Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Solving the Puzzle

Last weekend, my husband and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary with a trip to the beach. We had a quiet, relaxing weekend, free of responsibilities and obligations. We ate out, walked around, visited my favorite bookstore, hit the outlet stores and even sat on the beach. It was chilly and windy out there on the sand, but we didn't mind, even if the umbrella tried (on numerous occasions) to free itself from the sand mound and fly off into the ocean.

My husband and I are very different, and more than two decades of marriage has done nothing to change that. We met in our late twenties and married in our early thirties, by which time both of us had established our own identities, for better or for worse.

And so it was probably inevitable that, during the course of the weekend, we'd agree on some destinations and disagree on others. Before we even arrived on Friday evening, we agreed that on Saturday afternoon, he would shop and I would write.

This was fine, and neither of us had any trouble with it until I started to pick at it, wondering if it was a bad thing that we were both content to spend part of our anniversary weekend in two different places.

Was it? Didn't being married mean being joined at the hip, agreeing on everything and sailing along through life with nary a difference of opinion?


I've always known we're not one of those couples who met in college and spent our young adulthood growing into our identities together, each a part of the puzzle of the other. Still, I allowed my admiration for these couples to set the standard, expecting my marriage to look like theirs.

But this weekend, my perspective shifted. Through some miracle, my husband and I traveled very different paths only to end up standing in exactly the same spot and, a year later, committing to forging a new path -- two people wide -- together. Twenty-four years later, we're still on that path, discussing the logistics of who should go first.

On Saturday afternoon, my path partner dropped me off at the new Starbucks with my laptop while he went shopping at the outlets. I reveled in time spent with my characters, making progress on the novel that is coming along much too slowly, while he tried on endless shirts that all look the same to me (I presume). The fact that he was okay with this -- that we were okay with this -- was proof that our differences aren't our undoing. It was, in fact, the best anniversary gift he could give me -- the invaluable gift of time, coupled with something we all need to know from time to time.

He gets me.

Whether it falls on a sunny day that's perfect beach weather, or a chilly day where the wind threatens to uproot the umbrella, an anniversary is something to celebrate, and every couple deserves to celebrate it in a way that feels like a celebration. And, when the person you married gives you the opportunity to spend time in pursuit of something you love, one thing's for sure.

You married the right person.

No comments:

Post a Comment