Friday, May 16, 2014

Five things I have learned in five years of marriage

In the big picture of marriages, I am still a rookie, but I have been amazed at how marriage has changed improved me over the last 5 years. Here's the five things I've learned in the last five years of marriage:

Celebrating marriage on our honeymoon in Maine 2009

1. It's better to be married than it is to be right. This took me a while to get the hang of it. I wanted so much to be right! I was right! I know all the right things!  It was imperative that I correct my husband for everything - how to load the dishwasher, the correct pronunciation of a word, the right way to drive, the right way to make the bed, etc. Things have been a lot smoother since I now just let it go unless it's going to negatively impact someone else. Sure - it means swallowing my tongue sometimes, but it's worth it. And spoiler alert - it turns out I am actually not always right. 

One of our many beer fest outings - 2010

2. I have to say what I mean and trust that my husband is doing the same. In the early years, we spent a lot of time reacting to what we thought the other person wanted - not what the person was actually saying. 

"Do you want to have pizza for dinner?"
"Are you really sure? Would you rather have chicken?I know you like chicken."
Pizza is fine. 
"Do you not like chicken? I thought you liked chicken." 
I like chicken. We can have chicken if you want. 
"What do YOU want?" 

You can imagine how exhausting this is.  We finally figured out that if I always say exactly what I mean and he says exactly what he means. Then we can short cut all the guessing. This means I have to trust he is saying what he means and he actually has to say what means. It also means I have to say what I need. After a hell of a day at work, I drove home thinking how amazing it would be if I walked in to dinner made, a glass of wine and a hot bubble bath. Then I started getting angry that Glenn wasn't the "type of guy" who would just think of that on his own. And then I realized by "type of guy" I must have meant psychic mind reader. So I texted him my request for dinner, wine and a bath and it was awesome. 

Enjoying the view of the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey 2011

3. The good words have to far FAR outweigh the bad words.  I can very bitchy. I can be short and pouty and grouchy and a lot of other unpleasant things. Because of this, I have to be very careful that I am pleasant and appreciative a lot more often than I am unpleasant so that the unpleasantness is an exception. This way my husband can easily attribute my unpleasant behavior to the fact I am tired/hungry/moody rather than an indicator that I don't love or appreciate him. In real life, this looks like a lot of pleases, thank yous,  You're the best!, I am so happy to be married to you, etc. Words matter. The bad words leave a sting so my husband needs a shield of the good words to deflect the impact.

Inside a Cathedral Fig in Cairns, Australia 2012 

4. Never ever say anything about my husband that I haven't said to my husband. It's not fair and it's not nice. I don't complain about my husband. Sure, I'll tell a funny story or share an example of a time he drove me crazy. But only after we have talked about it and can laugh about it. Every Facebook post about him is cleared with him first. (In fact, I showed him this post.) 

At a waterfall in Dominica 2013

5. It's the small stuff - not the grand gestures. When a holiday pops up, many people will ask what I "got" or how we are celebrating. I sincerely say every day is a holiday so we don't need a special occasion to celebrate. My husband makes my coffee every morning. He washes every dish. He gets up with me when I have to travel to help myself together. It's pretty awesome. I'm so lucky to be married to him. 

On our friends/family cruise 2014 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

May 1st Bruce Springsteen concert

Thursday night we had the privileged of attending the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert at the amphitheater. It was amazing. 

The E Street Band had 18 people playing trombones, trumpets, sax, accordion, washboards, tambourines plus Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine on guitar. Morello was unbelievable. His guitar skills electrified the entire crowd. Springsteen did two tributes for May Day. 

The Band was headed to New Orleans for Jazz Fest so they played three huge big band numbers - including leading a parade off stage to the bar where someone bought Springsteen a beer. It was an incredible party and the best concert I have ever attended.