Pinch me.

Updated: I panicked. I wrote this a few days ago (February 28), and then took it down. It had too many details that could, in the very worst-case scenario, compromise my husband’s reassignment. I’ve relaxed a bit. Here’s the deal: we are relocating eventually. We don’t *know* (as in it’s not in writing and everything could change and there are secrets to keep) if it’s in one, two, or three months. If you know me, you know that I hate all this cagey-ness. A lot. And you know that I appreciate your discretion. 

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I’m so tired, I feel like I’m actually asleep.

I started writing this week, daily, for an organization I worked with back about a dozen or 17 years ago, depending on how you count. It’s challenging, relatively fast-paced, relevant to you, me, governments, corporations and society. And it’s fun. FUN.

I started this work on Monday (2/24), and Tuesday at 3 am I woke up to get ready for our 6:25 am flight to a very cold midwestern city so that we could look for a house to move into at some point in the next several months. I had this target date of April 1 a bit ago, because I like things to work out when I want them to work out, but that’s rarely how things work out.

Certain things, though, work out more often than I think.

We got to our hotel at about 11 am on Tuesday, and by 12:30, after some lunch, we were looking at houses with our realtor. We looked at, if memory serves, five houses. Then on Wednesday, I toured a public school. I fell in love. (Can you fall in love with a school?) I love the school the kids currently attend, I do. But this new school? I had goosebumps. After that, we looked at three houses, including one that my husband–my husband!–said was “perfect.” Because it was. To live in, certainly, but it’s also zoned for that public school.

On Thursday, we looked at no houses, but drove through some other areas to see if we thought there would be any other place we wanted to live. Today, we made an offer on the perfect house. Wrote it up at about 11am. Might have reached the sellers and their agent at noon (by email). At 1pm, our realtor called to say the offer had been accepted. Papers get signed tomorrow. Inspection on Sunday. We do not mess around.

So here we are. It’s Friday night at 8pm, and the kids are with my husband in the hotel pool, and I’m sitting here, in utter disbelief. I’m not sure this blog should be called “Diary of a Corporate Wife.” It’s more like a “Dream Log.”

None of this can really be happening. None of it.

You know how when bad things happen, you might ask yourself, “what did I do to deserve this?” And always, the answer is “Nothing. It’s just the way it is… It’s luck.”

Well, when good things happen, I ask myself “what did we do to deserve this?” And the answer remains the same.

It’s just the way it is. We’re lucky. Right now.

Don’t pinch me.

apparently, happiness is up to you, wives.

This sounds like a study that points to women being in the driver’s seat in marriage by “reacting” well to conflicts they’re having with a husband. I’m not sure if it reflects internalized stereotypes in women, or if it reflects the importance of communication skills and emotion-processing in women.

Both, I imagine. But the study makes me bristle, just a bit.

Results show that the link between the wives’ ability to control emotions and higher marital satisfaction was most evident when women used “constructive communication” to temper disagreements….

When wives discuss problems and suggest solutions, it helps couples deal with conflicts,” said UC Berkeley psychologist Robert  Levenson, senior author of the study. “Ironically, this may not work so well for husbands, who wives often criticize for leaping into problem-solving mode too quickly.”

This finding deserves more attention:

…the husbands’ emotional regulation had little or no bearing on long-term marital satisfaction.

And, of the 80 middle-aged and older heterosexual couples’ interactions that were examined, were all those marriages “happy” in the first place? (Who were they, and why did they agree to have their disagreements videotaped?)

I need to read this study in full.. comes out in the journal Emotion, and its November issue is not yet online.

Wives matter more when it comes to calming down marital conflicts.

Happy Is As Happy Gives…

Well, isn’t this something? Check out this article in the Pacific Standard: “Do Children Make Us Happy?

They do, especially when parenting in a “child-centric” manner: 

Child-centric parents prioritize their children’s needs and wants over their own. The hallmark of a child-centric parent is self-sacrifice. The researchers define the child-centric mindset as one in which “parents are motivated to maximize their child’s well-being even at a cost to their own and are willing to prioritize the allocation of their emotional, temporal, financial, and attentional resources to their children rather than themselves.” 

And this:

In this study, the researchers again found that… child-centric parents… experienced more positive emotions when they were taking care of their children than when they were doing other things. These parents also experienced less negative emotions when they were taking care of their kids. Child-centric parents also derived more meaning out of their interactions with their kids. When they were not with their kids, these parents experienced less meaning and positive emotions.

I’ll just make the leap: according to these findings, being an at-home parent should yield tremendous happiness.

And if a new purpose in life–a new reason to sacrifice, or give, and transcend what you want for yourself–does not manifest by the time one’s children are grown, one would seem to be set up for unhappiness.

Even regret.