top ten things i've learned from a decade of marriage

We did it.  Married for ten years! We’ve lived in two countries, three states and nine houses. His favorite song is “On the Road Again.”  I did not know at first that he took it literally.

Here is a list of what I’ve learned from him this decade:

1. Being kind doesn’t take extra time. I get very focused on tasks and can get snippy with people while I’m working.  Eric gets the same tasks done while still being sweet as a sugar cube.  When I’m in a hurry, niceness is the first thing I throw overboard in an effort to lighten the load.  My husband throws off tasks so he can stay nice.  Revolutionary.

2. “It doesn’t have to be done today or tomorrow.” This quote will be on his tombstone.  When we were first married, I broke into a cold sweat when he’d respond to a request with this comment in his slow southern drawl. I am typically on the impulsive side but after a decade of this response and seeing how well this thing called “waiting” works for him, I’m becoming a believer.

3. Dress T-shirts.  Did you know about these? To the untrained eye, these look like regular t-shirts as there are no collars or special ruffles -but don’t be fooled.  They have a special “dressy” quality that only Eric can discern. Annnd when he puts one on, he’s as dressed up as he gets.

4. I am loveable.  I have family who loves me.  I have fantastic friends.  Before Eric I had never had a boyfriend who genuinely cared about me.  I have enjoyed relaxing into the safety and security of this relationship more with each passing year. Ahem. That’s as mushy as I get.

5. Being fully present. He talks to everyone at garage sales.  He does magic tricks for kids at dinner parties.  He takes advantage of every moment and engages with people.  Like I said before, as someone typically focused on tasks, I find this remarkable and refreshing. 

 6. It is possible to go years without buying yourself any new clothes.  It’s a marvel.  I periodically buy him new clothes just because My eyeballs get tired of looking at the same old dress t-shirts.

7. All the things about sailboats.  He’s got a knack for turning all conversations around to sailboats.  Talking about roast beef?  “I wonder how many cows you could fit on a 40 foot sailboat?” Is the conversation topic giraffes?  Algebra?  He can turn it into a sailboat conversation.  I promise.

8. Language is fluid.  If the right word eludes him, he doesn’t waste time thinking of it, he simply substitutes the first word that comes to mind. The other day he couldn’t think of the word for treadmill so he just called it a walkabout machine.  What?! Are we Australian now? And then laughed at ME when I got confused...

9. Freedom in music.  I trained and competed in musical circles until I was 20.  For me, music involves precision, purpose, and lots of practice.  Not for my husband.  He has written and performed rap songs and polkas for me.  He wakes up singing.  He sings while running to catch a plane.  And best of all, when he doesn’t know the words he just makes something up.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a 'Walkabout Machine Waltz' was in my future. 

10. There’s always time to play a little ukulele.  Being someone whose hobbies include picking locks, tying intricate knots and perfecting magic tricks, I wasn’t surprised when he recently took up the ukulele.  He’s actually quite good now and gives our landlocked house an island feel.

We couldn’t be more opposite but I also don’t think it would be possible for us to have more fun.  I am truly blessed.

What is something wonderful and surprising you’ve learned from your spouse?