Wednesday, December 16, 2015

20/20: An Anniversary Post

Recently, I read a quote that said, “In our deepest moments, we say the most inadequate things.” As we’ve approached this milestone for which the traditional gift is china, I have found that I, the overly-verbal, oft-times emotively-outspoken member of this duo, simply can’t find the “right” words to encapsulate these twenty years of life together.  Is it enough to say my heart--and my life--is full?  Full of memories, laughter, silence, tears, challenges, joys, and many dates spent at local bookstores?  “Two-step” newlywed apartments, a baby boy, our first home bought, a baby boy, job changes, tornadoes, and wild Blaze roses that grow in spite of us.  

Songs, quotes, and poems abound.   It’s all of them--and yet none of them.

So, in true, ESFJ-style, I present you with a list.  Of lessons learned.  Unsolicited tips.  Big bag of duh discoveries.  There is no formal title--perhaps just points on which to ponder and reflect.  It’s stuff.  Life stuff.  “We have made a life together” stuff.

1.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.

2.  Read aloud to one another.  Seriously.  It’s fun.  Scripture.  Winnie-the-Pooh.  Whatever.

3.  Hire a good wedding photographer--and let them make your album.  The likelihood of  you making your proofs into a real album is slim.  

4.  Eat meals together--it’s habit forming.

5.  Seek out seasoned couples for mentoring--and perspective.  And good food.

6.  Laugh often.  Preferably not at inopportune moments.

7.  Encourage each other’s “out of the ordinary” endeavors.  Like running a half-marathon.  Baking a cake from scratch.  Finishing a dissertation.  Going on a mission trip with twenty-five junior high kiddos.   

8.  Learn that silence is okay.  Quiet is good.  'Tis a hard lesson to learn for extroverts.

9.  A “just because” card goes a long way.

10.  Washing the dishes or making the bed is just as sexy as a dozen red roses.  It’s a gift, ladies.  

11.  Sometimes, you just need a hug.  

12.  Ask for his opinion.  And actually listen.  

13.  Slow dance in the kitchen.  Spotify on the nearby Mac is a beautiful thing.

14.  Establish traditions--even the smallest of rituals can smooth out a rough day.

15.  Find a foolproof chocolate chip cookie recipe.  And a go-to salad.  

16.  Watch “Everybody Loves Raymond” every so often and give thanks that you are NOT married to Ray.  

17.  Learn the difference between entertaining and hospitality.  A bowl of popcorn and an old movie is golden.

18.  A gentle touch, in passing, is a lovely thing.

19.  You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.  

20.  Put away the distractions and listen.  Or just be.  No iPhone.  No laptop.  No Book of Face.  No nothing.  Less is so much more.

And, yes, in keeping with the traditional gift for these two decades, we plan to dine at our favorite local Asian eatery.  

We’re nifty like that.

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