I took my wife out the other night and the waitress seemed surprised. Today we are celebrating our 14th anniversary and are happier than we have ever been. When I mentioned to the waitress that we were celebrating our big day, she asked how long. Naturally, I told her to guess and she guessed 4 or 5 years. When we told her 14, she almost couldn’t believe it. After all, I look so young – Right?
Sometimes I have a hard time believing it has been that long. I look around or hear people spout off statistics of marriages ending in divorce or this emerging mentality that marriage isn’t even something to pursue in the first place. This particular waitress seemed to find a new faith in the potential for love. It was as if, prior to our conversation, she thought it just happened in the movies.
For me, I can honestly say it hasn’t even been that hard. Some things just work. Do you think this is because we were meant for each other or she is my soul mate? Is this just because we are both so far from stubborn that it would be impossible for us to fight? How ‘bout that we are both so saintly that we simply never make mistakes. Nope. Not even close on any count.
I’m pretty selfish. I’m extremely stubborn. I screw up all the time. I don’t think our 14 years is because we were meant for each other. I’m far too practical to believe that. I think we just both love each other so much that “it just works.” Whatever the dilemma, I can remind myself that I love her more than that problem. The truth is, love isn’t a feeling – its a decision. I choose to love my wife every single day.
Love is kind of like an attitude, sometimes you just have decide you are going to be a certain way. Did you know there is actual research that shows smiling can change a person’s attitude? The simple act of changing your facial expression can make a difference in how you feel. Try it sometime. When you are in a bad mood, force yourself to grin from ear to ear. Of course, when you are happy and having fun, it’s easy to smile because you feel it. But if you smile when you don’t feel it, there’s a chance that feeling can follow.
Love is similar. There are times when I am tired or just want to be my selfish stubborn self. There are certainly times when we get into a fight and I don’t feel like a Hallmark greeting card is welling up inside of me. But it is in those times that I make the conscious decision to love just like I would choose to smile when I don’t feel like it. Eventually, if you decide to love someone enough, the emotions will follow.
For Nancy and me, I just don’t ever remember having to work at it. Maybe that’s because she makes it so easy to love her. Sometimes, I feel like superman. I have so much energy and ability; and I live life to its fullest. Honestly, its because I actually have this super power. Its the love that Nancy gives me that pushes me forward and enables me to do and accomplish far greater things than I ever would be able to on my own. She has that childlike faith in me regardless of how crazy I might be. That faith she has in me is many times that extra boost to simply believe in myself.
To that waitress, I want to say love is real, but it isn’t rocket science. It’s a choice. For some, its just a real easy one to make.
Thanks Nancy for making me the happiest man on earth for the past 14 years. It is so hard to imagine that with all the love I have for you today, I’m actually still going to love you more tomorrow!