Wedded Bliss: My ONE YEAR Anniversary!

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Countdown begins now! In 6 days I will be married for one whole year. I know it’s just one and not ten, but I’m still excited about it. I feel like it was just yesterday when I was trying to figure out how I was going to pull off my dream wedding on a reality budget. Funny thing is the budget ended up being the easy part, but the planning and people aspects of it really took me for a loop.  I have learned a lot in the past year about marriage, myself, and my husband, and I’m sure I will continue to. Fortunately, I don’t have the typical and frightening “everything changes once you get married” experience that is often thrown out when people curiously ask about married life. And, I truly hope it stays that way. If anything our relationship has gotten better. My husband and I still text daily while at work, still hang out, still go to church, and are still each other’s favorite person. Being married is one of the easiest and enjoyable things I have ever done. Yes, challenging at times, but I am so glad I did it. My husband is the best man I could have ever married for me.

I’ve always wanted to be apart of and admired marriages where I could smell the team work, and be able to see that both people rely on one another as support. That is what I have. Marriage requires the tasks of being accountable, being forgiving, being committed, and a plethora of other demands, but the joy it brings outweighs the work it takes to do all of them. You can compare it to being in a game together where you have to constantly figure out how to overcome an obstacle, plan your next move, and safe guard yourself from issues and people that could leave you at risk to dangerous attacks. Don’t worry there is tons of love in the middle, but as they say, love is a battlefield.

And, what is a great relationship without any adversity? We experienced a great deal of it while we were engaged, and it caused us to have to make some major adjustments that I have no doubt would have torn apart a weaker couple. As hard as it is to go through these times, one of the best feelings in the world is proving people wrong who didn’t help you or tried their best to sabotage your efforts. These instances ultimately become a benefit that allows you to earn a PHD in maintaining composure when met with opposition or plain old foolery. I can truly say that God has rewarded my husband and I for sticking out our initial season of discomfort by giving us a strong foundation of love and trust in our marriage. The experience motivated me to want to support other Do- It- Yourself Brides during their time of intense stress and pressure. It is also the reason why I started this blog and completed my first book; Bride Confesses: The Good, the Bad, the Lovely, and the Ugly Truth. Trusting God and being positive about the negative really works out.

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Before getting married I had some misconceptions of it being just for old people and for the unambitious. That it increased your chances of losing your “swag” or individuality, and only looked interesting when it involved the rich and famous. Instead, it has been an enhancement to my life. While I am blessed to truly enjoy my marriage, there have been surprises that I would have liked to be given a heads up about. Some things we have to find out for ourselves, but I hope let you in on a few of them.

  • First, you have to be tougher, kinder, and more hardworking than I thought. Being someone’s spouse is a lovely yet serious gig. No matter how wonderful the relationship, there will certainly be some unplanned events that you have to stick out but you would rather take a pass on. If there is a catch to marriage that is it- just keeping it real.

 

  • Secondly, it is continuous, there are no breaks. Not that you want any, but it is an adjustment knowing that as long as you and your spouse are alive and together you are always some one’s wife or husband. I guess that’s what FOREVER means.  That is also what makes it beautiful.

 

  • Thirdly, the terms husband and wife are very powerful, even if you don’t care for them to be, and even if others don’t want them to be. There is a huge difference between girlfriend and wife or boyfriend and husband. The main difference is that while in the “friend” state you are still hoping for people to like you, hoping to be accepted, hoping to make a good impression, and hoping for approval from others. You are in a passive position, and are often at the mercy of how others feel like treating you or want to perceive you. But when you are married, it’s not that those things don’t matter, it’s more so you don’t have the time for them to matter nearly as much. Now that you are a wife or husband you have entered into one of two top positions in each other’s life. Two have become one, you matter the most, and outsiders matter less. That can be a tough pill for some folks to swallow, and a huge adjustment if you are a little timid with exercising spousal authority. But don’t feel bad using it, even if people want to pretend like you shouldn’t use yours, trust me they use theirs all the time.

 

  • Lastly, time and people are precious. Moments go by so quickly. It’s a luxury for my husband and I to not have to share each other with anyone at the moment. I know it won’t be like that always, so for now I am definitely enjoying it. I also now know how it feels to care for another person and their being on a much deeper and protective level. I can only imagine how it feels to have a child. Love is certainly consuming, but you don’t realize how much it is when you are with the person you love the most.

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It’s been a pleasure sharing my thoughts with you and I hope they have given you some insight into married life. I do believe the saying is true, that all marriages are different because no one person is the same.

Here’s too many more years for me and my wonderful hubby!

Best,

Mrs. Lundy

 

The POWER of the Male Presence

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(www.fanpop.com)

Am I a feminist? I don’t know. I am in favor of women having the same rights, getting the same pay, and having the same access to opportunities as men. So, some would say yes. But, that does not mean I don’t have a deep respect for the male species. My respect is founded on these two facts, they are meant to be here, and they are here for a reason. Progression of one sex does not mean that the other has to be annihilated. It means that there is an understanding that the roles and contributions of both sexes are equally needed and important to society.

More often than not, I am starting to see people accept the belief that a male is not needed for civilization to function properly. I’ve even noticed while in the mall, people are not used to seeing a man with his family. It’s like they honestly don’t trust that an active husband or father exist, and they certainly don’t think it deserves any regard. Sadly, a lot of people don’t believe a relationship is real until they have done everything to destroy it, and when it’s still standing they “get it”. In my neighborhood people truly look shocked to see my husband, even though they have seen him for over a year. We currently have no children, enjoy life, and have no drama. Huh? To some, that is crazy. I know there are plenty of neighborhoods where this lifestyle is appreciated, instead of just marveled, and one day we will get there.

People who try to underestimate the importance of men in our lives are delusional. Certain things just don’t happen when a male is around. I’m not saying that you are suddenly bullet proof, but it definitely gives warning to trouble. It’s like an invisible shield that lets those know who may be planning harm not to go there because you are protected. Men may not literally be king of the jungle, but they are king of their household, and a main function of their job is to defend. When a man is in the home, young women have a reference point to use when choosing potential mates, and young men have someone they can look up to that not only teaches them but shows them how men act. Having the presence of a loving husband, a strong father, a giving uncle, a supportive brother, or a grandfather that spoils you like crazy gives you an advantage over many. By chance if we don’t have people to play these supportive roles in our lives, it can cause a lot of pain.

The recent celebration of Father’s day triggered me to do some serious reflection on my own dad. Especially since I lost him two years ago physically, but really long before due to several strokes that caused him to not be able to communicate with or see me. I remember us watching an episode of Good Times, and afterwards him telling me they got rid of the dad because he was too much of a strong figure in the home. That statement may have more truth to it than most are willing to accept, and may help to explain why some of us are conditioned to believe that the show will easily go on long after the man has left. Is life imitating art here?

Growing up in a single parent house hold after the age of 11, I can definitely pinpoint exactly when things changed  just because my dad was no longer in our home. There are many things my father taught me that have helped me as an adult. However, there are also many experiences that I probably would not have had if I knew I would have to answer to my father, and not only an overworked mother that was still trying to find out who she was amongst her many responsibilities. No one could have predicted how the loss of my father would impact the everyday life of my brothers and I. Their were definitely people that “tried it” because they knew it was only a woman in our home, not a man behind the scenes that could handle business if needed. People can sense vulnerability.

It is possible to raise great children, succeed in relationships, and go after our dreams without having a man around, but who wants to go through life without the guidance and perspective of the male. Just in case we need to hear this, men are just as important in the home and to our society as women. Maybe if we began collectively acknowledging their value instead of being focused on their shortcomings, they would feel appreciated and contribute more?

There is a popular saying that some men use to jokingly justify their commitment to staying in a relationship that is not ideal, which is “it’s cheaper to keep her”. But in reality if the person is positive, in the long run it’s just as cheaper to keep him (good guys only).

Rachel Bryant Lundy

Put on your “THINKING CAP”: Consider some facts to Discover your Truths

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(scooternationbaltimore.blogspt.com)

In head start when my teacher really wanted to get a class of 3 to 4 year olds to focus and answer a question, she would calmly remind us to put on our “thinking caps”. This one instruction caused us to immediately stop the business of being a kid, and give our full attention to the matter at hand. Sometimes we even did the movement of reaching above our heads and grabbing a “make believe” hat out the sky, then securely placing it on our heads. Suddenly we had power to tap into the part of our mind that was not easily accessible before, and this was all because of the use of an invisible “thinking cap”, otherwise known as the brain. All our teacher wanted us to do was to simply think. But stopping what your doing just to think is very hard for preschoolers, and can pose as a bigger challenge to adults.

The phrase “thinking cap” which was originally called a “considering cap”, means to take time for consideration of some question, and goes back as far as the early 19th century. Recently, I have found that carefully analyzing your experiences and seeing how they can tie into each other will prove to be advantageous in most situations, especially professionally. How many instances have we denied ourselves something because we didn’t think we met the requirements, or had what it took to go after and maintain it? When in actuality, we did. Yet, it was only after we stopped and took time to think about what we’ve done previously, and in what way it relates to want we want now, that it was found out.

No doubt about it, thinking can take a while. Real thought process requires you to go beyond the surface, beyond the quick answers, and maybe even face the possibility of bringing up bad memories. But thinking is a major requirement for progression, and so is being able to articulate your thoughts. When it comes to going after a job, a relationship, or a client you have to be comfortable explaining how what you have to offer benefits them. And to be able to do this effectively, you have to be the one that fully understands it the most.

So, do a bit of research on yourself, and connect the dots. This will prepare you for opportunities, especially unexpected ones that present themselves. You may even find that you have another skill set you never acknowledged, which could open up a world that you previously did not have admission to.

As much as thinking about one self is viewed negatively, on occasion, doing so is necessary to propel you from settling for a life of mediocrity and into the big leagues.

Have a great weekend!

Rachel Bryant Lundy

SMOKE & MIRRORS… Magic Tricks for Grown Ups

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The practice of expecting nothing from people to ensure less disappointment is something I have yet to master. I am amazed at what behaviors or actions people openly oppose, but secretly support as long as it’s for their cause or can be justified by their hurt. This can be displayed by those we so easily deem should know better or even secretly admirer. However, when they act in ways contrary to what is perceived to be shared beliefs we feel let down because of too high expectations. And, even though we have good intentions, ultimately we end up questioning what it is we really stand for because of their conduct. I know that by now I should understand how folks are, but I guess there is a part of me that has some hope or naiveté about people being really good at heart. Although this hope is tested, I would rather keep it and find ways to patch myself up when frustrated or pester my husband until I feel better, than to completely get rid of it altogether.

As of late, I’ve noticed there is an obsession with “faking it until you make it,” whether it’s with material or integrity, and people caring too much about how others perceive them. Years ago when my mother got involved with network marketing, this popular phrase was said often by the leaders in the company who wanted to encourage their teams to increase their sales. It was meant to boost confidence and rid you of feelings of inadequacy so you would decide to try and be successful even if you didn’t have some material things, especially if your potential clients had way more than you. I’m pretty sure it didn’t mean to give off the impression that these items consume you, and that you should use it to judge and measure yourself in comparison to others. It wasn’t meant for you to use it to condemn people until they got to your so called level.  It wasn’t meant for you to give off the impression that you are royalty and others are your poor servants. And, it wasn’t meant for you to constantly be “on”, unable to be transparent, or have an authentic conversation with other people before you know what they own and who they know.

Earlier in my professional career, I was encouraged to network and join organizations to expand my inner circle. One of them I did particularly well in and was able to obtain an executive position on the board. But something pulled at me that made me feel that instead of rubbing elbows with the city’s business elite, I needed to take time to build as an individual. I wanted to prove profitable in business for the long term, like my peers who owned several companies for years. I didn’t want to think of myself as a fraud. Shortly after I stepped down to focus on getting my ducks in a row, I soon realized that a lot of the people I assumed actually lived up to their hype, really did not. Because I worked at a bank I was privy to these small business accounts that because of the egos of the owners should have been overflowing with thousands of dollars, they often were barely able to make payroll. Instead of hearing about office parties, I was met with unflattering stories from disgruntled employees about having to wait until their checks could be cashed and poor working conditions. Don’t get me wrong there is absolutely no shame is the struggle. But, their ought to be a little humility when a person knows it is their pretending that has allowed them to maintain a position of influence, not the facts. And one of the saddest things is watching people try to pretend no one is on to them, when everyone actually is, but they are so caught up in their act they can’t see they’ve been figured out.

It is true that no one owes it to anybody to be real, it’s just sad they don’t know they deserve it for themselves. Until then I chose to continue to be one of the exceptions, and I may just stumble across others who have decided to do the same.

To assist in helping to not fall for smoke and mirror magic tricks, remember:

  • You are not always for the same cause just because you have things in common.
  • Don’t make assumptions in either personal or business. This will definitely save you some headache with expecting things from people that you shouldn’t. As the old saying goes, believe half of what you see, none of what you hear.
  • Give people room to grow. Everyone is allowed to evolve.

Rachel Bryant Lundy