Today, on Thanksgiving, I’d just like to reflect briefly on the process of being thankful. It’s so easy to fall into the business and mundanity of everyday married life once the wedding has passed. It happens slowly… almost imperceptibly… like watching hair grow. A baby comes along and you’re negotiating feeding and sleeping and the act of caring for another human being instead of yourselves. Or a baby doesn’t come along when one was very much desired, and you’re navigating the medical world trying to make this dream possible. Or life happens and you get caught up in the big issues that can weigh so heavily on marriages – house troubles, job troubles, bills, aging parents. It’s easy to forget, bit-by-bit, what drew you and your spouse together in the first place. The more time goes by, the easier it is to start shifting focus onto the irritations rather than the appreciations.
It’s my theory that this is all a part of the journey. The wave of romance that sweeps us off our feet in the beginning peters out into ripples on the shore, and from there on out we work our way through the sand. Sometimes the going is easy and sometimes it’s exhausting and feels like it will never be simple again. Throughout it all, though, we remain bound to our partner. They walk this walk with us – through the struggles… through the victories – even if it seems like we’re sometimes on opposing sides. We give each other the gift of longevity, the gift of commitment, to stay together while we struggle with our demons and while they struggle with theirs, despite – and perhaps even because of – the challenges that will inevitably come.
Days like today give us an opportunity to slow down and be thankful for their presence in our lives – bringing with them all the qualities that make them overwhelmingly lovable and frustrating as hell, all wrapped into one.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.