Looking back on this four-year journey, a lot of crazy circumstances and intense emotions run through my recollection like a slow-moving freight train.
I remember the first semester—so long ago now—when our life changed drastically the moment my sweet hubs signed up for the program. He had dark brown hair then.
We had a toddler and a baby. I was very accustomed to receiving a lot of help from my husband, both with the kids and around the house.
Putting the children to bed... together. Going to the park... together. Swimming at the pool... together. Tidying the house... together. Eating meals... together. Fixing up the yard... together. Visiting relatives... together. Doing household chores... together. Most importantly, processing the emotional aspects of life... together.
But the day he started studying—and layered it on top of a full time job—my world got rocked.
He and I always loved spending time together. We like each other. And he's kind of cute. Why wouldn't I want to hang out with this man?
All that changed one warm August four years ago. School started. I didn't see him. The kids didn't see him. He was gone from the house most of the waking hours in the short 168 hour week.
Quickly, I learned this was the new way of our marriage. Never seeing each other.
And then we began layering the added stresses. Health issues with two Celiac Disease diagnoses. A newborn baby. Wrangling three kids—all moving in separate directions—by myself in most social settings.
It was a shock to the system, to say the least.
There were a lot of tears in the beginning. And then anger, bitterness and resentment. Just a wee bit of complaining (wink wink). And finally settling-in to the new way, not fighting against it, and finding our flow.
As I reminisce, I do recall the most commonly expressed sentiment towards me throughout all of this has been. "I don't know how you do it." And my response with a nervous chuckle, "Girl—I don't know either." Commonly followed by a few select tears.
But today, with only two weeks left of this journey, it's become clear to me how we did it.
One foot in front of the other.
Thinking on how our journey relates to dancing, I took my first two-stepping lessons at the local honky-tonk last week. I realize now that we've two-stepped our way along these four challenging years.
Like learning any new dance for the first time, there are moments when you stumble and mess it all up. There are moments when thinking too much actually works against you. There are moments when your footing gets off and you trip your partner. This was all too familiar to the last four years of my life.
And what I learned in my two-step lesson is when these problems occur, you simply take a brief break, collect yourself, and get after it again.
One foot in front of the other. We'll get there, come hell or high water, we'll get there.
All of this brings to mind one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite musicals, Barnum. It's always been my theme song when approaching a feat that initially seems impossible.
But first, watch this short clip of Will Smith talking about succeeding at the impossible. It's inspiring. And it's only 44 seconds long.
And here's the song that has played as a soundtrack to the last four years of my life.
The Barnum Musical - One Brink At A Time - Georgia Wilkinson