Week In Review – This Is 40


terranea1 Some of you may already know this, but Art and I celebrated 15 years of marriage on April 24th. Because we were in Scottsdale spending a few days with friends and the kids for Spring Break, we had a belated 22 hour getaway this past weekend. We found a great deal on Expedia for the Terranea Resort, and were in awe at how beautiful the resort and surrounding scenery was. It’s amazing what just 22 hours away with your partner can do for your relationship. terranea5

Speaking of relationships, you don’t need me to tell you how hard they can be, and how much work they require. As we near “middle age” and the dreaded 40’s, we’re beginning to hear whispers of divorce amongst acquaintances and sometimes the struggles you hear of or the movies you see about this time in our lives, hits a little too close to home. I just turned 38, and Art is turning 40 in less than 30 days now. While neither of us feels particularly “old”, we are definitely feeling the tug and pull of self-analyzation a little more often. I think it’s natural to reflect on your own life at certain key periods, and ask if your life is turning out to look like the one you’d imagined, and we can either ignore the strings of discontent, or do something to try and change, however small. While we don’t practice what we preach as often as we should, I’d like to think we’re always taking baby steps towards improvement. terranea2

We took a baby step this past week in changing some routines that in the end, can greatly impact how we function as a family. I am a lark by nature, whereas my husband is a night owl. I can easily fall asleep by 10 and be bright eyed when the sun rises, but Art loves to stay up late and can sleep in like a college frat boy. Granted it’s been years since he has, what, with 3 kids and all, but if he had the chance, he’d easily function on the 1 am bedtime and 9 am rise schedule. During the week when we have kids to get to school and work to get to, on most days he groggily and resentfully gets up at 7:15 am and walks around in a fog for 30 minutes. At best it’s inconvenient that he’s not alert when it’s go time, at worst, it’s very frustrating. Most mornings involved lots of sighing, yelling, and literally running out the door to cross the street to school, and yet still be late. Tired of nagging, I became apathetic and instead of picking up the slack, allowed myself to fall into this dismissive hands up in the air routine when it came to getting the kids ready for school. None of this was my fault, you’re to blame buddy. Needless to say, this wasn’t working. At all. While Art’s schedule was in need of some fixing, my attitude about the whole deal needed fixing too. So we agreed to change together. It’s only been one week, but we’ve already seen a vast improvement. terranea6

Art has been going to bed earlier, with me, and waking up at 6 am. He showers and gets ready long before the kids have to get up at 7, and does a few simple chores like feeding the dog and picking up the dog dirt. Because he owns his own business and his schedule is a little more flexible, he’d often help me get the kids off to school, then get ready for work, arriving just before 9 am, but then struggling to get home by 7pm. It was nice to have his help in the morning, but I’m sure most would agree, dinner and homework time is when you really need the reinforcements. So back to the schedule, he’s ready to leave by 7 am, says good morning to the kids and then he’s out the door. I then have to get the kids fed, dressed and lunches packed by myself, but he’s been home between 5-5:30 most days and it’s made the biggest difference in our lives. Dinner is earlier, bedtime isn’t getting pushed back, etc. Getting to bed earlier has made us both better rested, and dare I divulge too much, but it’s even helped in the intimacy department.  And instead of me waking at 6 and futzing around the house, on Facebook or Instagram, I’ve made it a point to get my butt in gear too.

I’m sure for many of you, this type of schedule is one you’ve adopted years ago. What can I say, we’re slow to learn. terranea4

The eventual end goal is for Art to get more adjusted to this early to bed, early to rise routine, and maybe even get caught up at work. Once his body is adjusted, he’d like to start going to the gym either before or after work, because right now he’s doing zero exercise and he knows that’s got to change. Studies show that a man’s body actually starts to change around 40, with their blood getting thicker and stickier, making them more likely to have a heart attack than women. They also start to lose muscle mass in their 40’s, and beginning gaining on average an additional 3-4 pounds each year. Benefits of exercise for men include a lower risk of T2 diabetes, lower cholesterol, and even a reduction of colon cancer. Two months ago I signed him up, probably a little prematurely, for CrossFit, and he still hasn’t made it in. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so getting our life routine in order is probably more important to do first, before he adds in a new level to the routine. At any rate,I’m hopeful, and right now, that’s the most important thing.

Andrea is the founder of For The Love Of, a lifestyle blog dedicated to approachable, modern living. She writes about style, her love of DIY, and living a healthier life through wholesome, nutritious cooking. She is also a regular contributor at Babble. Get in touch: Facebook, Twitter You can find Andrea on Instagram @andreavhowe and @gwynethmademedoit

  • karri says:

    Thanks for posting that last snippet with links. I forwarded it on to my husband. I’ve been more than gently nudging (nagging) my husband to start working out again, because I worry about his health. People are all, “oh, he’s skinny”, but its more than that. Skinny people still get chubby around the middle and still have heart problems and cholesterol issues and all that stuff. Sigh.

    I can relate to the lark/night owl issues. Its me who is the night owl, though. So it sucks to have to slog through an early morning fog. But you’re right…attitude is huge. I am the stay at home person, so its always been my job to get them ready and out the door. When my husband isn’t traveling, he’s gone by 7am. So I have to remind myself to go to bed so that I can function and be maybe not bright eyed, but at least not scary in the AM.

  • natalie says:

    Cheers, to encouraging partners, devoted parents and healthy people! Well done!

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