Today marks the day of eight years since we did the “I do” thing in Vegas with our friends and family.
Let’s not mention that our actual relationship would be a moody, petulant high schooler quickly approaching graduation.
Among all the normal life things like cleaning out bedrooms, launching updates at work, studying for certifications, celebrating holidays, and all that, there were some major highlights in year eight:
We became one with the ocean for 8 days in Key Largo.
We become Ironpeople after many, many months of training.
We spent more water time in Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Roatan.
It consistently surprises me how all the years live up to each other. I’ll think about the last year together and think, “ok, this has to be it”. The pinnacle of awesomeness. But, instead, it keeps getting better. Magic!
I mean, we are not perfect people. Far from it. I make him drive EVRRRYWHERE because I hate it and make completely over-the-top plans that sound awesome but are actually crazy that he has to talk me down from and I make him handle about 99.9% of the phone calls in our relationship. He brings me junk food when I’m trying to be good, is like a cranky toddler some mornings, and somehow always beats me in races now and sometimes whines incessantly about putting away laundry.
However, we’re imperfect together and that’s perfect.
If I could give advice to myself at year one, or frankly, anyone embarking on a long term relationship, I would give these tips:
#1 Try each other’s THINGS. I never thought I’d be into working in video games for a living. He never thought he’d be into sports. I resisted Dungeons&Dragons for years. However, I trust my husband enough that if he enjoys something, it’s gotta be worth giving it a try. Oddly enough, most times, we end up with a shared interest. Or not. He questions my music tastes and I question his movie tastes sometimes. However, even if it’s one and done, you gain a little understanding about each other.
#2 Be straight. Not mean, not even brutally honest, but if there’s a thing I want or want to do or am feeling, I tell my husband and vice versa and we do our best to accommodate each other. Being psychic doesn’t work for us. Playing the “figure out what’s wrong” game doesn’t work for us, no one has time for that shit. I am never “just fine”, I’m either awesome or I’m going to tell you what’s bothering me. If I am grumpy about the office being messy after it not bothering me for 10 years, we figure out what the actual problem is and fix it and life goes on.
#3 Be better about the way you give up control. This is a simple one. Eliminate the words “I don’t care” from your vocabulary. Especially if you do. But even if you don’t want to make the decisions there are other ways to say it. “Can you decide today?” is good. “I am so exhausted and have insane decision fatigue, can you suggest some places that sound good to you?” is better. “I trust your judgement” or “I leave this decision in your capable hands” is great. Also, “we’re going to In-N-Out and you’re going to split fries with me because I don’t want a whole order” is pretty good too if that’s what you want (see #2).
#4 Never go on your honeymoon. My dream eight years ago was a European trip to Italy and Greece. In my wedding thank you letters for the cash gifts, I let everyone know that’s what I was saving money to do. I’m sorry I lied. I have not yet set foot in Europe, but instead, after my interest turned to scuba diving, I’ve visited almost all the islands in the Beach Boys’ song Kokomo (though I have no desire to visit Indiana). So, when they say “the honeymoon’s over”? Nope. Haven’t gone on it yet!
The next year promises to hold some amazing things. Together, we’ll test our relationship and remodel our kitchen (and then hopefully stop effing with the house for at least a year). Then, we take off to paradise again for a week underwater before we celebrate the holidays with friends and family. I’m excited/scared to chase his stupid legs as we both attempt to smash PRs at 3M half marathon in January and then race all sorts of shorter triathlons in the spring. We have family vacations planned in the spring. We’re looking at racing outside the country in the fall and spending anniversary #9 underwater again in Cozumel.
It’s all sorts of exciting and it’s amazing that we get to do all this together. Cheers to 8 years, and to 80 more because triathlon will keep us alive forever, right?