us? If both of us are weak, who will carry us home?

We’re lucky in that we’ve only had a few days of shared anxiety and worry that keep us from being as supportive we’d like to be of each other. Mostly, we do a great job of trading off. This experience is helpful, as we head into marriage… making us more aware of our dependence on each other for strength and support, and teaching us to balance our needs with eachother’s. Its good practice, and so far, I’m really proud of both of us for finding ways to continually support one another, even when neither of us feel altogether strong. It makes me even more excited to marry this man, of all men. He is my ultimate “better half”, and I try to be the same for him.

I read an article recently about how as life partners, our moods can rub off on eachother. I know for me, an extrovert, this is very true. If people around me are freaking out, I start to feel innately nervous. If people around me are happy, I feel it too. Like a contact-high, we experience contact-emotions from our significant others. It makes sense. So, it helps me remember that I have a responsibility to not drag Hunter down with me. I also find that when I’m trying to talk Hunter up to ease his stress, I start to believe it myself and in the end we both feel better. Fake it ’till you make it, y’know? We find the best trick is to collectively acknowledge the mess that we’re in, and work together to pull ourselves up at the same time…. pooling our strength over the weakness, making us at once accountable to ourselves and eachother. It works pretty well, but it takes practice!

We’ve been actively trying to keep busy to avoid the vortex of stress. Since we can’t spend money, this involves having friends over for dinner a lot, and taking advantage of lots of free movie and theatre offers to keep us feeling social and artsy. It really helps! We’ve had 1 free night to ourselves in about 3 weeks and I really credit that busy-ness with keeping us sane. And writing here always helps too. So thanks for being such great listeners :)

How do you cope with times like these? Are you there for each other, or do you both abandon ship and scramble for the lifeboat? What ways do you keep eachother sane in uncertain times?