Heroes on Monday

A group becomes a team when each member is sure enough of himself and his contribution to praise the skills of others. -Norman Shidle

Team. One of my favourite topics to discuss, read about and celebrate. After two weeks with my friends Hayley and Ryan today’s Heroes on Mondays essentially wrote itself. Ryan is an extraordinary dad and husband. I knew that before I left for my two week adventure with them because Hayley and I spent hours talking about our husbands and why we loved them. She always appreciated that he was her rock through all her life and career experiences. She loved his desire to become the best he can be and she adored him as her babies’ daddy.

But I will tell you this they are team players…on steroids. Their life is busy and their schedule is not the “norm” shall we say, yet they keep normal in their life with ease. Ryan, like my husband, is a full time student. I know the level of commitment and intensity being an adult student with a family takes, but Ryan is doing it all correspondence. Basically that means he must be highly self motivated and determined to follow his dream with no constant professor/lecturer or students to push him and gain synergy from in his field. Everything is online! That takes so much self discipline and drive. As well as gaining a business marketing degree, he is also a very very proactive dad. Hayley’s hours are long, intense and often don’t have a determined end time. (Which I am sure people on her operating table are very glad that at 5pm she doesn’t leave them wide open and walk out the door!)

Ryan is a team player. He loves his boys and juggles a new baby, a toddler (including preschool/Kindy pick ups and drop offs), school with assignments and reading that must be done, and every day house stuff that must be done like cooking (I made no dinner while at their house!) He is a great cook and serves healthy meals each night for his family. I’m lucky if we have less than two take out nights a week at my house!! He’s amazing!

While there are so many attributes I alluded to above, the heroic quality I admire in Ryan is his team attitude. Ryan believes in what Hayley is doing as well as what he is doing. They pursue their dreams side by side and take care of their family with ease. I bet there are plenty of weeks it doesn’t feel like ease, but I saw first hand how effortless they made it look. I am working part time, but from home. I have no assignments hanging over my head or grades I’m trying to improve. Even without homework for me…It. Is. Hard. So to see Ryan support Hayley by loving her greatly through gifts and little things to make her life easier I was inspired. They would never pretend to be perfect or have it all figured out or even be able to say all the house stuff is done each week but Ryan (and Hayley) have figured out the greatest key in relationships: teamwork. It’s not me vs Him. Or my dream vs Hers. It’s US. Building, growing, working through issues and helping the other person be their greatest self.

Ryan makes sure that he is getting homework done and playing with a two year old. He makes sure his exhausted wife eats and figures out the ever changing schedule of a new baby. He writes papers that he is passionate about and lights up when he talks about these topics and he changes diapers because that’s what the team needs.

One component of marriage that I love is the flow that each marriage and family have. Most times it happens with little planning because when you know the one you love you adjust for them. Hayley spends her early mornings getting her two year old ready for school, Ryan takes over when she leaves and gets the bubba ready and their two year old off to preschool/Kindy. Ryan moves through his day going from reading about companies and products and reasons why they work and don’t work all the while feeding and helping his new born to sleep. Some nights he’s juggling dinner and bed time and thinking about hitting the books once again after everyone is asleep. It’s team at its finest. It inspired me to look at how I am being a team player, where I could serve my husband more in ways he needs in this season, as well as continue to pursue my own dreams and callings. Two weeks was so long without daddy for my son and me. At the end we were both exhausted and missing home, but beyond the sun and getting to see my friend and her babies I am so thankful to see team done the way I did. Ryan is incredible at all he does and like most Kiwi’s he would never dream of being celebrated but that is exactly what needs to happen. He is sacrificing and pursuing a dream simultaneously while being a team player at every turn. I am a better person for spending extended time with Hayley and Ryan both.

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