JEN’S ZEN ~ Together

By: Jen Wainwright


I actually have it all together.

I have it all figured out.

My life is perfect. My relationship, my job, my income – perfect. My children and stepchildren, my family, my partner’s family – all absolutely perfect people and perfect relationships. I write a blog titled JEN’S ZEN because I have it all together, I have it all figured out, and, indeed, I am actually enlightened.

ROTFLMFAO. (That means “Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Fu*king A** Off.”)

The older I get, the more I realize that nobody actually has it all together.

I’m beyond aware that I can experience something today that will change how I felt yesterday. I can be lucky enough to see something new, discover a different perspective or have a conversation that changes a previous thought.

I’ve had a close friend of mine show up at my porch, unexpectedly, and fiercely weeping, “He’s having an affair.”

I knew that she would be getting a divorce. It seemed very clear. Up until that point, I’d never known or experienced what she and her husband went on to teach me about marriage, and commitment, and love. Over time, I watched these two human beings, who seemingly had it all together – with good income and beautiful children and a nice home and a perceived perfect family – have to work and struggle to pick up the pieces of their broken marriage, and fight to find their way back to one another. I watched them cry, and apologize, and grow, and I surprisingly felt my heart open wide to their choice to forgive … and to give their love a stronger, wiser, second chance.

I’ve seen plans – the ultimate feeling of having it all figured out – dissolve.

I had a birth “plan” for my first daughter, complete with Bob Marley playing in the background and a birthing room filled with support from my partner, both of our mothers and my closest friends. I had it all figured out. I had a plan.

Yet, on May 15, 2005, when my oldest daughter entered our world, I actually needed complete silence. No Bob Marley playing, no noise at all – my support team couldn’t even speak because I couldn’t concentrate. (God love them for sitting with me for 14 hours of silence.) And my “plan” certainly did not include our midwife declaring, “Code Blue, Stat!,” severe hemorrhaging, an inverted uterus … kissing my partner goodbye as the hospital staff wheeled me to immediate surgery, telling him I would be fine but to “take good care of our baby,” just in case.

Four hours and three transfusions later, I fell in love with our little girl, surrounded by the tired eyes of my family and friends, who had spent some 20 hours of pure terror and, luckily, pure joy with us. None of that was part of my “plan.”

Neither was it our plan, years later, after we had just decided that having more children was not in our cards, when we felt we didn’t have enough space, enough money – we just didn’t have it all together – discovering I was already pregnant. With twins!

I’ve ignored important things and paid too much attention to trivial matters while trying to figure it all out and “get it all together.” I’ve been part of miscommunications and misunderstandings. And, very recently, when I truly thought nothing could possibly improve a disastrous day, I watched my family sit together at a dinner table, and heal. Wounds faded, laughter returned, and I felt the transforming of hurt into the beauty of love. Messy love. Real love.

And on that same perfectly-imperfect day …

With tears streaming down his face and mine …

The man I met nearly 18 years ago, the one I never planned to get serious with, the one with whom I have laughed and cried, birthed children and raised children, bought a home and made a home … the man who, with me, decided long ago that we would wait until we had it all together before truly considering marriage …

My partner. My rock. Down on one knee … proposing to me on Mother’s Day, 2015. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I never really planned on getting married; neither did he.

And we certainly don’t have it all together.

And it took us a long time to figure out that we’re never going to have it all figured out.

And so, in a private, little ceremony, we’re going to vow to each other in front of our family and God to continue walking through life, for the rest of our lives, figuring out whatever comes next.

Together. 😉


— Because the damn dishes are never done. Laundry is a cruel joke. And because children are beautiful lessons in patience and counting. 10, 9, 8, 7 Breathe…


Jen is a freelance writer, parent to three, and she’s been a stepparent for over 15 years. She is well-equipped to discuss and write about the great, and the not-so-great, details of all-things-parenting. Along with spending quality time with her family, Jen enjoys music, chocolate, camping and relaxing. And laughing!