Today is the 57th anniversary of our wedding. I’m sure I’m not the first to notice this, but marriage is hard. We married too young and we kept messing up.
We assumed we were in love, but we now know that love is learned over the years. We were so young and uncertain when we married that we let others make decisions for us. That is how we ended up living in two rooms in the home of an unhappy older couple who closely monitored our lives. That is also how we ended up working at a huge facility for mentally disabled children, when Don really wanted to work as a forest ranger.
We learned everything the hard way. I now know there is not much worth arguing about. I also know there are not many clothes that have to be ironed. I know men make excellent cooks and a grilled cheese sandwich is a wonderful thing. I know it is not good to whine. Get over it. An automatic washer, a dryer and a dishwasher are about the same as having a hired girl, which used to be common years ago. Forget the guilt.
Always spend less than you earn, but on the other hand, be generous when giving to the Lord and to people in need. Forget about what other people have. If you have food and clothes, a running car and warm house, you are fortunate. Celebrate everything, no matter how small. Today we celebrated seeing a family of turkeys who scurried across the road as we approached. The little ones had to run twice as fast to keep up with mom!
Sleep is good! Go to bed instead of staying up to watch TV, play on the computer or clean. Relax and realize you will never be the best at what you do. Even if someone thinks you are the best, others will disagree. You don’t have to be always talking. Listening is very good. Forget about gossip – you really don’t know why people do the things they do. You can guess, but you may be guessing wrong. Also, a person can never have too many friends.
Even if you are rushed and time is limited, a scripture verse in the morning is good. Laugh a lot! We never laughed enough and I regret that. I also regret that we didn’t have enough fun with our children. I regret that I worried so much. Sure, our children all wore hand-me-down clothes when they were little, but you would never guess it when you see them now.
I hope our children know that I always loved them. I didn’t do a spectacular job with babies, but I loved them. Even when I was exhausted, I loved them. When I yelled at them in frustration, I loved them. When they disappointed me, I loved them.
If someone had warned me what the future would hold if I married Don, I would have said, “No, thanks. I don’t have the courage to face that.” But we didn’t know about the future. We faced life together and we will continue to do so. I love Don.