17 Years

Denisa and I have been married 17 years today. And with a bit of searching online, I discover that means I should be getting her a piece of furniture. Lucky for me, we’re in the middle of renovations, and we ordered some porch swings that should be arriving today. So it looks like I’ve got that “furniture” thing off the list. See how devoted I am?

One of the problems of writing a regular blog is that I continue to feel like I need to say something new and exciting about events as they roll around in my life. And April is packed with them, between MC’s birthday, Tomas’s birthday, and my anniversary. At some point in time, it begins to feel like there’s nothing more I can really write about something. That I’ve said all there is to say about it, and writing a new post is really just a rehashing of the old one.

But at the same time, perhaps that’s the most important time to continue to write those posts. After 17 years of marriage, it can be all too easy to take something for granted. To just assume it will always be there. Kind of like how I’m coming up on my 15,000 day anniversary of breathing successfully for every day. Breathing might not make a big splash most of the time, but when it goes away, you certainly wish it would come back. Soon.

And marriage isn’t static. Not from a long perspective, at least. The first few years we were without kids, both of us going to school, living in apartments and basements. Compare that life to what things look like today, with three children, multiple jobs, taking care of a house, and everything else. If our lives were a television show, you’d think they were two entirely different series.

As all those extras get added, it can be difficult to maintain a solid relationship. To continue to make time for each other. It’s been a busy end of the semester, for sure. Denisa has a lot of late nights, and I’m up early most days. We still get to spend some time together each evening to watch a show and talk about what’s coming up in our lives. (And there’s plenty of time to talk when you’re sealing grout. Just saying.) But add enough stress to a life, and things can get downright trudgy.

Which is why it’s great to have these yearly celebrations. To remind yourself of what you’ve been through, and to make sure you’re still headed where you both want.

I’ve had 17 years to see other people’s marriages at work now. 17 years to make different friends and see how people interact with each other. And I have never met anyone I would want to be spend the rest of eternity with as much as Denisa. In fact, the vast majority of people I think I’d go crazy if I were stuck with them for longer than a few days. Whether it’s exploring the back streets of Paris, planning out the logistics of a busy school week, or trying to come to an agreement on just which kind of mirror we should have in the bathroom, I’m continually grateful that I somehow stumbled into such a great relationship.

I know many people choose only the best parts of their lives to show to the world. I’m not going to say that Denisa and I never argue. (We both have strong opinions, and we’re both not afraid to make those opinions known in detail. Even about things as simple as which mirror to choose for the bathroom.) But we really are a team. Our strengths are complementary, and that makes things ever so much easier.

So happy anniversary, Denisa.

(And for the record, the brushed nickel, fog-free model really is the best one.)


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