Thursday, September 1, 2016

riding shotgun to chasing dreams

If you have asked me what's new lately, my answer has invariably involved barbecue. And that seems unfair. You're asking what's new with me, not what's new with my husband. But, it seems that no matter how independent a person thinks they are, the interests of one half of a couple tend to color the other. Especially if that interest is a love of barbecue turned into a burgeoning business.

So what's new with me is Doubleback BBQ. I know that it's actually what's new with Andrew; I'm just along for the ride. But it absolutely affects me - our house is its unofficial home, its wares are tested in my kitchen, and all of the time that a new business baby takes comes from time spent with my husband, or spent sleeping, or the time we used to spend doing anything besides eating and thinking about smoked meat. And I only feel okay about it.

I've never been good with dreams or goals. As a kid, I knew I wanted to get married and go to college. I've done that. I still wonder what I want to BE when I grow up, beyond simply "happy." So while I get dreams and hard work in theory, it's hard for me to understand all of the work that's now going into Doubleback. It's hard for me to grasp that even though he's beyond tired, staying up all night smoking a brisket is kind of fun for my husband. It's hard for me to give up weekends "to cook" since I know that Friday is spent prepping, Saturday is for serving, and on Sunday, we recover and try to cram a weekend's worth of activity into a few waking hours. And it's hard for me to comprehend that a willingness to clean a kitchen spattered with meat juices is now viewed as a sign of love and support when I do it with minimal grumbling. It's a hobby and a dream that might one day be a career but right now seems like a never-ending sink of dishes, a garage full of wood, and a to-do list that's never quite done.

I guess my thing is - and maybe you can help me out - how do I fit myself in the picture? How do you wholeheartedly support a dream that is not your own without resenting it? Resentment hasn't taken residence here yet - this is still new and exciting - but I worry about it. I think about the money we've spent, the vacation days used, and the sacrifices that could be in an attempt to run a successful barbecue endeavor (I feel like I should mention here that Andrew does have a business partner who is also married, and it's awesome to have someone who understands, though we really haven't elaborated on how we feel - yet). I remember how dry my hands get after doing dishes for what feels like days and how weekends used to be for antique malls and netflix bingeing and sometimes I just don't want to deal with meat, or packing the car full of supplies, or my event planning brain that refuses to shut off and constantly asks the guys if they're sure they have enough forks/foil/tablecloths, etc. But how do you shut down a dream?

The answer, for me, right now, is that you don't. You help your husband (mostly) when he asks you, but you draw the line and escape to Target when you need to. You learn to keep quiet (which is SO HARD) about business matters that don't concern you because, both literally and figuratively, it isn't your business. You plan "special days" for no reason where there is no BBQ talk and little BBQ texting to said business partner. You get your nails done because you deserve it. You understand that your weekends are subject to smoking meat, tasting BBQ, or prepping for anything in that realm for the near future. You give your best advice, encouragement, patience, and understanding. And you learn to be okay, at least for now, with answering a question like "what's new with you?" with an answer that isn't entirely your own because you have faith that this dream is worth it.

Linking up with Kristen and Gretch because when I write an actual post, I want some people to see it. 

13 comments:

  1. I think you have a great, honest mindset here, Lauren. It's HARD to sometimes play second fiddle to a dream. Truly. My husband's Army career comes first right now, which often means that my dreams are put on hold because while he's in service, we're owned by them. But, I think that as wives and best friends, we're able to get a sense of true satisfaction from it, as well, if only because you're helping them realize their dreams. There's not much more fulfilling than that. Big hugs - love this post.

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  2. It's an interesting thought. When Jason started law school, I initially didn't know what to do...and I've been mentally supporting it for FOUR YEARS, and that's a long time. So then I started blogging more, and that's for me, and it's my baby (and now a side hustle). I think the way you get away every now and then is healthy. I am excited about this venture for him, because I also love BBQ, but it sounds like you're doing a good job of being supportive but not making it YOUR life too.

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  3. i would focus on the things that I want to do. you're there when he asks you to be but then you carve out your own time to do your things. make sure that you both set time aside for dates and no business talk!

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  4. I agree that you don't. You can't squash his dreams. That's the thing about being married. His things become your things in that way and ultimately you have to support them. Hopefully it will pay off in the end. You will retire early or something when the biz takes off! And even if it doesn't work out exactly that way, I think it will make your marriage stronger because you were there to support him no matter what.

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  5. oh goodness. i am with you on never really having big dreams or whatever, so it is very hard for me to understand people who do - i mean, i know there are people out there like that, and good for them, but i am perfectly okay plodding along enjoying my life, working towards happy. thankfully KC is very much the same. that being said, i think if he was like that, i hope that i would be as supportive as you. i can't imagine how hard it is on you, to put in a lot of the work (well, you know, your own portion of it) without being as driven or dedicated to it as he is. i think continuing to do things for yourself, and time for the two of you with no business talk is definitely the way to go. and venting about it when it gets too hard.

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  6. I think that it is great that you are there to support your husband as he needs, but don't forget to do something for yourself every now and then too! I am with you on still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up to. I feel like so many people lately (your husband included) has taken the dive in to their dreams and I am just sitting over here like I would love to do this or this or this but what is my true passion and dream?!?! Cheers to us both figuring that out. And remembering that it is never too late! Best wishes to the business!

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  7. I understand this more than you know. The army is the thing that we know is our livelihood so I try to be as supportive as possible (even though it's more of a livelihood than a dream). This house and our property is Scott's dream. I try. It can be difficult. Especially when he's never around.
    Also, he started a hunting business with his friend and they have an LLC and a website and plans (oh, the plans) and it's just not up and running yet. That's a dream. I support it, but he barely has time to work at it, so there's only so much I can do.
    My advice: you offer support the best you can. It's hard for me to "tell" advice because I'm in this position too! I've just never asked for advice lol.
    Good luck!

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  8. Here's my advice and what I do when I really don't want to work hard on the business I've created, because if we're being honest we both know I can be and am super lazy. I think of the days ahead when all my hard work will lead to job flexibility and a schedule freedom I've never known.

    Support his huge dreams and help where you can because his success is ultimately your success as well. Thinking of how you can personally benefit if his dream succeeds is a great way to ward off resentment. I'm sure you dream of things you could do if you just had a little more money, freedom, flexibility right?

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  9. I'm the opposite of you. I am the one that's a dreamer and my husband is the supportive one. I'm not really sure if my husband has any dreams, whereas I have MILLIONS of them. I think you're right that you're not going to be able to stop his dreams and your best bet is to be the supportive one.

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  10. MFD used to work full time and do real estate part time. During that time, there was no time for us. When he started real estate full time, there was still no time for us. Sometimes that's still the case!

    I don't have any grand ambitions, but he does. As you know, running a small business (side or otherwise) is no easy feat. It's important to be supportive. For me though, it's also been important not to invest myself in it or attempt to exert any type of control over it. I also don't spend all of my free time supporting him because that would make me extremely resentful. I do it once in a while but it's not a habit. I truly think we're well suited because he is chasing dreams and I'm holding down the fort and managing our life and it works for us. It also helps that we are both independent.

    The only advice I have is to be kind and patient with yourself, and try to do the same with him. Use some of your newfound time to do your thing, Target or otherwise!

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  11. I can't even imagine how tough it must be to have a spouse with such a big dream like this. I don't know what I would do if Dan wanted to start his own business. Like you said- where do you fit in as a spouse? I do think that Target is the answer to the question a lot of the time :) I think as long as you're being supportive and helpful without being overbearing you can't really do any wrong. Good luck to both of you, and thanks for linking up :)

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  12. I don't have any advice, though I have to say your last paragraph sounds to me like you're doing everything right. Recognize that for now, it's sacrifice—but remember that if the roles were reversed, you would feel lucky to have him do the same as you're doing for him.
    But I also totally get why thinking about it in a role-reversal is hard, because you can't see yourself doing what he's doing. And I just wanted to be a(nother) voice of agreement with you here in that I'm with you that I don't have "a dream." Yes, I have goals for the next couple of years, there are things I'd like to do with my life, there are things I think it would be fun to have done in life. But I don't have A DREAM, A GOAL, that one thing I'm willing to sacrifice all my spare time for. The world sometimes makes us feel bad for not having that, but I think it's fine. I just wanted you to know you're not the only one who feels that way.

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  13. I'm the dreamer in my marriage, and I feel SO guilty for it. Actually I'm not so much a dreamer as I'm a little restless and always looking for the next thing. I think my husband was a little more willing and able to go along with my changing careers because he was already settled in his and had flexibility in it so he never really felt like he was sacrificing. And he knew that in the end it would benefit both of us. But he's also really supportive of my other, completely selfish dreams like doing an Ironman, and I don't know how or why he does it (except because he is the most ridiculously selfless person I know). I think there's definitely a fine line between supporting your spouse and their dreams, and having their dream take over your life. It's awesome that you are so supportive and if Andrew is anything like me he is more thankful and appreciative than he could ever tell you, but at the end of the day, it's his dream and it doesn't necessarily have to be yours.

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