Crystal Madrilejos

Design & Creative

On Being

Autumn Notes #002


I’ve got an infinitely scrolling to-do list and this blog post is not one of the things on it. But I’m sitting down to write it nonetheless. This past week served me a huge helping of humble pie (Whole30 compliant, to boot). Basically, I learned that no one can do it all, no matter how driven and focused. It confirmed (something that I already knew) that I wouldn’t be able to do a quarter of the things I do in life without my husband’s support. No success has been my own, and you know what? I’m totally happy to admit that. I’m so freaking fortunate for this life. I am lucky. Really, really lucky.

Last week, Andrew hurt his back. I don’t want to be overly dramatic about it since, in the grand scheme of things, it’s pretty minor. He was basically been bed-ridden with today being the first day he ventured out of the house in a week. It’s scary to see a loved one in pain, and even scarier when that person is usually the strong one. Having to help him get into a standing position and do basic things like turning onto his side totally freaked me out. Not that I didn’t want to do it, it’s just that I’m already sort of an emotional person and my mind has a tendency to go to that scary place of “what if’s” so I just cried a lot and have been doing my best to not get too overwhelmed (aka overreact.) Despite appearances, I’m somewhat of a wreck at home. My friend and I were talking about this the other week, about how her and I are both responsible, put-together, organized professionals in our work lives, but at home we’re kind of the complete opposite. Luckily, we both married people who keep it together on the home front!

But all emotion aside, when you run a tight ship that is our life, something like this can really throw a wrench in things. I’ve always known how much Andrew does for our family. I’ve never once doubted him pulling his weight by staying home and keeping our lives running like a well oiled machine, even before we had kids – from cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry, paying the bills, etc. He’s great at all of it. He truly is the glue in our lives and with him being out of commission it became glaringly obvious how much our family relies on him. I give a ton of credit to the people out there who work full-time and still have to take care of their kids and their households. It’s really hard and I’ve only had to do it for the past week. But not only that, I have the added comfort of knowing that this is only temporary, a luxury a lot of people don’t have.

I’ve had people ask how I have time to do all the things I do and the answer is simple: I have a fully supportive partner.

In addition to reminding me how fortunate I am to such an awesome life partner, this situation really shined a light on the things that we are both super grateful for:

  • We have a family that is amazing, supportive and patient enough to help take care of our kids in a pinch.
  • The fact that Andrew didn’t have to stress about calling off from a “day job”
  • I have a job that is flexible enough to allow me to work from home while he recovers, and a boss who is understanding and compassionate
  • That we are both young and still relatively healthy people despite this

Another thing this week has also made glaringly obvious (if it wasn’t before) is that I take on a lot of stuff in terms of work or personal projects. It doesn’t bother me, I actually enjoy being super productive (“wildly productive” as Kathleen would say) – but I think it’s always a good practice to take stock of the things that occupy our time and evaluate their worthiness. One thing I can be sure of : supporting and taking care of the ones you love is always worthwhile.

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