I charged up my old phone last night, an LG Razor Edge. It was the phone I used when Hubby and I were dating and when we were first married. I retrieved the text messages and looked at the photos. I still have the first text and photo we took together. Like many new couples, we often said we loved and missed each other. We were mushy and flirtatious.
When I first got engaged, a few women (married women) told me not to get married. They seemed sure I would be miserable and unfulfilled a few years later. It’s true–things did get harder. We have faced medical issues that have scared me and adjusting to living together, merging our lives and finances has not always been what I dreamed it would be.
But there are times when I look at him and know I couldn’t be anywhere else and there is really no grass that is greener.
What’s better is we still flirt, hold hands and say I love you. Six years of marriage and we look forward to seeing each other at the end of the day.
I have told some friends I (almost) wish more couples could go through trials where they fear they could lose the other person. Even for a moment. More people wouldn’t be so quick to throw it all away. Happy doesn’t always look and feel the way you think it will and no version of perfection actually exists.
I certainly don’t have all the answers to anyone’s relationship problems but I would ask anyone to not take the love they have at home for granted.
It may turn out to be the love you were supposed to fight for and the love you may never have again.
It’s our third day in Carlsbad, CA. A part of me would rather just sun myself at the pool or the beach but another part of me is glad to be sitting here writing. I know it’s because I am proving that no matter where I am, I am making posting here a priority. When you are on vacation, staring lazily at water and palm trees, the last thing you may feel like doing is whipping out a computer. But I know how committed I am to this process. I want to write through anything anywhere. I want to live up to my own expectations.
I am not sure if there is any other time in my life that I would have been able to truthfully write this but the time is now. Maybe this is what it is like to fall in love with what you’re pursuing. In my marriage, we would do anything to keep growing together. That’s part of the allure of travel. There’s a shared experience, a treasure of memory that no one can take from us.
With writing, there is a similarity. I am invested in my growth. I want to keep my schedule. Keep my word. I look forward to witnessing the fruits of my labor. There is a willingness to keep trying new things like adding Meatless Mondays or taking classes.
I don’t want to get out. I want to work through it all. Fail forward. Leave excuses behind.
So no matter how gracefully the fronds of the tree sway or the heat threatens to wilt my will to keep my commitment going this week. I won’t give in.
It is my priority.
When I was at the Summit of Greatness in September, psychotherapist Esther Perel gave advice to a man seeking to repair a romantic relationship: Send her a handwritten note.
Outside of the obvious things anyone should be doing to win someone back, maintain a friendship or romantic relationship, that was one of the best pieces of advice I had ever heard. I was sure I was not the only one because the whole theater was buzzing right after she said it.
It also caused me to think about two things: The last time I received a hand-written note and the last time I sent one. I write extra notes on greeting cards to my mother and father (my husband and I do not exchange gifts/cards..we plan experiences with each other for our birthdays/holidays). Outside of those occasions, everything is typed or texted.
And since then, a co-worker and a good friend from my writing group have given me cards with handwritten notes on it. Even opening them immediately lit me up inside. It also conjured up memories of a small poem my husband wrote me when we were first married and my participation for a short time in moreloveletters.com which encourages people to leave anonymous uplifting letters tucked away in public spaces. The content almost never matters. For me, it is the time taken.
Because it’s the one thing we can’t get back.