Last fall, Willy and I went to a couples retreat in Tremblant, QC hosted by Family Life (highly recommended by both Willy and I by the way). One of the exercises they had us do was to write a letter to each other. They gave some suggestions of what to write, which was helpful. I was surprised by how similar our letters were to each other in that they were the perfect inverse.
I told him that this one thing drove me crazy when we were first married.
This one thing, I was a little worried about.
This one thing, had even caused me to burst into tears in the middle of a conversation.
But this one thing was also the characteristic that challenged me in a good way. It made me think a little differently.
I grew as a person because of this one thing.
I smiled as I read his letter to me out loud because he said a lot of the same things.
That one thing drove him crazy when we were first married.
That one thing about me worried him.
That one thing made him wonder if I would harm our relationship.
That one thing was the exact characteristic that I was re-evaluating, inching a little closer to his complete opposite, all the while he was inching a little closer to my complete opposite.
He was growing because of that one thing.
In just over a year of marriage we were already becoming more understanding, more gracious.
Thanks to Willy, I:
- am learning that it’s not about the nail (we’re the opposite of this video!)
- understand the power of words and am learning to choose them wisely in all circumstances
- have more hope for humanity. He is more loving, generous, and committed than I thought even existed these days
- am learning how to love my family more and be nicer
He pushes me to be better; there’s this sweet safe spot where I know I can trust him, even if it seems scary.
There’s no one I would rather be with on this Bucket List Journey.
A mentor of sorts once told me I don’t celebrate my successes enough. Here are 7 things I’m celebrating from last year:
Killing my other blog. That was scary.
Starting this one instead. Also scary. Both were very rewarding.
There were a few things in my life that required me to wait for and be patient with someone else for a much longer period than I felt comfortable with. It was a good thing.
Last year had some big wins and big challenges. All of which were very much intertwined in my marriage. We love each other more than we did the year previous. It was a very good first year of marriage.
Connected with the big challenges of last year, there was a very important couple that we could confide in and trust us to love and accept us when we were well put together and when we weren’t.
Remember when I didn’t run and then I did? Remember when I was getting up at 6:45AM and was having great days? Yeah, that was pretty awesome. I’m still celebrating that huge win.
I’m celebrating 2013 and naming it as 12 more months of the great successes I had in my personal life since launching this blog.
What are you celebrating from last year? Comment here or post a response on your own blog and then post the link in the comments.
When Willy and I were dating it was pretty clear that we were coming from two distinctly different planets when it came to our music taste. He shared with me a song by Corb Lund, I shared with him a song by Broken Social Scene. The sole things these two artists shared in common was that they’re both technically Canadian Indie artists.
That day when we exchanged those texts, I think we both had a moment of shock like, “Ok, so this is different.” In fact, Willy tells a story of how growing up he always thought marriage was about ‘sacrificing’ by repainting the living room a different shade of beige to appease the wife who desire change. “I didn’t think it would mean I’d have to listen to this!”
To his credit (and my great pleasure), Willy has never complained about my music. But I have also really tried to make sure I don’t drive him to it, either. Since music is tremendously important to me (it’s a life-giving force, even!) I’ve tried to find a middle ground of music that we both enjoy.
Guess where we found it? Hipster-Pseudo-bluegrass/country!
Here are some of the artists we like best:
- Joel Plaskett: Example here and here
- Mumford and Sons (not Canadian, but definitely pseudo-bluegrass) – here and here
- Civil Wars (thanks Beth!): I die every time I hear this song. And this one is great.
As this is being published we’ll be en route to a marriage conference put on by Family Life in Mont Tremblant. I plan on introducing him to the Great Lake Swimmers (concrete heart) as we drive through the gorgeous Quebec countryside. I’m confident he’ll like the band.
Just like the in our relationship sometimes we need to find the middle road in order to find moments of peace and enjoyment, we also need to chill out, step away from pushing towards our goals and being productive and just enjoy life.
That’s what I plan on doing this weekend with my husband. You should, too. (Except not with my husband).