I think our second anniversary started a weird obsession in me that likes to calculate the percentage of my life I've been married. That might be because we got married when I was eighteen and Jake was nineteen. I used to get really annoyed when teen pregnancy statistics would come up in college courses without details on the relationship status of the mother. After being married for nearly two years, if I had become pregnant, I would have still been part of those statistics, which are never used to illuminate the good things happening in society. Anyway, because of the age factor, the percentage of my life being married adds up quickly. My ten year report: I have been married for approximately thirty-six percent of my life. If we're breaking it down into fractions, which I also like to do, this is the year I passed the one-third of my life mark as a Mrs.
Ten years is a long time for anything, but it seems to be the number where I feel a certain amount of credibility as a married person. We've been there, done that on a number of things. We've had lots of highs and a good share of lows.
This is the year I've felt the power of what a marriage can be. That it's alive, but Jake and I are each two chambers of the heart. I can look back and see definite ebbs and flows. The hardest year: somewhere between six and seven. The year we realized we can't just skate by: somewhere between seven and eight. Trying to remember we can't just skate by: between eight and nine. Building a life with someone is no easy task, but sharing a life with someone adds richness beyond measure. Marriage is hard work. [I like working hard.]
I feel really sentimental and just about overflowing with emotion, so in an attempt to keep some sort of order to this post, I'm going to share ten random facts about our marriage and us, in no particular order:
- "Potty time is private time." Before we were married we knew that we were going to institute this rule. It was kind of silly (and kind of serious, too), but we've abided by it for the last ten years, and I can't imagine it changing any time soon unless absolutely necessary. We have a closed door policy when it comes to taking care of business of any kind. Or at least a closed shower curtain if someone is in the shower because in our ten years, we've never had more than one bathroom.
- There are still a few things that Jake does that drive me crazy! I've casually mentioned them a few times over the years, but just like the above rule, after this long, I can't imagine them ever changing. I try really hard not to think about them... Because here's the deal: If there are a few things about him that drive me crazy, there are certainly a few things about me that do the same to him.
- Being trapped in a car on a road trip with Jake is one of my favorite places in the whole wide world.
- Lovemaking at ten years blows newlywed sex out of the water. [And we had lots and lots of really great we-just-got-married sex. (And lots more in-between.)] I can't wait to see where we're at when we get to forty years [and beyond!]. Meow.
- Before we got married we referred to the dynamics of our personalities as "oreos." That was our way of saying we were complete opposites, but we wouldn't be as good without each other. We are still oreos.
- Even though our personalities are different, as well as our approaches to almost everything, we're really similar in what we hope the world and humanity can be. We both have a clear and very similar idea about how people should be treated. That's pretty important.
- We made the co-decision to follow a vegan diet just before Christmas in 2010. It had been a long process that took us through both vegetarianism and pescetarianism. In a way, it's been a unifying force for us as well as our little family. We love making and eating good food. Good for our bodies, respectful of living things, and helping us feel like responsible citizens of the earth. (We don't think you have to be vegan to be everything in the last sentence, but veganism has been part of our journey to being at peace with those things.)
- If we could figure out how to "give it all up," we would go be farmers. (Preferably next-door to Wendell Berry.) And we would read stories and poems on our front porch every night.
- Someday, when we actually get to see one another, we're going to write a musical/opera. Perhaps a series of art songs that are beautiful and meaningful when looked at independently, but become magical when put together.
- We sleep on a full-sized mattress. When lying in bed, I sleep on the left side. We pre-arranged sides because I'm a side sleeper and used to sleep on my right ride. In my hopelessly romantic eighteen-year-old mind, I wanted to fall asleep facing him every night. Well somewhere in there, I started preferring my left side. So every night, I fall asleep the same way: I start out on my right side all wrapped around Jake, and then just before I doze off, I switch to my left side and usually wake up in just about the same spot every morning. And in my hazy, just waking up state, I turn over and wrap my arms and legs around him again. I did sleep on his side for several months when Magnolia was a baby and her crib was on his side of the bed in our room. It was easier to get up to feed her.
And lastly, ten random photos of us:
Right before graduating from Oklahoma City University, 2007
In front of the church where we were married, 2012
Undergrad Graduation, May 2007
Rocky Mountain National Park, 2009
Wedding Shower, November 2003
January 3, 2004