The Joys and Challenges of Being Married to a Visionary Man

The other day I looked out the kitchen window to see my husband and our two oldest kids huddled around some planks of wood outside. He’d just finished sawing them down to size, and was getting the kids to hold them in place so he could drill them together.

He was making a stand for our microwave, to raise it up off the bench and give me a bit of extra storage space in the kitchen. (If there’s any phrase that gets my blood pumping faster, it’s “storage space” – be still my beating heart!)

He had the idea when we went on holidays over Christmas, and the holiday house had this great wooden stand for the microwave.

“Huh – that’s pretty nifty!” he said, “I could probably make one of those.”

So the next week, off he went to Bunnings to buy a hand saw and an assortment of wood off-cuts for $5.

Then he measured it up, and wham, bam, thank you… man(?) We have a new stand for our microwave!

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Now I just have to figure out what to use the space for!

That’s just the kind of person he is.

He has an idea and runs with it, testing it’s viability along the way. He’s a dreamer and a doer. He’s a creative problem-solver. He’s not content to merely step around an obstacle when he could figure out a way to remove it altogether. He’s always trying to come up with new, more efficient ways of doing things.

He’s a true visionary.

I love this about him. And sometimes it drives me crazy.

I remember doing an interview with Colin Buchanan many years ago, before I was married. (It was possibly the highlight of my journalistic career, to date.)

He made a comment about how he was a very creative person, always getting caught up in the whirlwind of a new idea that he had to chase down. And he said that his wife was very patient to put up with him.

I laughed because I couldn’t imagine how it could be hard to live with a creative person, least of all someone as creative and funny as Colin Buchanan!

But now I totally get it. Living with a creative, visionary husband has it’s fun parts and it’s pull-your-hair-out hard parts.

And I feel like this is a side of my husband that I am just starting to have a real appreciation for.

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So here are some of the joys and challenges that I have found in being with my visionary man:

He Inspires Me to Get Stuff Done

My husband is always inspiring me with his “just do it” attitude. When I have an idea, I’ll sit down and do a brainstorm, make a 5 point risk assessment plan and then just take some time to think it over. Meanwhile, he’s over there having done his research, given it a go and moved onto phase 2 plans to iron out the kinks!

I love the way he just takes the opportunities as they arise to keep chipping away at projects, until they are done.

I have a lot to learn from him about not letting fear and perfectionism get in the way, but just having a try!

Time is Irrelevant

Being a very goal-oriented person means all clock-reading abilities go out the window when he is working towards a goal.

This is a regular conversation in our house:

“How long are you going to be, honey?”

“About 10 more minutes!”

“So, 30 minutes then?”

The challenging part of this is that I feel like I am constantly shifting around the other elements of our life to make the time available. This makes it hard to plan things in advance.

He’s a Fun Dad

He’s always thinking up fun and exciting things to do with the kids, whether it be climbing a new local hill, tying up a swing in the gumtree out back or building a billy-cart with spare wood off-cuts.

It gives me so much joy when I see the love bonds between the kids and their dad growing, and growing in a way that is different to my bond with them.

There are many things he does with them that I simply wouldn’t have thought of or I would have considered too risky. I’m glad they have a Dad who helps them to challenge themselves physically and learn new things about their world every day.

He’s a Man with a Plan

My husband works in IT at the moment. He’s really good at it (and he has mad google skills). But what amazes me is that he has already anticipated a time when his skill set will be redundant, likely replaced by super computers. And he is planning for this future by working NOW to make his hobby and passion into a viable business opportunity.

Wow!

Not only am I so impressed by this, I am so glad I get to witness someone making their dreams come true. And I get to help it happen.

He Makes Stuff

He has already created and launched an electronica music album. For the last several years he’s thrown himself into learning the emerging trade of building electric bikes. And most recently he has designed a bike part that didn’t exist, but was sorely needed by him and others, and is now ordering a (small) production run to sell and make a profit.

He Breaks Stuff

Take an object. What is it meant for? What are its limits? No, not what the box says… what are its real limits?

*sigh*

Yes, an inordinate amount of things get broken around our house because they have been pushed, poked and prodded to their limit. But this is something I have come to accept as the flip-side of his creativity. If he didn’t push things to their limit and figure out what the breaking point was, then he wouldn’t think of how that thing could be improved or made stronger.

I did have to laugh the other day when, as we were leaving to go on a date, he stopped to brief the babysitter on what to do if his work table spontaneously combusted. I think he might have scared her a little.

He’s a Problem Solver

There are many examples I could think of here, but the one that springs to mind is of last weekend when we were without power for 48 hours. Before it got dark on the first night, he ran around the house, rigging up bike batteries and LEDs and placing torches around the house so that we would have enough light later in the evening. The next day he boiled water on the BBQ so we could wash some dishes.

I love this about him, because these are the kinds of things I don’t even think about.

I know I can come to him with a problem, and he will probably have a good idea about how to fix it.

 

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What a blessing it is to live with and love this man each day, with all his perks and quirks!

 

Blogging and Life Updates

Hi Friends,

I have more posts in the works that will be published soon, but in the meantime, I just wanted to call your attention to two new features on my blog…

 

Stuff I Write

The first is a new tab on my menu bar at the top of the page – Published Articles.

Some of you already know this, but BK (that’s Before Kids) I studied Journalism at uni. For many good reasons (like marriage, ministry and kids), I’ve not yet worked in this field. But for the last couple of years, I’ve been trying to “get my foot in the door” in small, manageable ways.

Blogging is part of this – continuing the practice of writing is really important for keeping up writing skills.

Doing some freelance work has been another part of it.

And last year I joined the MOPS Australia writing team as a volunteer staff member, which means I get to write promotional articles about MOPS as well as contributing to the blog. So that’s the kind of thing you will find on my Published Articles page, if you’re interested.

 

Stuff I Make

The second new feature is actually a new craft blog – Make it in the Margins. (You can also find a link over in the right hand column.)

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The other aspect of my involvement with MOPS at the moment is that I am the new Craft Coordinator at my local group.

The blog is going to be a fairly low key way of cataloguing all the crafts we do at MOPS, as well as some of the crafty things I do at home. I say “low key” because, with the new baby on it’s way, I don’t want to overcommit myself to a new big thing. My goal is to post each MOPS craft at the very least, because organising these crafts is something I’m going to be doing anyway.

I’m particularly hoping this will be useful to other MOPS craft coordinators, but many of the crafts will be things you could easily do on your own. So if you are craftily-inclined, pop on over and have a look!

 

Getting Real

At this point, some of you may be wondering why someone who writes so much about the value of being a stay at home Mum, being a good helper to my husband, home-making, etc seems to now be taking on many things that are, well, not those things…

Well, the first thing to clarify is that I’m actually not taking on much more. I’ve already been writing and I’ve already been creating things in my spare time. It’s just that I am now publicly cataloguing those efforts.

But here’s the more important thing…

I think I am a rather, shall we say, unambitious person. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I’ve written before about how I would be content to live a life of “faithfulness in the small things”. As long as I am serving Jesus, I know what I do is incredibly valuable.

I think I would happily be a stay at home wife for the rest of our lives, faithfully serving the family and (hopefully) getting really good at it! I think that is an incredibly noble thing for women to do.

But my husband has always said that he would like me to go back to (or just “to”?) work once all our kids are in school. And lately, we have contemplated whether that would be sooner (for various reasons).

He has enough ambition for the both of us, and then some left over! He is a passionate dreamer and a visionary, and I think I have been standing next to him for long enough that my branches have dried out and I’m starting to catch his fire.

Being a stay at home mum was always my dream growing up, and here I am, living that dream! And I’d love for my husband to have the chance to live his one day too.

When the time comes for me to go back to work, I would happily scrub toilets or stack shelves or answer phones if that’s what I need to do. I mean, I practically have a degree in scrubbing toilets at this point ;).

But we both think it would be really amazing if I could somehow make a career out of writing. That’s what I’m passionate about and what I really enjoy doing.

And that’s the bigger story behind these new features on the blog. This is me taking a step in faith, starting to lay the foundation for perhaps being paid to write one day. Thanks for listening 🙂