During December, I'm participating in Reverb 10. Each day has a new prompt to encourage participants to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.
December 14 – Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)What comes to mind right now is the weather. I have been feeling exceptionally homesick over the last few weeks. But hearing about the weather there kind of reminds me I'd rather be here. I'm sure as soon as I get home, I'll be quite happy to get back to Dallas and its warmer weather. I'd be happy to live somewhere that never gets below freezing. But I can't really say I've come to appreciate good weather the most in the past year. I think I've known I hated the cold since I was fairly young. I've certainly appreciated it the whole time I've lived in Dallas! Sure, summer is hot, but since I work inside, it doesn't really bother me that much.
Okay, to find something a little deeper, let me think. I think I've come to appreciate being married this year. Last year it was very new and I feel like I was still settling in and didn't really appreciate it (I mean I loved it and was very happy (still am), but it was just shiny and new and maybe not really appreciated as much as it now is). I like it both in being with my husband and in not being single.
I think of this more now because last week I was at a running happy hour with a group I don't know that well, many of whom were single, and it just felt like a strange and uncomfortable scene to me in ways. I mean I felt like if I'd been single, I would have been sizing up the people I talked to and they'd have maybe done the same with me. I have two very good friends who have gotten divorced and haven't yet found the right person for them. I want them so much to be happy (and I actually think they're both pretty happy being single), but hearing about dating headaches makes me even more grateful I'm not in that scene.
I wasn't very good at dating, and to feel like I finally found the right person makes me feel so much more comfortable and satisfied with my life. I've realized that he's not going to walk away when my (many) imperfections show themselves. Now that it's getting to be more routine, I feel like we're in it for the long haul. I mean, I think I knew that starting when we got engaged (though I felt that way much earlier). And it certainly became official in 2009, but I really started to feel it in 2010. If there are things that drive me crazy now, I realize that we have to find some way to deal with them. Walking away, as when you're dating, isn't an option.
In the last year, I've become less concerned with being on my best behavior or trying to change myself to fit my husband. I've come to realize that he knows I have my flaws and he loves me anyway. And that it's okay to be myself, again, he'll be there. I don't want to ever take him for granted (of course it's hard to always be appreciative), but in this year I feel like I've come to appreciate this stability, love and support more than I ever did before. My challenge is to provide him with the same stability, love, support and freedom to be himself that he gives me. And of course not to take advantage of the fact that I've got someone who will stick around no matter what -- just because he accepts my imperfections doesn't mean I can't try to be my best me around him.
Sorry for the kind of mushy post, maybe I should have stuck to the weather! But my marriage is something I've come to appreciate more this year, particularly as I see people who don't have the same blessing, and also when I see people who do!