Flash back to 2009. I’m working at a diner back home in California and my boyfriend is deployed. My daily distraction, besides customers and cleaning, is a daydream playing over and over in my head, where he comes home somehow to surprise me, and I drop what I’m doing and run into his arms. I remember a scene from a favorite Disney movie, where Cinderella dares to suggest that she, too, could go to the ball and dance with the prince. Her stepsisters mock, “I’d be honored your highness. Would you mind holding my broom?” Perhaps I would ask someone to hold my broom when my Prince Charming came waltzing through the door. I laugh at my little inside joke with myself, and it makes the waiting more bearable.
Flash forward to now. We’ve been married just under three years. Looks like all the waiting paid off (or maybe it was all the cookies I sent). He’s still in the military and I am working to turn my passion for art into a job. Maybe not a career, but if I could generate enough income to cover my supplies, that would be nice. I’ve also realized my husband Joe is more of a Superman than a Prince Charming. If he’s not working late, you’ll probably find him pounding metal at the gym or being a good friend. I love him to death, but keeping up – or getting him to slow down – has always been a bit of a challenge.
As a military wife and an aspiring artist, I can sometimes relate to Cinderella, often feeling torn between a house full of duties and a head full of dreams. I want to paint a masterpiece or design some new jewelry or finish that knitting project, but the sink is full of dishes and my husband is hungry and our cat is bored. Or I just want to spend a little quality time together but he’s off, you know, saving the world or something.
Falling in love felt a lot like a fairy tale, complete with the “dragons” of danger and disapproval, and the magic of knowing your life has changed forever (and, of course, a ball or two that we never did get to attend). Now there’s a little more sweeping and a little less being swept off my feet. But that is loving someone in real life. That’s not to say the romance disappears forever, in fact I think it’s very important to make time for it, but there is also a need for patience, commitment, and responsibility. It’s all about finding joy in the day to day.
Maybe you can relate to Cinderella as well. Maybe you’re like me, trying to pursue an unrealistic passion in an unforgiving world. Or maybe you’re working hard at a real job. Or maybe you’re a mom (did someone say, “Wonderwoman?”). Wherever life finds us, I think we all have days when we could use a break, a little inspiration, someone to “hold our broom” while we take a moment to do something we love, figure things out, or simply catch a breath. So join me here as I share my adventures in marriage, military life, and creativity, and a few of the things that have helped me make it easier and more fun!