Reality. Real life. That constant current flowing through our days and nights. It’s always there whether you choose to see it or not.
I can say, as a human being, that reality isn’t something I ponder often. It’s just there, taken for granted. Like oxygen. Reality is that thing we fall back on when our dreams and hopes and wishes aren’t coming to fruition. Reality is the warm blanket that’s not pretty or special, it’s not fancy or exotic. It’s just there, waiting for us.
I’ve noticed that reality isn’t as bad as we can make it out to be. Yes, our dreams are brighter and our future hopes glimmer oh so enticingly but reality, the solid consistent mass that sits in the back ground patiently, isn’t as dark as it seems. It’s nothing more than a basic thread in our lives, weaving the background together while we frolic and dance about hoping for more.
We’ve been married for 5 months. In those five months we’ve planned big, taken huge leaps, and we’ve loved passionately in that blinding newly wedded bliss that happens to everyone. But that isn’t reality. That is the post-wedding/honeymoon glow.
What is in actuality our reality is homework. Monday through Thursday homework. It’s rescheduling doctor appointments and juggling after-school pick up. Reality is going to bed to read a book while your partner works through the night to support the family. It is the dirty socks that must be turned right side out and the grocery shopping list for all the dinners to be made that week. Reality is the linen closet that needs to be organized and the light bulbs that need to be replaced.
Reality is boring. It’s basic. It’s everyday. But it’s unwavering and reliable. There will always be dishes to be washed and toys to be picked up and bills to be paid. And as a married couple, our reality is that even when the flames dim a bit due to the hectic family life that’s being created and executed, there is still a strong foundation of respect and love. Reality is that married life isn’t the blasting heat from a raging bonfire but the glowing warm embers of a fire that never dies.
I realized today as I paid off a credit card and added my husband as my additional payee on another bill that I was allowing myself to slip into the realness of everyday life and that I was forgetting to step out of it for a moment, for a quick second, to remind him that I loved him. Those glowing embers are there and I bet he knows how I feel for him without saying it but I didn’t want to rely on that. I wanted to take that second, grab it tightly and to say what I felt.
And most importantly, to say it without the expectation that I will get something in return. Instead, I said it because I meant it and I wanted him to know.
Reality. It’s not glamorous or special. It’s real and constant. It’s there whether you think about it or not. And in married life, reality is what kicks people in the face after the excitement of a wedding wears off. If you don’t plan for the everyday stuff and you go in with the expectation that your married life will be just as special as your one big day was, then you are in for a real surprise, and not the good kind.
Instead of mourning and clawing ferociously at the slowly fading shimmer on our post-wedding bliss, I’m settling into my warm, comfortable reality and wrapping it around me. These embers are still glowing and are scalding to the touch because even in the comfort of reality, the passion and love is just as present even if the folded laundry does need to be put away.