I started my last pre-requisite course, biochemistry, this week for starting my Masters in Human Nutrition at the University of Bridgeport. I am a bit of a geek and have always loved Chemistry so I was excited to start my class. However, a few days prior to starting, my husband and I were casually talking our marriage. He told me that during my last years of nursing school he felt our marriage struggled because I was beyond stressed out. I was working 40+ hours, taking nine credit hours and driving an hour away to Long Beach most weekends for 12 hour clinical shifts at the VA Hospital. Also, during this time I studied to become a 200 hour Registered Yoga Instructor and ran the Carlsbad marathon. I mean I do not understand why I would have been stressed out (insert sarcasm smiley face here). It wasn’t that this was news to me. I knew that it wasn’t our best year of marriage, but it also kind of made my heart hurt to hear those words.
My husband is the kindest person I know and very supportive of me and all my crazy ideas, like thinking I can do it all. During those long days, he would do all the cleaning, take care of our finances, grocery shop, make my lunches and have dinner on the table (usually with a glass of wine) when I came home from a 12 hour shift at the hospital. Also, he would hug me and tell me everything would be okay during my almost daily meltdowns. At the time, I didn’t think I was taking him for granted because I told him all the time how thankful I was and how much I appreciated him. I always told him he was the best husband ever. I was so thankful that the weekend after my last class I called it “Eric Appreciation Day.” I surprised him by taking him to his favorite place for brunch, kayaking in the La Jolla Cove, shopping, a couples massage, a nice new watch he had been wanting (this guy loves his watches and sunnies) and dinner.
I was truly thankful so when I heard him say he felt our marriage struggled it was heart breaking because I realized I had taken him for granted during those years. He had always been so supportive and caring, that I have come to always expect that from him. I never really thought about how much of me being stressed out affected him during those years. I suppose because I never really had a second to even stop to think about it. I love him very much and always take pride in our relationship. After more than 20 years together, I still look forward to seeing him every night as much as I did when we first started dating. I hope he knows that, but maybe I need to remind him more often.
All of this was an “ah-ha” moment for me as I start a new adventure at University Bridgeport. I vow not to allow it to make me stressed out or consume me. If I start to feel that way, I will reduce my coursework or re-evaluate my goals. My priorities are the happiness of my husband, my child, and me. This also includes me focusing on my health and stress levels too. I will do workouts that energize me, like yoga or barre classes or just taking family walks or hikes. I will eat nutrient dense foods that are appropriate for my body, that will increase my energy, keep my brain sharp and my hormones balanced. I will focus on my sleep aiming for 7-8 hours most nights. I will take my supplements that help with hormone balance, digestion and keeping my body functioning optimally.
I believe I can still follow my passion and goals and believe it is possible while nourshing my body and soul at the same time. I am already starting to cultivate what I desire simply by bringing my awareness to it. Sometimes we just need a gentle reminder from someone we love of what is truly important in life. It isn’t always about accomplishments, but it is about our connection with family and friends. Thank you Eric, I appreciate all your love and support and allowing me to follow my dreams.