Today is the fourth anniversary of my marriage to my wonderful wife, Miranda. Last night I asked her what she thought it must be like for those who have been married forty years. It seems like every day you learn a little more about the other person, so it is hard to imagine how close two people might become over not just years, but decades. When you spend almost every day of your life together you forget what it was like to live for yourself alone. Every decision, every action has consequences for the other person. In our four short years we’ve made two very big transitions—first from California to Oregon, then from Oregon to Texas—so it feels like we’ve been on a journey where we haven’t quite yet settled. I think this has given our first four years a continual sense of newness. We continue to begin, which I am sure is different than if we knew where we wanted to live already, or if we began having children already. Our future remains a bit more wide open and this is exciting.
I admit that I am a bit skeptical of people who give marriage advice who haven’t been married for more than, oh, three decades. “Til’ death do us part” is a serious commitment, an earnest covenant. While lifelong commitment to another person may be considered something you do for the long haul—and it is—it is also something you do hourly, daily, monthly, and as I’ve seen a few times now, yearly. It is investment, day in, day out.
What I’ve found to be most amazing about these first four years is how you learn to encourage, motivate, and even entertain one another. There has been no one more inspiring to me than my wife. She has made great pursuits and I am having the opportunity to watch her reap some rewards for her efforts. Likewise, she has been the one person who can hold me together with all my neurotic anxiety and over-caffeinated monologues about the world around us. She is the one person who is willing to listen to me on a day-to-day basis. That is commitment. She motivates me to keep pursuing my dreams, even when I would have likely quit by now if it weren’t for her support.
The most unanticipated aspect of our marriage has been how often Miranda makes me laugh. She is one of the most hilarious people I’ve ever known. She has learned how to make me smile and chuckle, and she keeps pursuing those aims with vigor, usually quite successfully. This has brightened my life substantially, making each day a little better, a little easier, a little more enjoyable, and over four years this has added up to a whole lot of joy, happiness, and laughter.
I anticipate that this next year will be more of the same, and I look forward to smiling and laughing with my best friend for many, many more years.
I love you Miranda Jane. Happy 4th Anniversary.