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Blog — "a few things"

Respect is a Two Way Street

Heidi a few things daily life love

As a recently married gal who has been in the same relationship for nearly ten years, I have been more aware of blog posts and articles about the subject of marriage. They fascinate me mostly because I just simply can't relate to them. Many bloggers confess to marriage being the hardest thing they have ever endured, that marriage takes hard work, and that they are so thankful to have made it as...

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Respect is a Two Way Street

Heidi Shenk "a few things" "daily life" "love"

As a recently married gal who has been in the same relationship for nearly ten years, I have been more aware of blog posts and articles about the subject of marriage. They fascinate me mostly because I just simply can't relate to them. Many bloggers confess to marriage being the hardest thing they have ever endured, that marriage takes hard work, and that they are so thankful to have made it as far as they have. I have been inundated with posts like these as of late, but they leave me wondering what I'm missing. I'm just not quite getting what makes marriage so difficult.

Maybe Andrew and I have it good. Maybe we're just that compatible, or we just have a knack to working well together, or respecting others, or communicating, or what have you, without even thinking about it. I not sure really what it is, but I guess I just don't see it as hard work. If you love and respect someone and that is a mutual thing, then I think it just comes easily. That is not to say that we've never had arguments about anything, but I just can't ever remember a time when I felt at my wits end over our relationship as so many others have confessed.

This weekend, after already reading a plethora of these articles on how to keep a marriage together, I happened upon another article dealing with marriage that I simply couldn't leave on the back burner. This time, my cousin had fueled the fire with a post on facebook sharing this article about 25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband. As a married male, he was posting the article in a WTF?! kind of way and even stated something to the effect of "respect is a two way street."
I was curious, so I began reading the article. As I began reading, I realized that it was a list of ways in which the woman must act only for the husband in a relationship-- to me, this was not a list of ways to maintain a healthy relationship. I got as far as number 11, "Eyes Only For Him," before I felt like I was going to lose my lunch and had to stop reading. Was this truly a woman writing this article?! And how could she possibly feel that thinking only of meeting her husbands needs and catering to his beck and call is a healthy relationship?! What about her needs? About what makes her happy? Is there no mutual respect?
While I suppose there is some small amount of merit to a few of these points if taken on a mutual level, I just couldn't get past how archaic a large majority of her points were. I was angered that she suggested that women must reciprocate whenever their husband is in the mood for sex. Outraged at the fact she believed women should dress only to please their husbands. Horrified by the many points she makes in which the wife should not speak her mind, make decisions, or question decisions made by the husband. Disgusted by her insinuation that women should be the only one responsible for a clean house and food on the table.
This is submission. 
Submission and choosing to accept that men are more powerful and mean more than the woman in a relationship. That women are less than. That women should not be honored and respected in the same way. It is antiquated thinking that I just can't wrap my head around or deem as acceptable in our modern society. Women have worked far too hard to make it to the point at which we are in the world today, and this article felt like a slap in the face, a step backward from the freedoms and equalities that have been accomplished thus far.
Power is a frightening thing. When one has a sense of power, they will most likely do things that they may otherwise not have thought to do. And when there is no longer a balance of power in a relationship and we give power to only one side, it is no longer healthy. Both sides of a relationship should be equal, and to disrupt that equality to create a system of subservience versus power, changes the way people view each other and respect each other. While, the author of the article may find that a woman should do these things to show respect, what she hasn't considered is the way in which she is disrespecting herself in return. And above all, if we don't respect ourselves, living a fulfilling life is much harder to do.
After mentioning the article to Andrew, I finally mustered the courage to finish reading it in its full length. I read the article aloud to Andrew as we drove home from our weekend grocery trip. "What is this?! What kind of man treats his wife like that or expects those things from her?!" he exclaimed. And then it hit me. Maybe that is why marriage is so easy-- because we take our relationship as a two way street. We respect each other equally, allow the other person to be who they are, and hold no impossible expectations over the other's head. And to me, that mutual respect is truly what love and relationships are all about.

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Blogging Because I Want To

Heidi Shenk "a few things"

It seems that I haven't been a good blogger these days. I keep saying that, but what does that really mean anyway. I've had a lot of time to think instead and quite frankly it has brought me to the point of deciding that being a blogger doesn't have any rules. Why should I feel like I HAVE to blog? I want to blog because I want to, damn it, not because I HAVE to.

While I'm sure some of you awesome readers are probably annoyed with how infrequently and sporadically I've been posting lately, I've got news for you-- I don't care a whole lot and it feels pretty damn good! (That's probably no way to treat your readers, I suppose...oooops.) There is no reason why I should feel chained to this thing and so I've decided to do quite the opposite on many levels.

1) If I don't have anything to write about, then I just won't. I'm pretty sure you'd rather read something interesting than read something that sounds canned anyway.

2) I'm not hosting sponsors anymore. I start to feel like a washed up sell out when I have to promote others that I may not always back 100%. I'm promoting people I think are awesome on my sidebar just because I want to, and I'm eventually getting rid of the sponsor page when I have a chance to fix it from a blog design standpoint.

3) I will probably still post recipes and crap like that when I want to because I love food. So have no fear, yummy food will still show up in this space.

4) I will probably write about more stuff that is happening in my daily life and you'll probably continue to see shop updates because that's what consumes me most days.

5) It is quite possible that I may bore you. If that happens, just refer back to my burned butt post and know that as long as the weather is nice I am probably doing the same. Now, see item number 6.

6) I am writing with paper and ink again. On my roof deck. It's just how I work.

7) Ok, I think you get the point.

Either way. Today I felt like blogging because I wanted to. I figured I'd start with this because it made most sense. There will be other posts coming because I am feeling inspired again. However, I will warn that it is also quite possible this space may be quiet for a while too as I venture to other parts of the world for a few weeks. Don't worry, I think I can get myself together enough as a blogger to share about that when I return.

As for you, do you feel as though you HAVE to blog. Or do you blog only when you want to? Does hosting sponsors make you feel as icky as it makes me feel?

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Heidi Shenk "a few things" "daily life"

I've written before about how teaching had drained me. I felt like I was so stressed out I wasn't living life anymore. I had no spare time and I turned down so many opportunities because I knew they would overwhelm me more than I already was. After finishing the school year in June and knowing that I was not returning, I felt as though a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.

Transitioning from the mindset of having a summer off and to realizing that this is not a permanent vacation is something that I've often worried about. I need constant reminders. Andrew is good about that. He treats my days like they are work days and checks in with me at the end of the day-- How was work today? What did you get accomplished? How were sales today? Did you get any new wholesale leads? Then there are the reminders of the non-work stuff. Like the, don't worry about getting that done tonight. You have all day tomorrow to do that. And I actually get to live in the moment.

This past weekend, my best friend from college came to Baltimore to visit with some friends that had invited her down from Hoboken. She had all day Friday free while they were at work, so I spent the afternoon with her at an amazing restaurant on the water sipping fantastic cocktails because I could and because I felt like it. I had worked like crazy that morning and could do whatever I wanted for the whole afternoon. Later that evening, Andrew and I went to Merriweather to see the Lumineers. We took a picnic for dinner and sat on a blanket and I worried about nothing because I didn't have to.

Saturday ended up being a relaxing day. We went to pick up our wedding rings (woot woot!) and then later that evening biked to the Orioles game. We have been biking as much as possible to get to places within the city now that I have a bike that I actually enjoy riding. However, I've been apprehensive. I'm not daring like Andrew who rides his bike every day to work, zipping between cars and narrowly missing (and once hitting) opening car doors while traveling full steam ahead. In fact, merely a few moments before we left via bike, I tried talking him into taking the car instead. I wasn't ready to bike across the city yet, I argued. It scared me.

After the Orioles game, we hopped back on our bikes to ride home via the bike path and the safest route possible that I had made Andrew promise to take. As we were trying to work our way through the crowds of pedestrians that were clogging the bike path on Pratt Street, I decided that I needed to do something to avoid the jammed path. I spotted an opening in the heavy Pratt Street traffic and I went for it. I sped down the street on my bike at full speed, passing people on the sidewalks and keeping up with cars in the street. And in that moment it hit me. I was free and I finally felt like I was living again.

Imogen Heap Cycling though London
via lomokev
As I turned off of the busy downtown street back to our quiet residential route, Andrew caught up with me on his bike and yelled, "You did it! I wasn't expecting that at all, but you just did it!" And you know what, as silly as it may seem, I felt like a whole new person with a whole new lease on life. Maybe it's a metaphor for bigger things-- knowing that taking a giant leap into a new adventure will be ok. Or that things that may feel scary are actually not as a big of a deal as they seem. Either way, that bike ride was just what I needed.

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Learning to Take Risks

Heidi Shenk "a few things"

You can either sit and mope about it, or you can do something about it. I'm pretty sure once in a while I heard those words from my parents while growing up. No matter how much they annoyed me as a teenager, they still swim around in my head as a reminder today as an adult.

Doing something about it has never been an easy thing for me. It usually involves doing something I don't like, reaching out to people that I don't know, or testing out something totally new and outside of my comfort zone. Recently, I've been trying to change my attitude about things and do more of the "do something about it" type things. I started with small risks, ones that I was beginning to be more comfortable with, and soon I became completely comfortable with them. They were no longer outside my comfort zone.

For me, taking risks always seemed just that-- risky. And risky directly translated into stupid. However, in the past month, I am realizing that not all risks are stupid. It may feel risky to me because it is outside of my comfort zone, but the reality of it all is that by taking the risk, I'm doing something to better myself.

Even though the risks are scary for me, I'm challenging myself by taking them. As I take more risks, I'm noticing that I'm able to make myself and my business better. I find that new doors are opening for new opportunities that I never would have expected. And most of all, I'm happier. I no longer feel like that mopy teenager, but rather I feel excited and filled with a positive outlook on what is to come in the next year or year after that or even five years from now. As I told Andrew last night, "I'm doing my own thing!" And truly doing my own thing has never felt more exciting!

Are you doing something exciting in your life these days? Taking any big risks?

And on that note, Happy Friday to you all! :)

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