one of my childhood friends got married in august -- it coincided with ryan's winging, so we couldn't get back to indiana for it, but luckily my parents went and gave me a complete play-by-play. the groom's father gave some thoughts on marriage and what he said ended up being my big epiphany that finally helped me articulate what i've felt this whole first year of marriage. he said that marriage is of course about quality time, but it actually sort of bucks the idea of quality over quantity, because quantity of time matters a lot in marriage.
marriage is not just about one magical dinner a week where you have the perfect conversation and look smashing. it's about all the absolutely small, ordinary, mundane moments in life. it's about being there when life is not perfect or magical or even really fun. it's about paying bills and running errands and sitting down after a terrible day to try to figure it out. it's about biting off more than you can chew and having someone to help you try to get it all done any way. it's about realizing it's impossible to be the best version of yourself 24/7 and that the other person still loves you when you're a grouch, selfish or down right rude. it's about taking a big chunk of your free time to do something for someone who is important to them, because that's enough to make it important to you too. it's about having a runny nose and not being showered or even out of sweatpants and him still thinking you look beautiful. it's about grace and understanding and forgiveness on a level you've never needed before. it's about inside jokes and a silent understanding and knowing each other in a way only marriage can lead to. ryan & my marriage feels more solid when we're getting that quantity of time. when i've been traveling a lot or he's been on base 16 hours a day, i feel it in our marriage. a few meals a week isn't enough, we need the breadth and depth of time to grow closer. it's why we wake up next to each other, share a fridge, have joint responsibilities, take on one another's families -- that quantity of time is what is making our marriage.
i'm really blessed in that may parents have been married 31 years and my grandparents have been married 61 years and i have these amazing examples of what a marriage can be. remember how i told you that my parents meet for lunch sometimes? (even though they have breakfast & dinner together most days) well, i see in their marriages how that quantity of time has led to strength in their bond.
the elephant in the room, which will be my next post, is that by the very nature of ryan being a navy pilot, we will be spending significant time apart. we will be on opposite sides of the world and that quantity of time will be, in many ways, impossible. but just as we both fight for that quantity of time together now (& it's never going to just happen) we'll do that during deployments. we will make the time for skype and to write letters and to share things that allow us to continue to go through life together. and it will make us more present and grateful for the times we are in the same place.
we're far from having this all figured out (& i think my grandparents would say they're still figuring it out), but i can literally feel the character of the quantity of time we have had this first year of our marriage. we're not the same as we were a year ago, in some ways, we're really different. and, i absolutely love it.
alright, newlyweds, got any other thoughts? xo