My husband Seth and I have been together for 19 years. Seth’s birthday is this Thursday and this is the 19th time that I get to celebrate him. I have no doubt that Seth is this great gift that was sent to me. I feel like I celebrate the wonderful man that I married every day but especially this week. The wonderful man who couldn’t be more different from me.
I wanted to devote my writing to Seth this week. As I reflected on what I wanted to write about, what came to me is a significant change that I have made. I don’t think that I could have chosen a man who was more my opposite. I call Seth and I – Yin and Yang. My daughter Ella told me the other day that I chose someone who compliments me perfectly. My eyes filled with tears when our daughter made this astute observation. Our smart cookie. She got there much faster than I did. It took time for me to learn to appreciate our differences. I still don’t always appreciate our differences.
I used to get annoyed by our differences. “You are so abrupt,” I would say to Seth. I have changed. Now I look at Seth with gratitude for our differences. I need him. He makes me better and he compliments me perfectly as Ella said. I am not going to get into what I do for Seth and how I compliment him. Today is all about my birthday man. I’m not going to tell you that I always appreciate our differences. It still can cause conflict.
The most recent difference has arisen in our discussions with our son Max about college. Max is ending his sophomore year of high school and has begun his search for college. Max loves computers. He already finished his computer programming class and he still has months left of school. He built his amazing computer with Seth. He wants to go to college for computer science and is researching the best computer science colleges. He mentioned Berkley and I literally almost fell down. “You can’t go to the west coast,” I told my son. “Stay on the east coast please,” I exclaimed with mama bear intensity. Seth gave me the look. I knew what the look meant. He wants our kids to fly off to wherever suits them best. How does he do this? I gave birth to my children and have built them the most cozy nest that I could. Now you are asking me to push them out of the nest. I am crying as I type that. I have two more years. I just sat through college night. One of the college advisors told the kids to be understanding of their parents who feel like we just had them in diapers. I will live in this moment now and I will get through this with my strong husband by my side. The Yin to my Yang. Our kids can find great colleges on the east coast near their mother!
I’m on the phone with Verizon. My phone continues to not work after weeks of not being able to talk on the phone in my house. I am as sweet as I can be to get the outcome I want. You see if Seth was on the phone right now he would be letting them have it. Do I think that he needs to be nice? Yes. Do I need him to be assertive and get things done? Yes. Seth has made me more assertive, and I have made him nicer. We are rubbing off on each other in great ways. Do I still get annoyed when he is abrupt with people? Yes!
When Seth and I moved in together I expected our apartment to be spotless. I cleaned for hours. When we moved to our first house and had our first baby, I continued to keep our house spotless. I couldn’t go to bed until everything was put away. Wow, have I changed. Call it exhaustion. Call it three kids. I like to think that Seth has mellowed me out. He doesn’t expect our house to be perfect. He doesn’t expect the sink to be empty. He doesn’t expect all the laundry to be done. He is so good for me. We are both wound tight in different ways, and we calm each other down in different ways. Do I still want him to clean more? Yes! Does he still want me to chill out? Yes!
I can be impractical and impulsive, and I married a man who is very practical. I priced getting an in ground pool and didn’t think twice. “Let’s do it. It will be worth it,” I said. Seth’s sticker shock was written all over his face. “Let’s compromise,” he says to me. Well, stay tuned because we did come up with a compromise. The compromise isn’t practical either, but we balance each other out. Do I get annoyed with Seth being so practical? Yes! Does Seth get annoyed with my impulsivity? Yes! We can appreciate these differences and they can also still cause us conflict. Thankfully we are learning to lean more towards appreciation. I see that I don’t want him to be like me. We both can’t be impulsive.
I look at the list of things to get done and my emotions go wild. “How am I supposed to do all of this?” I’m all emotional and Seth jumps in with, “I’ll do it. Give it to me.” Seth does things faster than me. He uses logic. He uses lists calmly and efficiently. This is where our son gets it from. I will be like, “I can’t possibly do all of this.” My husband swoops in and asks me how he can help. I’m regularly floored, impressed and inspired by my husband. Seth is the logic to my emotions. Do I need his logic? Yes! Does he need my emotions? To a point. I also don’t always want to be logical!
“I think you should do a Whinypaluza Summit,” Seth calmly throws out to me. Is my husband crazy? Does he think I just have all this time in the world to add another thing to my plate? First, he tells me all my writing should be made into blog posts and books. Then he tells me that people may like a vlog where I can discuss my topics. Then he suggests I do a podcast. I don’t know how to do a podcast. Next, he came up with a summit for me. Now he’s telling me the groups that I should form. What will be next? The man never stops thinking. Financially it really benefits us. To all of you who have asked or want to ask: yes, Whinypaluza thankfully brings in significant money for my family. I never know what he will come up with next. At first, I really resisted this. Now, I find myself intrigued with all of his creativity. He pushes me out of the box. I tell Seth that he is the wind beneath my wings because he makes me fly. He does the same thing for our children and all of his employees and clients. Sometimes it drives me crazy. Sometimes I just want him to slow down. I feel busy enough with what I have going on. I have also learned to appreciate this about Seth. I like new things. I like being pushed out of my comfort zone. I can also find it overwhelming.
Emotions bubbling. Logic and reason.
I need to clean. Why don’t you sit down and rest.
I have a meeting. Can you stop volunteering for things.
I can’t cook another meal. Let’s order food.
Let’s go do something. Do you know how to relax?
I don’t know how I am going to do this? This isn’t a big deal.
Can you help me fix my phone? You need to be more assertive.
They hurt my feelings. Don’t let them.
Stay in my nest. Let them fly.
Be nice. Be assertive. Get it done.
Be patient. My time is precious.
Use your bond. They just need to listen.
Can I… Just ask for what you want. Be direct.
I’m so upset. You don’t know anything yet. Stay calm.
I gave you a little peak into our yin and yang styles of thinking. Our son is currently learning to drive. Seth is sitting in the front calmly guiding Max to get in the left lane. I am holding on, deep breathing and trying to stay calm and teach him. I just have to laugh at our differences. If I am worked up, Seth is usually calm. If Seth is upset, I am usually wondering what the big deal is. It works because most of the time we both aren’t upset at the same time.
Our daughter comes home and tells me about someone being mean to her. My face turns red, and my emotions bubble up. I tell myself to stay calm. I tell myself to hear what happened and that I don’t know all the sides to this story. Seth calmly walks up, “What happened?” I know what he’s thinking. Seth is thinking that kids are going to be mean. He is wondering what the big deal is. I hurt when my kids hurt. I want to rush to school and yell at the girl who said mean things. I look into my husband’s deep blue eyes and I find my centering. He grounds me. He reminds me to calm down and use logic. I am not telling you that Seth never gets angry. I am telling you that he gets angry when I don’t think something is a big deal. We probably couldn’t be more opposite. It works. It serves us. We need each other. Something that I need to remember every day. Hopefully something that you can learn to appreciate with your spouse too. Did we want to marry ourselves? I would drive myself crazy. I didn’t need myself. I needed my opposite.
March 23, 2023, I celebrate Seth. I celebrate the amazing man that he is. I celebrate what a good person he is. What a wonderful husband and father that he is. The fabulous business owner, CEO extraordinaire that he is. I celebrate how strong he is. That he makes me laugh every day. That he’s a renaissance man who seems to be able to do anything. When I met Seth, I found him so interesting. A financial planner, marketer, podcaster, author, publisher, college planning guru, husband, father, magician, musician, Krav Maga Master, to list just a few of his many skills and talents. He certainly keeps life interesting.
I’m looking forward to what’s ahead. What will he do next? What will I learn next from Seth? How will we learn from each other. This would be written very differently from Seth’s perspective. Maybe he will flip the script for us one day and write this from his perspective.
Happy Birthday to my husband. The love of my life. The man who makes my life pure magic. Keep being you. Let’s keep learning and growing together. I will do my best to appreciate our differences.
Your loving and devoted wife,
Laughing, Loving, Learning together,
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