It’s February! February is the month that reminds people to show their love for the important people in their lives. Sadly, sometimes we need a commercialized holiday for people to share how they feel about the ones they love, but if that’s what it takes, then I’m in. In my opinion, we should show the ones we love that we love them each and every day, but in reality, sometimes life gets in the way and showing your love sometimes gets put on the back burner and showing your love might come out in doing the dishes or making your bed or just listening to someone’s story. It doesn’t always have to be flowers and candy, we can show our love in many ways. As time goes by, these small actions might be taken for granted and as you become more comfortable in your relationship, showing your love might fall by the wayside, until of course, February rolls around again.

So in the spirt of the month of love, I will share a little about my relationship. The first thing I can say about my relationship is that I love my husband! He is a wonderful father, friend and partner. We have our struggles like everyone else, but in the end I do know that no matter what, he has my back and will always be there for me when I need him and I will be there for him as well.

We met over 20 years ago in a youth hostel in Paris, we love to travel and last year we were able to spend the whole year living out our passion for travel around the US and Canada. Now we are home and back to the grind. You know when you go on vacation and everything is a little easier, you feel more connected to your family and your spouse. You are not so super tired every night when your head hits the pillow and you have energy to give a little more of yourself to your partner. Well, we are not on vacation anymore and life gets strained. When you spend your day shuttling your kids around, trying to make healthy meals for the family, exercising yourself and your puppy, cleaning your house and then maybe (just maybe) after everyone else is taken care of, you might get a few minutes of time that is dedicated to doing something you want to do just for yourself, maybe its reading a good book, writing an article, or working on a creative project. This is our life now.

And these small moments dedicated to just me are few and far between. Maybe it is harder for us now because we did have the year off and although every day of our road trip was not blissful, now that we are home we have nothing exciting to look forward to.

The one thing we do have to look forward is my husband having knee surgery – which really puts him out of the game for a while, takes him out of skiing, out of running, out of even walking the dog. All things that we love to do together and as a family. What we have to look forward to is recovery, rehab and getting better. Which is what we thought we were over last year, when my husband was diagnosed with urethral cancer, when he was getting a checkup after his prostate cancer surgery. Since we have returned we have been dealing with one health issue after another, my husband is the one dealing with these various ailments which adds stress and depression and I have been the one acting as a caretaker, which also adds stress and depression.

So what’s the answer?

How do we get past this cycle of depression and get back into the vacation and easy going lifest‌yle? We could run away and act like nothing is happening… probably not the best option (plus, my husband can’t run right now – remember, knee surgery). We could schedule a weekly date night; I hear those work for people.

Or we can focus on the positive. Even if my husband won’t be walking very well for the next few weeks we can order take out and get a romantic movie and plan on focusing on each other for a night.

We can change our mindset and remember why we love each other and why we fell in love, because we are passionate about the same things and we value each other. Back in the day when we first started dating we loved to travel, eat great food, go hear great music, see fun movies. Now almost 18 years married, we still love all the same things, but we also have more responsibilities like a house, two kids, a dog, homework, house projects, family obligations, friends to see and the list goes on.

Although, our priorities may have changed or shifted over the years what we still have is Love. Love for each other, Love for our kids and Love for life, even when life may not be exactly what we planned, we are still here and we still need to take care of each other. I will continue to take care of my husband and family and he will appreciate everything I do because I know it is not easy to be the one always injured or in recovery.

We will also take care of ourselves. He will work hard with physical therapy and follow all the directions the doctors give him and I will take care of myself, I will stick to my morning rituals that are only for me and I will make time to see my friends and schedule in some self-care time as well, so that at the end of the long day, I can give a little back to my partner.  We will both show our love in the ways we know how and we will do our best not to let the daily grind get us down and instead, look for the light and love in each and every day we have together.

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