I’ve been thinking about being brave. It’s an idea that’s often touched on in class, the implicit suggestion that bravery, something I’ve always thought of as a majestic, loud kind of show is more often found in the smaller, backstage details.
Somehow that all makes sense on the mat.
They say, place your palms up, soften your chest, open your heart, expose your vulnerability. Trust. Reveal. They say, gently, carefully, put ego aside. Courage.
I think I’ve always thought of myself as brave. Mainly because when life pulls out the big guns I just swing back with the family mantra front and centre: Get over yourself and get on with it. No cry babies.
But I’m not brave. I’m a bit of a sensitive wee flower in truth. I’m all about the Big Love, throwing it out there in loving all the things, loving all the people. And my fragile little ego is a bit of coward.
I’m terrified of the small things up close.
Outside of my comfort zone lately, doing some Big Brave and feeling quite the warrior, I realise how skilled I am in avoiding the possibility of rejection. I was writing a birthday card last night, in a rush, when I took a moment to breathe and sit with some thoughts.
Then I wrote them down and in the spirit of bringing some quiet, personal bravery to my world, below is a list of 54 things that I love about my husband for his birthday. Why is this brave? Well, I would rather skip down Ponsonby Road naked than share this with anyone. Including him. Why 54 things? My husband is very old so this list is very long. And I had to cut it exactly in half.
For you S, on your 54th birthday – Fifty-four things I love about you!
- How you’re so proud of our girl, of her heart, her spirit and her choices, that I can pretty much see your chest swelling. You are the best father in the world
- That I can talk to you about anything and everything. And that we do
- How much you love our little family, out loud and quietly, and work so hard for us in everything you do
- Your love of music, and your knowledge and loyalty for all the old school Flying Nun bands. We get it! Now for the love of all that is good, stop quoting them
- How you humour me when I describe your next wife (she’s the worst) but aren’t so into me describing my next husband (hey, hottie!)
- When you drop everything or rearrange your schedule to run us around for no other reason than you say you like to
- The way you pretend to enjoy anything I cook/arrange on a plate
- How you’ve never taken your wedding ring off in anger. Unlike, ahem, other people in this marriage
- How much you love my mum. When you met her for the first time, you didn’t know we’d had sadness upon sadness, that our lives were changed forever, that we were damaged and raw, but you saw enough so that you were gentle with your words and with her. That’s how you still love her and it makes my heart feel safe
- Your joy when you found my Sydney family for me, when you found out where else I belonged
- That when things were so terribly stressful and tight and I’d ring you from the vet to quote enormous sums, you didn’t hesitate. You always said, of course, we’ll work it out
- How you always smile at me when P has a moment
- How much we laugh together late at night. How I can gossip with you over everything and everyone. You never remember names but you’re quite the girlfriend
- Your determination to recall old wives tales for every eventuality. If it’s drizzling outside, we’ll get colds. If there’s a ladder, you won’t let us walk under it. Good grief
- How you devour and love and recall books. That you’re a reader
- How you truly have no obvious practical handyman skills. At all. It’s only taken me half our marriage to finally get that when I say we need a thingamyjig to fix the whatsit, you don’t translate that into real stuff, you actually only hear thingamajig. Hence we don’t even own a drill
- That you still can’t talk about P as a newborn without getting a little teary
- That you’ll turn to either of us and say of the other (and not in an inside voice), would you look at her, she’s so beautiful!
- Your quirks. So many quirks
- Your green eyes. Swooon!
- That you think I’m funny
- How your politics are humanist and caring and as green and left as the biggest sexy thing ever. Double swoon
- How you still sit up till the early hours of the next morning with me when I’m working. Like I’m still at uni and not a freaking grown up who should meet deadlines during daylight hours like a normal person
- How you let us run a very critical eye over your outfits. Yet when left to your own devices you quite happily leave the house with suit shirts undone, tee shirts inside out, undies for the wash forgotten and tucked into the back of your jeans pocket. Sigh
- How you always take care of the quiet person
- How kind you are to animals
- How you let me interpretive dance in an interpretive manner in front of the sports news. Until you don’t…
- How you open our home to anyone and everyone. Even when I want to keep the door shut so I can read my book in peace
- How you ask me every morning how my yoga practice was
- How you’ve even come to a few classes now. And stopped breathing through your mouth
- How jetlag doesn’t affect you at all. You little freak of nature
- Your wicked inborn gps system. I can ask you for directions from anywhere and you get me there. Or find me
- How much you love this country. And ring me from a random spot to describe it to me. Smells and colour and poetry
- How you’re a maths genius
- How you are a fierce supporter of anyone with an idea. You’re the cheerleader of the world, you are
- How you always say, well I’m not surprised, when I tell you something that IS suprising. It is!
- Your love of the sea and wild surf. We’ll ask if we’re going to a beach where we can walk upright, you say yes, we get there and it’s horizontal all the way. It’s always freezing, always windy and you always go, oh man, I love this place
- That you take your entitlement to support your iwi seriously. You put much thought into your voting rights even with no personal history or guidance
- That you and P have secrets, that you text and talk and walk arm and arm down the street
- That you and P used to blow off the school father and daughter breakfasts because the buffet wasn’t up to much so you’d go to cafes and hang out till school started. That you still do that when uni and work aren’t up to much
- That you’ve only told me to calm down once. Remember that?
- That you always give more than you take. For every task, for every person
- That you know everything about me. And still like me
- That you always tell me you love me
- That you are infinitely more romantic than I am
- That you understand the coffee thing
- That you always ask after my friends
- That you were smart and man enough to make huge changes in your life even when dickheads say to you, one drink won’t hurt
- That you love flying helicopters. But understand why I won’t
- How you just aren’t a feel sorry for yourself person
- How you don’t hold a grudge. (Don’t worry, I can do that for both of us)
- That when I was five minutes pregnant you used to walk down the street holding your arms in front of my body. Not embarrassing at all
- How, for someone who loves his squash and running after sporty stuff, you would rather drive around and around for days to park even one car length closer
- How you’re a moody bugger sometimes. Well, love’s a strong word for that. Let’s say I tolerate it but compared to what you tolerate, I LOVE it
Your Trophy Wife x[line]
Well, hi! You made it to the end. Congratulations! Anything brave you’d like to share? Preferably in an over-sharing, over-personal way. That would be great.[line]
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© The Yoga Connection 2015