I took a journey. Not one of choice, but one I willingly took.
At work I overheard several married men giving a single woman Valentines Day advice. All the men were complaining about their wives; about unreasonable expectation, about the wives bringing up things from the past, about not being appreciated. They were questioning the value of marriage. When they generalized to all marriages I finally had enough and joined in to tell them that I had married my best friend and I wouldn't have it any other way. The woman sounded relieved and the men said that I was an exception to the norm.
I didn't ask to be involved in this discussion, but it got me thinking.
white * Why are these men married?
white * Have they ask themselves the Ann landers question "Am I better off with her or without her?"
white * Why am I so lucky to have Dianne?
white * Beyond "Am I better off with her or without her", why am I better off with her or without her.
I can't answer these questions for anyone but myself. I don't want to be without Dianne so "am I better off" is easy. All I have to do is look above my computer and see her pretty face smiling at me. I can't answer "why am I so lucky...?" The question I can answer is why I am better off with Dianne.
white * Dianne is my friend and lover.
white * I enjoy her company.
white * Dianne is kind. She cares for people and for humanity. She cares for animals. She cares for plants. She cares.
white * Our bond is completely voluntary. We both could live without the other and be happy but each of us has chosen to be with the other. Our love enhances our lives.
white * She appreciates me. She appreciates our sameness and our differences.
white * I want to do things for her. I want to take care of her and appreciate how she takes care of me.
white * Dianne makes me happy, and I want Dianne to be happy.
white * I care about her. I want her safe. If I expect her to be home and she's not I worry about her.
white * Home is where Dianne is. When I come home the second thing I do is find Dianne. (The first is say hi to the dogs.)
white * I want to be around her. We both need our separate lives, but I want to share my activities with her and hers with me as soon as we are together again (though I sometimes don't shut up).
white * I enjoy looking at her. Her eyes twinkle. She has a cute nose. Her smile. (I'll keep this G rated.)
white * I want her in my future for as long as life will let me.
white * I love her.
white * Dianne loves me.
So, what's on the negative side? What annoys me is also part of what I love. For example she is organized, but she is ORGANIZED.
I didn't start this line of thought. It happened. But, it reminded me of how lucky I am. It reminded me of why the bed is so big and cold when she is not in it. It reminded me that I need to look at myself and insure that I maintain and build upon what I have. So, this is my unsolicited advice to myself.
white * Every day, without fail tell Dianne I love her and mean it. This is important for two reasons. One is to remind Dianne that she is loved, and the other is to remind myself how important Dianne is.
white * Kiss her daily. (If one of us is sick the cheek is OK.) This is a simple but important physical contact.
white * Be unpredictable. Over the years we fall into habits. Cards and flowers are nice, but how much nicer is it when it is unexpected. Think of new ways to show I love her.
white * Stare at my wedding ring. This little piece of gold and stone can be the heaviest burden or the lightest, prettiest jewelry. Remembering what is around my finger is easy when it is heavy. Remember it when it is its loveliest.
white * Never test or challenge love. Like jumping on a branch to see if it will hold me, the extra stress can't make it stronger but could make it weaker. If I ever have doubt examine why, and what I can do.
white * Put Dianne first. Dianne is the most important person in my life.
white * Put Dianne first in my actions. Last evening I was working on this and after writing the previous item I looked at the clock to see that I should have left for home a half hour earlier. Dianne was first in my mind, but not my actions.
white * Plan to do thing with her alone, be it a drive, dinner, romance, sharing house chores, or anything else. Without planning it is too easy to find my time filled with "my activities".
white * Each day is the first day of the rest of our lives. Love her today.
white * As important as today is, remember that love is not a one day feeling. It grew and if taken care of it grows. It has a history and a moment. I want this love to survive the rest of my life, so take care of it today.
white * This is not a one time exercise. Periodically look at my love and ask myself what I need to do grow our love. What am I doing right. What do I need to change. Remember that I can change only myself.
I took a journey. Not one of choice, but one I willingly took. Coworkers started the journey, though I don't know if they even knew it was a journey. I followed where it led me; a heart filling path of introspection. It is now up to me to convert this into romance and love.