Tomorrow, Brian and I will celebrate our 9th anniversary! We spent our first having a living room picnic of Chinese take-out, while watching the riveting DVD of our wedding. Sounds romantic enough or downright boring. I’m sure that was Brian’s idea. 🙂
We don’t really give one another gifts for the special day (who can keep track anyway? Is it the year of paper, cotton, glass…?). Instead, we do something we both enjoy to mark the event that, yes, we have beaten the odds for another year.
So instead of listing the top ten things that I love about Brian or 10 things that will make marriage great or the hardest things about marriage, this is 9 thoughts about our (almost) 9 years together.
1. He is never surprised that I can bruise myself by bumping into stationary things like door frames or table corners. I am no longer shocked that he takes a lot of time to decide on which new TV or camera we should buy. The thing is, we always end up with the best TV or camera with the most 5 star reviews. I just end up with a bruise.
2. He likes golf. I hate it. I like playing Bananagrams. He hates it. That’s okay. Every now and then I think about wandering back to try it again, and so does he. We might even do it. That’s give and take, right?
3. Neither of us likes yard work, but our yard usually looks fine (thanks to Brian). We have walked past a dead bush in front of our house for at least 3 months. We really should do something about that bush. So, now someone we hired is going to do something about that bush…and our overgrown hedges. Happy anniversary to us!
4. Three words can change the course of our day. After numerous times of using 507235198741 words to argue a point, we have found this to be true and much easier. The way I-am-sorry-period stops craziness shocks both of us. Period.
5. Three months after getting married, we wondered what in the world we were doing. We knew there would be yuck. We just didn’t know we’d be swimming in it. Love and counseling and lots of prayers got us through it.
6. I have learned to just. be. quiet (well, sometimes). Every day, this is a hard thing for someone who craves control and always wants to be right. I’m sure Brian appreciates and might even be stunned by my (occasional) silence.
7. The cooking schedule I wrote up months after our wedding was AWESOME! We each cooked twice a week and went out or had leftovers the other times. But he found it constraining. I tried to change his mind. Now neither of us cooks. We figure it out together, literally, almost every night, or we go to Moe’s.
8. Job layoffs, location changes, grad school, career moves among numerous other things have all been hard for us. He usually deals well. I tend to cry and stress and resist. Later, I realize it’s all ended up better than I thought it ever would, and I am grateful that he is calm and steady.
9. The grass is not greener anywhere else. It is greener here because our marriage has been dumped with manure, and the storms have come. In between those times, seeds of grace, joy and peace have been planted. The sun has warmed us, and we have grown to love one another with a fierceness that encourages, supports and protects.
I think this gift might be better than we ever imagined.