B just turned 30 and we had a good time celebrating. As I was thinking about the time since I met him seven years ago, I realize that knowing him has changed a lot about me, in very good ways.
In addition to, in some ways, raising himself, B has a wisdom that is much older than 30 years. He has not always had it easy but you could not want a more warm and loving husband and father.
If I could summarize what I have learned since I met him, it might go something like this:
1. Don't think about limitations, think about possibility. B tells me I should finish my novel and publish it and make us a million dollars. He isn't kidding -- he really believes that I can be successful with my writing. And so I believe it too. He doesn't waste time thinking about all the reasons why a thing wouldn't work, he just tries to do it. It's a great lesson, and it's one that has led me to a lot more happiness in my work life than I had before I met him.
2. Get used to pulling yourself up by the bootstraps. This is not just in terms of economics, but emotions as well -- sometimes you just have to pull yourself up out of a bad mood, not because it's easy, not because you want to, but because life is short and when you are happy the people around you are happy, which reflects back and makes you happy too. So when you're in a little ditch of sadness, just climb out of it, already.
3. Quit your whining. I am a whiner. I whine when things don't go my way, I whine when things go my way but other people I know aren't happy. I whine when I am tired and I whine when I can't sleep. B teaches me to quit whining and just do what needs to be done. It really saves a lot of time, and it makes me a much more pleasant person to be around.
4. Now is the time to live well! B doesn't save things for a special occasion -- the special occasion is now. Any moment can be worthy of expensive champagne or gourmet chocolates or the latest installment in an anticipated TV series, or a fantastic dinner. And why not? This doesn't mean that he is frivolous or wasteful, just that if there is something nice, why not enjoy it, instead of sitting around looking at it? Somehow when you follow this rule, something new seems to pop up to take the place of whatever you just used up.
5. Never take the first package you reach on the shelf. That's the one everybody picks up and messes with. When you decide to buy something, reach in the back and take one that was hidden. Thank Papa Nash for that one. :)
6. Family first. This is just like it sounds. Our mutual belief in this idea is one of the reasons we got along so well when we first met. You should be deeply suspicious of anything that tries to divide you from your family.
7. Whiskey is best served straight from the freezer. ;D
Happy birthday, darling, I love you so much! My life is a story of triumph because I know you.