We want to be wise. We want to have a good marriage, to be effective in our work, to be producers and not simply consumers. We want to love each other well, love our families well, then join a community and love them well, too. We want to have fun, rest, and celebrate things; but we also want to live simply, live on a little, and be efficient.
There is so much to learn.
And recently, we’ve been learning our limits. The limits of being young, the limits of not having been married very long, and the limits of having very few life experiences to guide us.
We’re also learning our freedoms. The freedoms of not having children, and thus having the evenings to spend however we want, and the weekends, too! The freedoms of living in a very, very low-cost area of the world; the freedoms of having different cultures and adventures that we’ve never known right outside of our door.
And recently, we’ve been realizing this is too much. We’ve been pushing ourselves too hard for our limits and not embracing our freedoms, leaving us strained as individuals and placing strain on our marriage, work relationships, and even in our relationships with the neighbors.
Our change of roles within Partners was a gift from God. Our travel, after-hours work, and stress level has decreased. We’re thankful for that.
But we also made another change this week. I’ll be working just four days a week now, and Fridays will be my day to go to the market, clean the house, and do some cooking. After working Monday to Friday, we found that weekends often filled up quickly: making dinner takes most of your evenings, and since we do still eat dinner on Friday, that evening is out. By the time you make a market run, try to chop some vegetables to freeze, and make bagels or bread for the week, Saturdays go too quickly. And there’s a few more meals in there that have to be made, and its already Sunday with church and gearing ourselves up for Monday.
We decided this might free up our weekends to actually be weekends, and for us really to embrace that it’s just us. We can sleep in; we can read or watch movies; we can explore the wonderful world of Mae Sot!
I felt sort of bad initially. With Partners, it didn’t seem such a big deal: we’re really on one work permit, where Stephen works and I’m “the wife” at home. Having both of us contributing to the office is just a bonus! But with Stephen, it seemed mean to have just four days to work while he worked five.
I told him this, to which he replied, “Oh. Well, I felt mean to send you home to cook and clean all day while I just had to go to work!”
And so it works for us. We’re learning: learning how to equip ourselves to be in a better place personally; learning to give ourselves grace; learning to be more effective; learning to love better and live fuller.