Tag Archives: Marriage

26 Years

26 years ago, we eloped, both wore green, got married in a mountain town called Evergreen. The only reason we even have pictures is our roommate showed up with a disposable camera. Four years ago, I wrote a Facebook post that I thought for sure I’d turned into a blog post and shared here, but I can’t find it, so…

Something you might not know about me: I got married for the first time when I was only 18. He was my boyfriend the last few years of high school. He loved me and wanted to marry me, was moving to Arizona for school and wanted me to come with him. I loved him enough, wanted out of my parents’ house and away from the small town I’d grown up in, so I agreed to it, the marriage and the move. We were actually a terrible match, and what I never told him, what almost no one knows, is I almost bolted on our wedding day, would have if I’d had the guts.

I was thinking about it this morning because there was a short piece on NPR in which they played clips of songs by Crowded House and The Psychedelic Furs, music I still love (am listening to as I write this). I loved bands like Depeche Mode, Erasure, The Cure, and Tears for Fears. That first, failed husband’s favorite band was Iron Maiden. We were doomed. We only lived together about a year and a half before my beloved Auntie T offered me an out and I left.

Some years later, I met Eric. He listened to the same bands I did, and introduced me to reggae and musicians like Jimmy Cliff. He had earrings, wore patchouli, and read books. He felt like home. This is all making me think how sometimes it can take a really long time, many failed attempts to find the right fit, to land in the place that is home. Sometimes it seems like it will never happen and we lose our will to keep going. I can’t tell you what to do, but I’m so glad I didn’t give up.

In the past few years, I’ve written a few posts about being married to Eric:

  • Committed, where I described what I think it means to find the right person. “I can’t say what might work for you, don’t mean for this to be some kind of advice or set of rules to be married by, but these are the things that have kept me in it, all in, for the past 18 years.”
  • 20 years, one of my favorite posts, in which I wrote about how Eric makes me laugh and comforts me when I don’t feel like laughing.
  • Day of Rest, where I tried to describe what love is.  “When you are together for a long time, there’s more than one marriage. Hard things happen, and you have to work through them. You get remarried over and over because you keep choosing each other, continue to recommit. And Eric and I have had hard things, and we know that those things will keep coming. Just because we’ve been together a long time doesn’t mean things get easier. You don’t reach a point where it’s simple and you don’t have to try that hard — or at least we don’t. What does happen is you start to relax your agenda about how things should be, and instead work with what is. You relax with what is, you soften, and you find that in being with what is, you can be content, that in this moment there is more than enough. This is love.”
  • 21 Years, in which I said, “I’m not even sure how that happened, how living our life together day by day has already added up, amounted to that…He makes me laugh, he’s my comfort, my soft place to land. He’s my favorite, my family, my best friend, the problem I chose to have, the choice I make over and over, day after day.”
  • Day of Rest: 23 Years In, in which I shared, “Not much has changed in 23 years, unless you count just about everything. At the beginning, I thought by this point that if we made it this far together things would be easy. I didn’t understand that adulting would be so hard, that so many awful things would happen, to us and around us. I thought I was stronger, saner. I thought if I was with him, if we were together, the ordinary magic of that would surround us, protect us from the bad stuff. And yet it has, in a way. I’m not sure if I’d still be here if it weren’t for his love and support, the way he makes me laugh. The partnership, the rub of having someone always there, can at times be irritating, but it’s also the glue that keeps it all from falling apart.”
  • 24 Years, in which I wondered, “Here we are, just living our lives like it’s no big deal — making each other laugh, getting irritated about stupid stuff that doesn’t even matter, doing the laundry and making dinner and walking the dogs — and suddenly we’ve been married for 24 years.”

And here we are, 26 years later, still choosing each other, still taking care of each other, still making each other laugh.

Something Good.

I think I might have already mentioned this, but when I am feeling bad, I will often ask Eric to “tell me something good.”  When I need something to hang on to, to make me feel better, something to show me that it’s not all bad.  When I am in that dark hole, way down at the bottom, and the mean things with teeth are down there with me–“tell me something good.”

Picture by Cubby

He’s really good at it, because even when all he can think of is “I love you,” it totally works.  I mean, how great is it that the person that you picked and who said “yes” eighteen years ago, and knows you better than anyone, knows all the embarrassing and ugly stuff, continues to love you?  He usually is able to give me a whole list when I ask him, followed by a hug and “what can I do for you, how can I make you feel better?”

But wait–this isn’t a post about how great Eric is, even though that’s true.  This post is about a new Monday feature I’m starting today on this blog: Something Good.  I like the idea of gratitude generating joy, and the opportunity my gratitude has to spread joy when I share the good things.

Here’s today’s list:

  • Monday Morning Yoga. For the past four and a half years, I have been going to a 6:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning yoga class.  The teachers have remained the same, and there are two other people, along with a rotating cast of about 10-15 others, who have also attended for all that time.  It is a constant comfort, while it continues to challenge me to keep changing and evolving.  These classes were the beginnings of my yoga practice, and I am so grateful.
  • My Dogs. I promise I won’t list them every week, but I totally could.  These furry boys are at the center of my life, and live right in the middle of my heart.  And Obi might be physically gone, but he is still with me, with us.
  • Kind Over Matter.  This is on of my favorite websites.  It is a collection of daily goodness that comforts and inspires me.  There was a guest post today, “Be the Rabbit” that was so great, made me think of my dogs and helped me to think of another strategy for taking better care of myself.  “Kind Over Matter is a place that is filled with kindness, inspiration, creativity, truth, gentleness & love.” Amen.
  • Blogtoberfest. This event challenges bloggers to post to their blog every day in October.  It was perfect timing for me, because I had just started this blog, and committing to daily posts gave me the discipline and inspiration to really get this thing off the ground.  I might have already faltered if not for Blogtoberfest, but with it, I feel settled and connected to this practice, and can already see it’s value, shared and internalized.
  • Writing This Blog. Writing publicly and daily is really good writing practice, and as I have mentioned before, people like Malcolm Gladwell (who wrote Outliers: The Story of Success) would argue that it takes some 10,000 hours of dedication to a craft or profession to become an “expert,” so the more practice, the better.

And also, a few times in the past weeks, as I have been writing a post, a line emerges that shifts things for me.  Yesterday, it was this one: “it’s actually my heart that is starving and this is not going to feed it, never going to satisfy that hunger no matter how much I eat.”  Holy Wow.  It feels like there’s this deep wisdom bubbling up, and this practice gives it space, power, a voice.

  • A moment of gratitude from one of my favorite movies, Joe Vs. the Volcano: “Dear God, whose name I do not know – thank you for my life. I forgot how big… thank you. Thank you for my life.”
  • Your turn: tell me something good.