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Better a day late than never…


So I just heard about a blog challenge for the month of July. I’ve never done an official challenge, other than challenging myself and then not following through. In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott says to write every day. It doesn’t matter what you write about, it’s like exercise, you just have to do it. I’m not good at exercise, either figurative or literal. But moving my fingers seems easier than moving my body, especially in the 100 plus degree weather we’re having. So today is the 2nd day of the rest of the challenge. It also happens to be the 19th anniversary of the day I got married. My marriage has been an evolution, to say the least. The good news is we have both changed and grown and we have learned to accept one another much better than we did 15 years ago. We persevered. Perseverance is important in relationships. Because some days are better than others. I believe that’s where the commitment part comes in. When we commit to love the other person it’s with the knowledge that they will, in fact, at times, be unlovable. That’s where commitment trumps feeling. Feelings are all well and good when they’re warm and fuzzy. But sometimes they’re hot and angry. Sometimes they make you want to run screaming into the night or rent a studio apartment and live alone. But there’s something to be said for sticking it out. It builds character. It fosters growth. It’s like that expression, ‘iron sharpens iron’ only more often than not, it’s like chalkboards sharpening fingernails. Not so pleasant to the senses. But the work, as with most work, produces an end result that is rewarding. At 42 I do not want to start over. I do not want to be my ‘best self’ in order to trick some other poor unsuspecting soul into liking me. Really, it’s too late for that. I am finally comfortable in my own skin, but also, much less willing to accommodate someone else. I’ve spent almost 20 years accommodating someone and I still fall short. But I’ve done too much time to switch cellmates now! Of course I’m joking. The man I married at 23 isn’t the same man I’m married to now, we’ve both changed, for the better, I think. And I have learned to better appreciate his strengths and focus less on his weaknesses. In return he has offered me the same courtesy. I recently told someone that I don’t believe in soul-mates and I don’t think divorce is a sin. If you’re miserable, if you’re being hurt, physically or emotionally, I don’t think you should stay. But if your only complaints are the same complaints of anyone co-existing with another human being, then suck it up and stick it out. There is a lot to be said for shared history. And there’s even more to be said for stability and security, especially when you have children. We make decisions along the way. Some good, some bad. But our word should mean something. Our commitments should matter. Marriages should not be entered into nor exited on a whim. Life is a journey and finding someone who will go the distance with you is nothing short of miraculous. I’m one of the lucky ones.

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