My wife’s post for today – It’s OK to Be Different – ends with “I think being married to Paul has broken me of “normal” and that’s a good thing.” Similarly, our son has said more than once “Normal is boring” (he claims to have learned about normal at friend’s homes).
I have never been “normal” and I gave up even trying in Junior High. It was not so great back then when not fitting in was punished, but the older I get the better it is. It is not that I do things just to be different (okay, occasionally I do); rather I look for the best way to do things for me and for my life. Of course, I am aware of others and take into account their needs (up to and sometimes including their comfort and sanity) but I do not do something just because “it’s always been done that way” or because “everyone else does it that way”. I am not opposed to being “in the box” when something in the box makes sense, but I am comfortable living outside most boxes.
This blog, and the Marriage Bed site and forums before it, are examples of being willing to live outside the box. Normal, sane people did not do things like these fifteen years ago. We got a lot of flack and worse for TMB, but we felt it was needed and God was in it, so we pressed on. There are a few folks out there who are glad we pressed on – and some who wish we had not. Fortunately I answer to God, and being willing to be different makes it easier to hear Him when what you are doing it not “normal”.
This same attitude can be a huge blessing in marriage. As my bride put it in her post, “I think, for the most part, we are governed by what is expected of us. I’d like to encourage you to think differently and invite your husband to do so as well. Look around at your marriage, your family life, your home, your work and your play. What isn’t working? What isn’t fun any more?“
Boxes are fine, as long as they make sense for you and your family, However, living in a box just because someone thinks you should is a horrible reason to live there. Re-examine your life and activities regularly and find better ways to live. Be sure to include your wife in your thinking so she knows what is going on and why – you don’t want to scare her!