Jon and I have been married for 12 years, which is not a remarkable number. It’s just a normal number in marriage terms. Because we were teenagers when we started dating, one of the things that we don’t really take issue with, is change in each other. You know when you are watching a movie and the guy says, “You’ve changed!” with accusation in his voice. We sort of laugh at that. We laugh because it is our goal to change. It has been such a large part of our relationship. We knew that when we were committing to each other, we were not only committing to the cute 21 year old version, but also to the 33 year old stranger that was to come. And, for that matter, I am still committed to the 65 year old bald man I have yet to meet.
This sort of commitment is becoming more and more ambiguous these days. In movies, and in conversation, we talk about life long commitment the same way we talk about oil changes. In about 500 more miles, I will need to go to Jiffy Lube. We talk about it more as maintenance and routine. Yesterday, I read an article about “maintaining a good marriage relationship” and she spoke about allotting more time in your schedule so that you can be with your spouse. It all sounds so clinical and mathematical, and the author had only been married for a year, eek!
But, this is what has struck me lately. Life is not guaranteed to us. Not only can I not guarantee I will be around tomorrow, but I cannot guarantee that Jon will be around tomorrow. When I think of this, my mind goes back to our college dating days, when we weren’t guaranteed to see each other. It was so exciting to accidentally run into each other on campus, or get a phone call out of the blue. These days, when I “accidentally” run into my husband, I say things like, “Did you remember to get the crescent rolls?” I used to hang on his every word, listen to his ramblings and laugh at his cheesy jokes. (Which must have been annoying to watch, I apologize to all our college friends. How did you put up with us?)
I agree with the author of yesterday’s article: there are times when we need to look at things practically and schedule times to be together. But, I think more than anything it is a heart matter. There was a reason I wanted to spend all of my college free time with Jon. I cherished him. Yes, there was crazy infatuation and we liked to make out (Sorry, Mom), but I recognized something about him that I tend to forget these days. He is the only one on the planet like him. He will have a way of looking at things that is different from everyone else. He will love a bunch of random things and pull them all together in a way that only he can. And, I happen to love the way he does all that. And, just like everyone else in my life, I don’t know how long we have each other, so every day is to be treasured. Every lingering hug in the kitchen enjoyed. The car, we can take for granted and maintain regularly. The marriage, we need to fully enjoy and celebrate constantly!