Today marks 14 years (married, anyway!) with my favorite person.
In actuality, we go back pretty far. Wanna see just HOW far?
Here’s the thing about marriage: it is a series of choices, even after you’ve made The Big Choice to marry one another. Each day I choose to stay…even though I confess to the occasional fantasy of running off to the sea. But that is really more about the state of my house (messy, loud, chaotic as it is) than the state of my marriage. In fact, it’s this guy who keeps me keepin’ on.
Every day I make a choice to talk it through or to get angry when miscommunications arise. I make a choice to reach out or to burrow into solitude. I make a choice to laugh or yell in exasperation. And Joe, being who he is, can almost always inspire me to align myself with joy, with connection, with growth, with doing the brave thing. I am not perfect, and I certainly have my days where I do not choose wisely, but I know I’m so much better, and stronger, for the way we work together in this life we’ve wrought.
And that includes these guys. Oh LORD, these guys.
I know I’m lucky. I sometimes marvel that he chooses me, again and again everyday, in the same way I choose him. I sometimes imagine people meeting us for the first time and wondering what brought us together, because we are so different. But it’s the old story of yin and yang, making that strong circle together. He unloads the dishwasher and I load it. I soothe a squirrely six-year-old to sleep and he coaches an eleven-year-old through algebra concepts I’d forgotten…THANK GOD Joe knows Algebra. And later, he teaches it to me so I can help in the future. And I fold his socks together, matching like articles that maybe don’t resemble us on the surface. When you get down to it, though, we have the same exact sense of humor. We both are passionate about learning. We both were raised with blue-collar values and work ethic. We both love travel, and can spend hours talking about nothing and everything on a long car trip.
So I say that makes us both lucky, and SMART, for seeing one another and recognizing what wonderful things would come…just by making some choices. In the end, it’s not so difficult. I choo-choo-chooooooose him every day, and I couldn’t be more grateful.