it’s tough.

i have just finished [literally less than 11 hours ago] a book that i will save for another blog posting, when i can actually find the mental energy to do so. it’s a book that tells the story, the story of a relationship, a relationship that ultimately forms a marriage.
and i guess it has me thinking about relationships…or maybe it is the conversations i have had these past few weeks regarding relationships that has me thinking.
whatever the reason, i am thinking.

and the only conclusion i can come up with is that it’s tough.
relationships are work…hard work.
any relationship is work, and all the more those with romantic under-and-overtones.

there involves a give-and-take,
understating,
support,
encouragement,
concession…
all from one who is altogether different [and sometimes opposite] from you.
seems rather daunting a task when looked at that way.
seems rather fatalistic.
seems rather…tough.

and in my almost 1.5 years of marriage, i can vouch that it is work.
i love it, of course, but it is tough.
it is hard trying to leave my own emotions out of it and think what is best for another or what another needs [without my needs clouding my judgement]. i find this task not just tough but oftentimes impossible.
it is hard to move at the same pace,
be on the same page,
travel in the same direction at the same speed,
and just keep up.
it is hard to know what to do sometimes, to know what is best.
it is hard to connect two people with two different lives outside of one another.
it is tough.

but there’s middle ground.
there’s a commonality.
there’s a sense of we’re in this together…taking the bad with the good.
there’s a communal sense of we’re not alone…others are on this journey as well, some faring far better and some not so well.
there’s a sense that relationships are always changing, always evolving, always growing…and it is up to us to change, evolve, and grow along with them.

it’s tough…
but it’s worth it.

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since 1870.

the newest addition to my [addiction] collection.
an exclusive.
a relic, of sorts.
that which is well known to species such as me.
that which is being discontinued from the work collection.
that which i could not pass up.
that which is now owned by species such as me.

conference.

it began a week ago…exactly.
what some may consider to be the biggest event in the GM’s year [beside holiday, of course].
conference.
GMs from all over the country [and others outside], from all brands, for all types of stores, servicing all kinds of customers.
you know, the conference that i was, for some reason, anxious about attending.
that one.
the same one i was told [afterward] that i was a good example of someone making the best use out of conference. me…the one who, for a few days previous, didn’t even want to go.
the same one who was in extreme need of being a part of this.
the same one who needed to feel a part of something bigger.

the one where you stand on your chairs clapping, dancing, singing at the start of each general session. everyone.
the one where people line up 30 minutes prior to get a seat close up front [the one we never got].
the one where the ballroom is packed full of 1200 people. jam-packed.

the one where you attend a meet-and-greet with others in your region…and somehow rack up on awards you didn’t know were coming to you.
or maybe that was just me.
the one where you hang out non-stop with others in your district. and for me it was the first time to put a face with a voice and a name.
a time to bond, to connect, to form relationships.

a time to learn about [new] products, [new] skills, [new] ways of doing things. a time to cook, to see the difference between one pan and another, one knife and another.
a time to learn from the best of the best, such as these two or this one

a time to get away from the day-to-day life of a GM, a time to refresh, to think, to imagine what can be, to breathe, to walk, to take it all in. a time to think about making healthy lifestyle choices, a time to make commitments that involve making such daily choices.

a time to connect, to re-connect. a time to celebrate, a time to remember that for which you have to be thankful, those whom have molded and shaped you, those whom stand beside you today.

a time to see that this which you do,
this which you are a part is much bigger than you…