Tag Archives: choices

Be Married for 26 Years

May 3rd, 2023

Today is our 26th wedding anniversary plus two days of me being 49 years old. The best part is that Sexy Neck’s birthday is two days from now, yes it is a fun week of celebration, at least this is what we thought when we were university students on our semester ended in April and Steve was getting ready to head to the National Team.

When Sexy Neck and I got engaged in November of 1996 at the West Edmonton Mall we were talking about a possible wedding date. We thought it would be hilarious if May the 3rd fell on a Saturday in 1997 so that could be our wedding date! Well, God knew that our brains would think like that and yes, you guessed it, our wedding day was on Saturday, May 3rd, 1997.

Sidenote: Sexy Neck was going to propose at the top of the rollercoaster at WEM, but we ended up getting in a disagreement because I didn’t want to go on it. He ended up putting the personally-designed ring in an ice cream, which I thought was the sweetest thing ever! I was shocked.

May 1

May 3

May 5

The beginning of May is a week of celebration!

On top of thinking about the date in which we decided, or God decided, for us to be married, I have been reflecting on being married for more than a quarter of a century.

It’s all about “choice”!

Yup, choice.

Not sex, love, infatuation, coercing, settling, changing someone, manipulation… it’s simply about a personal choice made daily by each person in a marriage.

I remember in the pre-marriage counselling that we did before May 3rd, 1997, the counsellor talked about marriage as being about a “daily choice”. As I sit here today, I couldn’t agree more.

My personal choices that I think about often are:

  • Do I bring out the best or worst in my husband?
  • How do I listen and also feel heard?
  • How do I show love even when I don’t feel the emotion of love?
  • How do I support my husband’s personal life journey even when it adversely affects my own life?
  • Do I want to be my husband’s biggest cheerleader or the “bring him downer” in his life?
  • How can I share my needs and also consider my husband’s needs?
  • How do you live with someone who has very different standard of timelines and schedules? (We shared a computer when doing our Bachelor of Education degrees. It worked beautifully because I always finished my projects a week ahead of time and he did everything the night before. And guess who always beat me in the marks department, yup Steve! Probably because I always stayed up with him and proofread all of his work. HAHA)

Choice.

Love.

Partnership.

Best friend.

Marriage.

Choice.

26 years baby!

Have a wonderful Wednesday folks and love what you do!

xoxo Joanna

Be Leaning Into Pain and Moving Towards Pleasure

I have had quite a few lessons in life where I have had to lean into pain. How about you? Any pain coursing through your body and mind these days?

As a 15 year old, I had a very close friend who decided to hangout with older friends that partied, smoked and drank. I had to literally walk away from her as we discovered we no longer had anything in common as I pursued my athletic goals and knew that health was my future. It’s painful to lose people who you have been friends with you for years.

As a 21 year old, I was injured in my third year of university volleyball. Right after I hoisted the cup as the captain of my university team declaring we were the best team in Canada, I had to make a choice. I made a very painful decision to retire from volleyball after deciding not to do a surgery with a questionable outcome.

As a 39 year old, I grieved deeply as we moved from Vernon to Kelowna. I said goodbye to my parents living ten minutes away. We lost the routine of preschool pick-up seeing friends who had known us since before we had kids and having the beautiful Vernon Music School and the “Peanut” park just down the road. No longer could we drive 25 minutes up the hill to be at both world class downhill and cross country skiing.

Now in 2023, I am watching quite a few people in pain around me right now: Dealing with deaths, or divorces or illnesses or poor choices by those around them or …. just plain and simple pain.

What I want to say friends is: LEAN IN! Lean fully into the pain. I don’t believe that ignoring it, drinking it away, binge watching netflix or not fully acknowledging pain helps us as human beings in any way. Denial and distraction don’t really help us move through the pain. These two D’s help us get stuck!

Right now, we are personally having to lean into some pain, some uncomfortableness and a lot of uncertainty. I know that leaning into these feelings will help us move towards pleasure and not make any rash decision based on pain.

Not one single decision based on the pain we have experienced have been good ones.

Lean into the pain, then seek the pleasure and run towards it.

Sit against that wall in the darkness and feel that pain going through your body and then know the sunshine of pleasure will be just around the corner.

I have experienced it.

I know it.

I choose it!

Lean into the pain.

Feel it.

Soak in it.

Feel.

Deal.

Heal.

Then you will be able to truly make a decision based out of pleasure and not pain with the added bonus that you won’t make any rash or “bad” decision based on that pain alone, like we have done in the past!

Now, go have an epic Thursday and love what you do!

xoxo Joanna

Be ‘Moving’ Backwards to go Forward

My counsellor has been working with me to let go of the Western ideal that we move from point A to point B never to return to ‘old stuff’.

When I continue to go over this old ground in my mind, I feel like a failure, I feel shame and I feel mad.

My inner dialogue goes something like this:
“What this again? Seriously Joanna. Are you really going to have this same conversation again? Are we really going down this path? How could this happen again?”

Thanks to my counsellor, I have shifted this A to B mentally to be more of a deepening spiral. Like a tornado funnel.

Oh I like this analogy because sometimes I have me some wind blowing around me!

Yes, I am going to go over the same road again but I am going to be in a different place on my path, a deeper place. (I am almost 40 you know!).

Last night, was a huge mental shift downward into my deepening spiral.

For weeks I have looked for a once per week hockey program that we could do in Ktown. Do you think I could find one? Nope! Minor hockey, that wants to devour families lives with their three times per week practices/games, is the show in this town.

Sooo….
We decided to take JC out of Grade One forty-five minutes early and drive the boys sixty kilometres back to the town we just moved from so that the boys could play hockey.

They are back at the rink they know.

CC has the same coach he had last year.
Papa was on the ice with CC.
JC got to move up a level.
He gets his own jersey this year.
I get to see old friends each week.
AND THE VERY BEST PART, NANA CAME TO WATCH. Can you see me up and jumping around?

It was amazing night of going backwards. JC’s teacher was supportive of our idea, dad laced up his skates and even went for a morning skate to get ready, lastly mom looked me square in the eyes and said, “I am really glad that you are coming here for hockey!”

Anything for you Mama! Now if only I could meet your request for a new body!

20131002-204204.jpg
JC waiting to give his brother a high five before his turn on the ice.

20131002-204214.jpg
Papa and CC working together.

20131002-204224.jpg
OC watching the action.

20131002-204234.jpg
Nana is on the right in the toque.

Sometimes you need to go backwards to move forward. Lesson learned. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Deeper. Deeper. Deeper.