September 8, 2016

For Travis

If you don't know me really well, it may come as somewhat of a surprise that I'm something of a pessimist.

Actually, I don't know if pessimist is the right word. But my natural inclination is to see problems first, not possibilities. I tend to approach the world, and especially new situations, from a negative standpoint first, before I'll allow myself the chance to see what good could come from it. It's almost like I have to think through all the things that could go wrong, before I give myself permission to think about what good to come. I don't know if I've always been like this, but it's definitely pretty hard-wired into me at this point in my life.

It's kind of not a fun way to live life, I'm realizing. I don't know for certain, but I don't imagine it makes me an easy person to have to make decisions with.

But this guy...he's been dealing with it for 9 years now and he's still hanging in there. Before he came along, I didn't even realize I was doing it. He's made me at least aware of how I approach life. Maybe in another 9 years, I will be doing a little better about seeing the good before I stress out over the bad. The best part is that even knowing what a pain I can be, he still chooses to love me and to love me well.

Today is our 9th wedding anniversary. Each year, we've being using the Traditional Wedding Gift guide as our parameters for what we get each other. Cotton = new clothes, Leather =a new belt, Wood=a jewelry box, etc. Usually, I do pretty good coming up with a gift that fit the category. I was particularly proud of the Cast Iron year when I found a cast iron beer bottle opener to mount on the wall. But Year 9 stumped me. What the heck am I supposed to get a guy made out of pottery/willow when he doesn't want a coffee mug? There are all sorts of pottery knick knacks I could have bought, but this guy just went on a de-cluttering rampage in our home and threw away more than I probably want to know, so I wasn't about to buy him another trinket.

We are kind of broke these days, since I'm not working (beyond all the stuff I do all day that I don't get paid for...), so I don't have a lot to spend. So, on this 9th day of our marriage, I thought I'd use what I do have: words.
I didn't really have a lot of dating experience before Travis came along. I had plenty of one-way crushes and a few beginnings that never got off the ground, and one that convinced me that I was really, really not good at relationships. So, when this very grounded guy came into my nomadic, carefree life, knowing exactly what he wanted and that I was scared the crap out of me. But, I'm so thankful that instead of being scared away, I decided to jump into what has become a crazy, wonderful adventure.

He's been a good partner on our many forays into adulthood. We compliment each other...he helps to balance out all my negativity and I help talk him down when The Man has told him he has to do something.

He's an amazing Dad, and when I'm ready to throw the kids out the window, he just throws them up in the air and makes them laugh. He's good at kicking me out of the house when I get too suffocated by being a stay at home Mom. He is patient and kind and a good teacher. I'm so glad my kids get to have him as their role model.

And after spending almost every single day together, all day long, for the last three months...I'm pretty sure that if our marriage can survive the grand adventure that was this sabbatical summer, then we are golden for many more anniversaries.

Here's to you, my love. Thanks for being you. And for putting up with me. I love you.