Today, as is usually my routine, I woke about around 9 am, enjoyed a two cups of espresso, listened to daily podcasts from Today, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and The Sitution Room with Wolf Blitzer, and worked on a Thursday ‘to do’ list, which included thrilling items such us:

* Blogging
* Organizing my wardrobe
* Finishing my German homework
* Scrubbing the toilets
* Taking the hairless one out for a long walk
* Ironing (maybe) a few of Max’s dress shirts

Truth be told, however, I don’t have to do anything on the list. These are not requirements, merely my own suggestions on how to keep the house straight while filling the day. If I preferred, I could grab the train to Mannheim, go out for lunch, shop till I drop, or do nothing at all. My life and my schedule are my own, and I like it this way.

Max, on the other hand, has settled into another demanding job. We had hoped Germany might provide a respite from the 12 and 13-hour workdays back in the U.S., but this has not been the case. As I slept this morning, Max woke up at 5:30a, walked Charlie, and headed to the office begin work at 7am. Last night, he arrived home at 8pm to enjoy a good old-fashioned, Texas-style barbeque that I had thrown in the crock pot, worked on bills, watched one episode of 24, and went to bed just to be able start this routine all over again. Moreover, the product Max manages comes with difficult challenges and, because it is the most important product in the division, is on the radar of executives throughout Europe. If Max succeeds and impresses the right people, he will have his choice of next assignments. So, the heat is on.

Max had to hit the ground running when it came to his new position and life in a different country, while I have been able to ease into a leisurely lifestyle.

It hardly seems fair.

But, I’ve got to hand it to my fellow. He has handled the stress and exhaustion like a champion. And on the weekends, when he should be sleeping in and resting, Max gets up to walk the dog and bring me coffee in bed. He still takes me out for dinner and dancing every week. Just like his work, as far as our relationship is concerned, he hasn’t slowed one bit.

My fellow amazes me. And I wonder whether, if the situation were reversed, I could do the same for him.


V-Grrrl said...

I've been married a long time (26 years) and it's interesting to see what happens when there are career shifts--when work becomes less demanding or more demanding in terms of time or stress, or when it becomes less fulfilling or there's a significant change in pay up or down.

I've had to navigate a lot of those changes over the years, and I've had to re-balance my life and expectations and relationship with my husband more times than I can count. When I'm not working at all for a prolonged period of time, my marriage suffers--not right away but over time.

running42k said...

Max sounds like a keeper. Make sure he knows it.

I want to hear more about the espresso. How do you make it? Stove top or do you have a machine? If a machine, which one.

Bluepaintred said...

I couldn't do what my husband does. There is no way i could wake up and go to work five days a week.

meno said...

I used to do that work thing. But now i don't. I don't think i could go back to it either. Unless i had to, of course.

I like doing nothing, lots of nothing.

The Guv'ner said...

Max sounds so sweet!!! It's easy to forget those little niceties that make you feel special so it's nice to see someone who remembers and cherishes them.

AW that was sappy by Guv'ner standards. I'm going to go outside now and swear for ten minutes.

kenju said...

He must have boundless energy!

mrsmogul said...

My friend moved to Vienna to live with her not-so-nice fiance and brought her beloved cat to the country. Well, turned out the fiance didnt like the cat and it used to hiss at him anyway so one day he took the cat without he knowing where he was taking it and left it in the country somewhere!!! They since broke up! Wanted to share a pet gone abroad story!

ms chica said...

I suspect if your positions were reversed you would rise to the occasion.

I don't want to return to office life, but if our life required it (meaning mine and the mister's) I would take the necessary steps.

For now, enjoy yourself. You never know when your circumstances might change.

TamWill said...

Max sounds like a great husband and a real go-getter. Consider yourself blessed.

Now would be a great time to catch up on some good reads! Enjoy life!

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

He sounds like a great guy. I am sure part of the reason that he does these little things is to say thank you for following him into this new lifestyle and for giving up so much.

Anonymous said...

you missed task #1 - make the to do list - Chico