10 Things I Learned From You

“You can’t just give up on someone because the situation’s not ideal. Great relationships aren’t great because they have no problems. They’re great because both people care enough about the other person to find a way to make it work.”

Wow, 10 years goes by quickly! So much changes in 10 years, yet so much stays the same. Ten years ago, September 26, 2009, my wife, Christine, and I stood in front of our family and friends to dedicate our lives and our love to one another. As I stood at that alter I knew I probably couldn’t do better than her, and I figured that I was probably just another part of her charity work. Obviously, I’m joking. I’m one hell of a catch!

But seriously, from the beginning of our relationship she has saved me and stood by me countless times. She inspires me to expand my spectrum of thinking, to be a better person – something I fail at more often than not, yet she’s still here. She’s always been there, through all the highs and lows, teaching me what it takes to be a better person.

So, in honor of our 10th wedding anniversary, and since people used to say she looked like Julia Stiles (10 Things I Hate About You), here are 10 lessons I have learned from my wife over the years.

  1. Accepting another’s beliefs doesn’t compromise your own. We are all different but that doesn’t mean we can’t coexist. We can accept others without losing our own identity. 
  2. Unless you invest in yourself no one else will. If you believe in yourself, others will follow. Christine exudes confidence even when she doubts herself. I believe in her because she makes everyone believe she can move mountains.
  3. Emotions don’t make you weak, they build strength through understanding and compassion. Vulnerability is the basis of growth. Showing your emotions shows your vulnerability. It shows that you are human.
  4. Your past doesn’t define you, the lessons you learn from it do. We all make mistakes. We all have a flawed history. But that doesn’t mean that those mistakes will create a flawed future. Learning from those mistakes will make you better, wiser, and more prepared.
  5. Comfort zones are for the complacent. We are only given this one life so make it an adventure. By stepping out of your comfort zone you learn what you are made of, what truly gives you joy.
  6. A soft tone is the key to parenting. This may be the most important and the one I struggle with the most. When I lose my temper with my son, not only does it make him feel worse, it makes me feel like $#!+ as well. I’m still learning and with her help the soft tone will become standard.
  7. There’s nothing that a fire, a glass of whiskey, and a conversation can’t fix. Tell me a time you didn’t feel better around a campfire. It promotes conversation. It promotes understanding. There’s something to that Kumbaya mumbo-jumbo.
  8. Run toward, not away. It doesn’t matter if it’s Halloween, or we’re on Pleasure Island, we can’t run away from our problems. They will be there until we run toward them to solve them and move on.
  9. It’s never too late. Whether it’s finding happiness, chasing your dreams, or going to Blue Karaoke, it’s never too late in life, or in the night, to live your best life.
  10. Just breathe. Even if you can’t because you just broke your ribs, remember to relax and “just breathe.” Everything will be ok.

Thank you for the last 10 years. Thank you for all the lessons. Here’s to the years to come, and remember to Save The Last Dance.

And as you always do,

Be Good. Do Good.