This week, I have had several opportunities to take a look at my life, where I am at and where I am going. And with that, looking at my husband’s life. It is hard, sometimes, not to compare my life to my husband’s life. I am a teacher, while he is a principal. While both in education, totally different jobs. I am an optimist, while he is cynical and a bit of a pessimist. Again, totally different. And this past week, I thought about how whiskey is a great way to symbolize our different paths in our lives.
Keep in mind, I am the WIFE to the Whiskey Lover, not the actual whiskey lover. If you do not agree with the choices of whiskey I used in reference to paths in life, well, to bad! I’m still learning about the finer points of whiskey! Ha Ha! So just read on!…
Here is what has transpired this past week, and I do apologize to keeping things a bit, well, vague, but it is only because I don’t want my whiskey lover husband to be upset at me using him so much as my example! Okay, this past week…
First I guess I should back up slightly and tell you that my husband has applied for a few positions in school administration, thus possibly leaving his current position. And before you ask, yes, he does love where he currently works, however it is over an hour drive away and it doesn’t make sense for us to move closer that way when the boys attend school here and I also work here. The schools that he has applied for are much closer in proximity, except for one, but that was for Leavenworth and if you continue to follow me, you will learn how much I absolutely, without a doubt, LOVE LEAVENWORTH, WA!
Second, within a span of a week, he got called to interview for 4 of the 6 jobs he applied for. Yes, Leavenworth being one of them. I was ecstatic, at first, at the possibility of moving to Leavenworth. But then as we truly processed what that would mean to move across the mountain pass, four hours away from Luke’s dad (I was married previously and Luke’s dad is a very good day and we have a great split parenting plan) and our family, plus the fact that the cost of living was greater than where we live, PLUS I wouldn’t actually have a job upon moving there…well, yeah, sadly, he decided to turn down that interview. Which left the other three. This is where it will get vague and maybe soon I will write a follow-up blog to let you know the outcome of the interviews. But for now, I’m going to get to the point of the blog!
You see, Josh frustrates me. A lot. As spouses may sometimes do. And this week has been full of emotion, anxiety, stress, elation, anger, peace, and oh, did I mention stress? And during one of the times I got really frustrated at the pessimism my dear husband seems to have born with, when I was really trying to praise him and raise him up, it dawned on me that I was actually happy that I didn’t have a husband who was bottom-shelf. I actually have a 26-year Glenfiddich husband.
In life, we can decide to be bottom shelf, like a Canadian R & R, or a comfortable Crown Royal that is middle of the road and safe, or we can be top shelf (or even locked behind glass as the most expensive and special) like a Glenfiddich aged Scotch that has worked hard and waited to become truly spectacular.
I mean no harm at those people who are happy with a Canadian R & R life. A bottle of Canadian R & R here in the state of Washington is roughly $8.00. It is cheap. You don’t have to work hard to get your hands on a bottle of this. I’ve only tried R & R once or twice, way before being married to The Whiskey Lover, back in my “I’m not spending my hard-earned money on expensive alcohol, let’s just get drunk” college days, and I can honestly tell you, my only reaction was GROSS!!!!!!!!!! Like, beyond gross. I would tell you my honest thought, but alas, I am a lady, a nice Christian one at that, therefore I can not tell you what I really think of the stuff. But think about it, it is probably one of, if not the cheapest whiskey on the market. It’s not that great. It gives you a bad taste. And yet, some people have made choices in their lives to live that way.
Thinking more about my own life though, I realize that I have been more like a Crown Royal. It’s smooth, it’s easy, it’s sweet, it goes well with many mixers (I think especially Pepsi, but that is just my opinion!) It makes me feel comfortable. At around $25 for a bottle, it’s definitely not expensive, but it’s not totally cheap. It’s easy to justify spending that money and enjoying it. My life, much like the Crown Royal, is easy and comfortable. I have a sweet job that I have been at for 17 years. I have fun, but if I’m being honest, I’m not pushed real hard, I never have to be out of my comfort zone, and I am able to change things up as I please, but never too much to disturb that comfortable taste of my life.
Looking at my husband though…he is like an aged Glenfiddich. I’d say at this point, a good 21 year Glenfiddich, which costs around $250, but I am sure I could venture to say he is close to a 28 year bottle which is closer to $600. (A 50 year is $40,000, and that is reserved for those completely remarkable people like Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King, Jr. and who ever else you would like to add to that list!) But back to my husband. He is an aged Glenfiddich because so many times in our marriage he has worked incredibly hard. Stepping out at a younger-than-most age to go into school administration, leaving his comfortable job. Then, after a year, being told he was the victim of “you’re the low man on the totem pole so you are the first to go”, found failure 27 times. And that summer, even though is was full of sunshine outside, in our home there was darkness. Any man that can be without a job and hear 27 times”You are great, but we went with the other person”, and having that sense of pride that you are the husband, the father, the provider for the family…well, I’m sure you can imagine how much strength it took to walk into that next interview. Which he got. And has had opportunity after opportunity to grow, get stronger, aging to near perfection in his abilities as a school administrator. He has had to rise up against so many challenges in this small school position, yet has done so with a fine grace far superior to his younger age. He continues to get stronger, becoming something (and someone) that is high quality, unforgettable, and exactly the added “a-ha, that is just what was needed” special-ness that only a man that has refined himself professionally, personally, and spiritually can provide. To me, that is like a fine aged Scotch. I didn’t think I ever needed to try a Scotch, until I finally did, and then, with a sigh of completeness, I understood what perfection tasted like. I feel I am married to a man that exemplifies that.
Of course, my husband is far from “finished”. He is still aging in the barrel, so to speak. Tuesday we will find out what God’s plans are for him, and our family. He may hear his 30th NO. Or as I say, “Not Yet.” Perhaps he will stay where he is. Perhaps he will continue to age elsewhere, adding new notes of flavor to his life. Only our Good Lord knows. But rest assured, he is living his life to the most Top Shelf. And he has inspired me to venture out of my comfort zone. Perhaps I will actually face my fears and finalize my counseling license and move into a new career path. The middle of the shelf may be safe, but the ones who are on the top shelf are just a bit more special, and that’s just the way I see it.