Serenity Now

My husband is the oldest sibling in his family and I am, too.

He is a full-time teacher – likewise for me.

He stayed home on day shift with our kids for seven years while I continued to teach. After school, I came home to night shift for those years while he worked nights.

What I am getting at is that we are both used to being in charge of people, we are both good at being in charge, and we probably are most comfortable in that role. All important qualifications for two teachers.

One might say that we are Two Head Chefs.

The problem is – we are married.

To each other.

Over the past twenty-nine years, this has lead to many “trials” and almost as many solutions – as one might imagine.

Eventually, we’ve congenially concluded that there are some things that we are better off not doing together if we want to preserve our union.

Let’s put these items in The Serenity Now! bracket.

There are other missions where working together as a dynamic duo works very well.

These items are in The Competent Couple 🙂 bracket.

Here are some examples of each:

Competent Couple:) endeavors are pursuits such as: walking the dog, doing the dishes, painting a room, hosting a party, navigating to a destination (pre-GPS), and pruning fruit trees (this task recently moved from Serenity Now! to Competent Couple:) ranking).

Serenity Now! undertakings are such endeavors as food shopping, cooking, giving the kids unsolicited, off-the-cuff advice while in the same room together, home maintenance repair, and laying out new carpeting.

One might ask-

what is the difference between Competent Couple 🙂 pursuits and Serenity Now! tasks?

Good question!

After careful scrutiny, it becomes obvious that the difference between the two categories is two words:

clear deliniation.

The jobs in the CC column have clear responsibilities that can be separated into sub-tasks that do not overlap.

The jobs in the SN tier have duties that are nebulous and overlapping.

In other words, we rock at things that can be sorted into individual compartments, but we are on thin ice if the job has vague responsibilities that may drift into each other. Sharing some tasks can be dicey, so when we divide and conquer – we are golden.

For instance…

When we paint a room, he does the ceilings and walls with the roller and I tackle the edging and trimwork with a brush. Beautiful.

When we host a get-together, I do the shopping, cleaning, and set-up; he plans the menu and does the cooking. Bada bing!

When pruning fruit trees, he clips, and I hold the ladder. This is a big improvement over last year – don’t ask!

When we do the dishes, one washes and one dries. Presto!

On the other hand…

Food shopping?

Nope. He takes too long and checks too many ingredients.


Nope. I take too long and do things differently.

Home maintenance?

Better off making a phone call.

As our lifetime journey continues, we encounter new things and notice what category they fall into. Maybe as we mellow with age, it will eventually merge into one big list.

But for now, this works just fine.

So, this week we are doing our taxes.

Any guesses?

10 thoughts on “Serenity Now

  1. I love the humor in your writing! I laughed a number of times. It seems like you and your husband have learned how to make your marriage work to its potential. My husband and I are the other extreme. We’re both the youngest and a little bit clueless when it comes to a lot of things. We’re learning just like you to make some intentional notes of how to do things. Great slice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow- thank you so much for your words. I think a little cluelessness might be in order for us! We’re both so sure we’re the expert! I really appreciate your perspective and comparison. So funny how we’re all navigating the best we can, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I cannot tell you how much I have this post! My husband and I have been married 29 years as well. If only I had your brackets sooner! I just shared your post with my husband and we found your delineation so true. Thank you for your writing and your good humor 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! After enjoying your writing so much this past month, I take your compliment to heart. It’s funny how writing often seems to clarify things that are so close, but I never thought to take the time to really look at. The brackets was one of those things!


  3. This is an amazing description of how things can work with couples and how you have worked out categories. Hats off to you, after forty plus years of marriage we have not worked out the lines except in a few areas. A very enjoyable read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Well it wasn’t until writing this post that I really though about why some tasks work for other and other pursuits are – well, not so good. I have to say that the insights gained here are mine as well! Leave it to writing to enlighten the mind and spirit…


  4. Deb, this is wonderful! When Rich and I were a young couple with young kids we would hit the wall you describe each summer. You see, he was home days raising the boys while I worked. Until summer vacation when I would come storming into the equation fully expecting to just take over! I love love love your description of the nuances of making it all work in your household. Two teachers in the house, yeah, that could get ugly!


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