Our old home began its makeover in April of last year. It wasn’t hard to figure out what needed to be done first—the kitchen floor. It was a white linoleum that had undergone the wear and tear of four children, four teenagers and dozens of friends, thousands of meals made, hundreds of goodies baked, and had heard many discussions and opinions and encouragement. Under such stress for 15 years, it was just ugly. U. G. L. Y.
It was easy to rip out—way easy. The stupid thing was glued down only on the edges, so it came up without argument.
But underneath that ugly, there was damage. Water had seeped in over time and damaged the subfloor. We found some mold. At first, it scared me. But when I learned how easy it was to remove and replace from someone in the know, I wondered how and why we’d waited so long to deal with it.
Chief didn’t mind the transformation process—he was just happy that old lino was gone, gone, gone. That was the first wondrous layer of relief. Once the subfloor was replaced, we felt a new level of relief—assured that what we would cover with new flooring was clean, mold-free, and sound. The problems beneath the surface were solved.
We installed the new flooring, and in doing so we were extra careful to protect the subfloor from damaging moisture. We caulked the nooks and crannies, and installed waterproof baseboards. I’d never felt so good about our kitchen floor.
This is a great metaphor for our marriages. When we have been complacent in our relationships—busy with careers and kids and distractions—some areas of our marriages may become U-G-L-Y. There may be underlying damage that begs to be repaired. Why is it we wait so long to deal with these things?
Time to rip out the ugly.
Face the damage underneath.
Repair it through communication and forgiveness (sometimes you need education or an expert on how to do this).
Then replace it with something new and beautiful, being careful to protect it.
Renovations—both of homes and relationships—take intentional effort, some sacrifice, and a willingness to see it through to the finish. But you have to have the courage to begin.
So, what’s first on your list?
Victoria Newman January 24th, 2018
Posted In: Uncategorized
“This home is not a safe place for me.”
The words cut like a knife. They dove down into the deepest place of my motivation and pride, and locked in fear and pain.
Not a safe place? Our home, the place where I strove to create home and memories and talks and beauty for the past 15 years? The place where our children grew up? Where we laugh and cry and plan and give of ourselves?
When the words shot forth from Chief, it was a wake up call.
One of the four foundational ways a spouse can be backup to an officer is to be a safe place. A safe place, and a safe person. At times, the way I’ve reacted to things shut him down—my anger, my indignation, and my emotions have been hurdles to good communication…if you’ve read either of my books, you may remember this. As we’ve gotten older, and hopefully more mature, I’ve realized that I can control this to indeed make myself a safe person to which my husband can be vulnerable with.
Our home, though, was a fixer upper. An old home with a big yard—which means endless maintenance, difficult repairs and constant effort and money. Things my intellectual man and leader of many found tiresome and challenging. That old home had several owners before us who “did it themselves,” so every time we went to change or repair something, it was a Pandora’s box. Once changing an outside light fixture brought the realization that a fire could’ve broken out at any time, and we had to fix it to the tune of several hundred dollars! For a girl who grew up in a family of mechanics and carpenters, this equated to “charm.” For Chief, this equated to STRESS.
Stress upon stress that had accumulated from the most challenging years of his career. When he said those words earlier this year, we realized we needed a change.
As we move into 2018, what are things that equate to stress upon stress that have accumulated from years on the job? Is your home a safe place? Are you a safe person? What habits or activities or practices threaten you and your family and your well-being? Your marriage? It’s an appropriate time for a change—a time of new beginnings, do-overs, and resolutions to do life better.
For Chief and I, it began a journey that meant time and money and work—but oh, so worth it. We are now living in a safe place, and we both see visible benefits every day.
Victoria Newman January 10th, 2018
Posted In: Uncategorized
There are seasons in life where all else is put aside to concentrate on one thing. That one thing takes much time, most thoughts, focused efforts, and everything else becomes secondary. Like fighting a serious illness. A baby born. The aftermath and trial of a critical incident. Your wedding. Death of a loved one. A new job. Marriage problems.
Or in my case for the last eight months, a combination of several changes in our family—a new grandson, the renovation and sale of our home of 15 years, a new position for Chief, and the purchase of our new home. Throw in a few other surprises just to make it interesting, and you have 2017 for the Newmans.
How2LoveYourCop had to take a back seat. After all, our families must take first priority—that’s what we stand for. That’s what we write about and speak about and advocate. Because without our spouses and without our kids, life is just…lonely and colorless.
So please forgive my lack of postings, my lack of answering emails, my putting what we do for you second.
Good news, though. We’re settled into a new home that is more conducive to accomplishing what we want to do in the future. We’re more focused on H2LYC than ever, with new ideas and thoughts and potential partnerships and now the ability to pursue them. Chief and I have strengthened our relationship even more this past year as we’ve worked together on several fronts. This has brought us closer and that only can help others.
I have a new series for this blog that came from this time. It’s the lessons that we learned through Realizations, Renovations, Rejuvenations, Restorations, Revelations, Relocation, Resolutions, and the Revolutions that have taken place in our lives. We are hopeful that what we’ve learned will help and give hope to others (you!).
Happy New Year! May 2018 be an exceptional year for you and your family.
Victoria Newman January 5th, 2018
Posted In: Uncategorized