Managed: Accepting that it is OK to celebrate another day and to remember to look back today….and to be grateful!
Yep, today my hubs and I celebrate (or I should say remember since we are too busy to celebrate) our 20th wedding anniversary! Wow! 20 years! So Happy 20 honey!
We met on a blind date in 1985, he fresh out of the Marines and me fresh out of high school and starting my Freshman year of college. He was preparing to enroll in the same university that I was working towards…UT…hook em Horns!
If someone would have handed me a crystal ball on our wedding day, I would have been in disbelief. So much happens in 20 years!
So many joys! We got to move to Phoenix, the beloved city that I grew up in! All because my husband (fiance at the time) got a good job offer here in the Valley of the Sun! I was thrilled to move back and hubs told me, more than once, that he didn’t understand my passion for Phoenix. Twenty years later, he tells me that he absolutely loves it here, too!
Our next big joy was me getting my dream job! I was hired to be a marketing coordinator (and then promoted to Phoenix Marketing Manager) for Southwest Airlines in 1992! That meant free flights for me, for hubs, for my parents and for our future kiddos. But even more of a gift were the SWA people that I met, who became lifelong friends and the gift of flight that brought my little brother out from Maryland to visit me many times! At the time, I did not know that we would lose him in a tragic accident a few years later. The biggest heartbreak of my life, so I’m so thankful for that amazing SWA job.
There would be other heartbreaks and losses, too and I am saddened to realize that only one grandparent is left now. We were lucky to have almost all of the grandparents on both of our sides alive and well at our wedding 20 years ago. What a gift that was, too.
Of course the greatest joys of all (nothing compares except for our wedding day) were the birth of our children! 15 years ago our son made us first-time parents and the joy that his birth and his life gives us absolutely can not be put into words! And then 11 years ago, we got our girl! She definitely completes us! I truly pinch myself at times in disbelief that we were given these two amazing children who have taught us life lessons as we parent them. Parenting is truly flying by the seat of your pants, and although hubs and I are kind of opposites, we have always parented pretty much right on task and we see eye to eye on the difficult decisions that comes with giving kids their roots and wings!
In our 20 years, I also got my second dream job to work at a TV station and I loved it! When that life became so hectic that I wasn’t seeing my kids enough, hubs was quick to tell me that he would support any career/parenting/balancing decisions that I made, whether that meant hiring a nanny or going freelance. Having that kind of support from a spouse is priceless.
Yesterday a friend asked me if the 20 years had gone by fast. I had to pause and I couldn’t automatically say yes or no! At that moment, another woman, who has been married longer than I have, agreed with me. I had to wonder why we don’t automatically answer yes, like we do about our kids’ childhoods going by so quickly. So I thought about it and I think it is because a marriage is peaks and valleys. It is hard work and if both people can endure, work, constantly adapt, accept, forgive, improve and LAUGH together, than the rewards are great! And don’t ever question needing to see a counselor if needed! I have also been asked by several women to share our secrets of how to be married so long, so what I just wrote….I think that sums it up!
So two kids, five cats, one apartment and two homes later….wow….20 years and counting!
So now, 20 years later, our life is so crazy, hectic and busy, that we can’t even find time to celebrate today! Our toliet is broken, our garage stinks of our son’s hockey bag (gotta clean that later), our family had a nice morning stress session yesterday when all of our smoke detectors went off, our home is filled with cat hair and I throw fast food at my kids more often than I’m gonna admit here….BUT…all of these side effects are part of the gift of getting 20 years full of dreams come true and holding each other tight during the raw and painful heartbreaks that also accompany life.
So Happy 20 Honey! Let’s make a date to celebrate! I don’t think we have an open date until March….but that is OK. After I publish this, I’ll pull out that crowded calendar and mark a date!
And here is to the next 20! Hard to believe how much will happen in this next life chapter. We will probably become grandparents in the next 20 and just maybe you will get to retire if the housing market comes back and we get our kids through college OK!
P.S. Did I mention that I married into the most supportive and wonderful family! Being a Harris is an honor and their support, encouragement, help and humor is another one of those marriage longevity secrets!