Year End Reviews Bore Me, But…

Written By: Kim - Jan• 02•13

Year end reviews bore me. The news coverage this last week (other than the US fiscal cliff) was stuffed full of stories about stars who died, biggest headlines, winners and losers of 2012 and biggest news stories. My eyes usually glaze over and I turn a deaf ear, until the story jogs my memory. Hey, I forgot about that….

I am not saying that this has converted me to year end reviews, but it’s nice to pause for a few minutes and consider what kind of year 2012 was for all of us. Overall, 2012 was a good year for me and my family.

  1. I am still employed. Bonus: I like the people I work with. How many of us say that?
  2. My family is healthy. And, we are still together.
  3. We got a puppy, Sydney, who is healthy. She’s changed our life and we love her.
  4. We took Sydney on vacation. We met the in-laws on vacation and had a fun, relaxing time.

    Sydney enjoys the summer lake ride. ©Mike Howard, 2012

    Sydney enjoys the summer lake ride. ©Mike Howard, 2012

  5. A school year ended and another one began, but in different schools for both of my children.
  6. I joined the ranks of swim team Moms this summer. My high school freshman is now swimming for his school.
  7. I like my neighbors.
  8. My commute is long, but my train buddies and iPad make it bearable.
  9. I traveled to some new places and made new friends. I also reconnected with old friends.
  10. I am still writing this blog, two years after I started it.

Not a bad year in review. Happy New Year everyone!

Hold on Tight

Written By: Kim - Aug• 22•12

Last week we were lucky enough to take a lake-front vacation. While we were on vacation, I had two “aha moments.” The first one was easy and occurred mid week. I turned to my husband and said, “Retirement will be easy.” I loved not having a schedule. Our schedule was just that – ours. We had no meetings to attend, no trains to catch, no children to get to school or various activities on time. And, I admit it: I napped daily. It is the ultimate luxury item: being on your own time.

My second revelation happened in the form of advice: “Once the kids leave the house and the dog dies, you and Mike need to hold on to each other tighter than you ever have.”

Our view at Lake Toxaway, NC. ©Mike Howard, 2012.

I bet each of us knows a couple who’s marriage or relationship broke up at this stage in their life. I am not talking about marriages where there was infidelity, abuse, substance abuse, etc. I am talking about marriages where the two folks involved looked at one another after decades together and sadly realized they had little in common anymore. The marriages that had survived raising children, job changes, building businesses, unemployment, sickness, death of a parent, illness, crazy ass commutes or travel schedules and then the spouses realized that this was not the person he or she wanted to grow old with.

It’s awful. It’s tragic. It might be avoidable if you try.

Remember what made you fall in love. Remember and do the things you did as a couple. Rejuvenate your relationship now before you drift further apart. Maybe it’s a scheduled date night or weekend away. I admit that my husband and I are not consistent with this. But, I certainly don’t want our marriage to dissolve in a few years either.

We are seriously considering sending our children to summer camp next year so that we can vacation alone. Why? Not because we don’t want our children to experience new places, but their constant immature bickering creates a huge amount of stress. We don’t have to take them along. We choose to. Just like we choose to (or not) try to keep our relationship alive.

Go ahead and make that dinner reservation. Leave the kids with a sitter. Remember why you fell in love and hold on tight.