Monday, May 19, 2014

Anniversary Joys

This past weekend, my husband and I celebrated our anniversary at The Oregon Garden. The 80 acre garden is truly beautiful and we had a perfect day to walk, enjoy the blooms, and later have dinner in Silverton overlooking a peaceful, meandering creek.

I can truly say that the day we met was a blessing. Though we are not much alike in the way we approach our daily lives, we are very much alike in our overall philosophy of living and what is most important to us. It is that tension that keeps life interesting. :)

We Are Not Alike

He is a perfectionist and, in my opinion, a bit on the OCD side. Every picture hung in our house--and there are a lot--is perfectly aligned. When I dust, he comes back and makes sure all the tsotchkes are in their assigned place which means balanced (e.g., one in each corner of a square table). My style is more free form. Also I like things a bit off-balance. I think it's more interesting. For the most part, he gets his way because it drives him crazy to see things off-balance. I'm happy to let that happen, there are lots of things he gives in on for me too.

My husband is a cynic at best and a pessimist on his worst days. He would say he is a realist. I'm definitely an optimist and some would say even a Pollyanna type optimist. I do know that horrible things happen the world, and I even write about them sometimes, but I still believe that most people are good and that if we give people the chance they will do good things, right things, be helpful to each other. It's that belief that often keeps me going when it seems all is against me. Again, this is a good balance between us. He keeps me grounded when I need it, and I rely on him to be that way. For him, I insert determined hope into our relationship when things around us seem to be too crazy or difficult or overwhelming.

We Are Alike

Though we have differences of taste in movies and book choices, we have a good crossover of similarities as well. We can usually find a movie we both want to see. The same goes for vacation planning, entertaining, and choosing friends. We truly have great fun together when we go out or have people in.

We are very aligned on religion, politics, the place of family in our lives, and ultimately the power of love to make each of us the best person we can be both as separate people and as a couple. These elements are very important because we are both passionate about our beliefs in these areas and I don't think we would have a long marriage if there was substantial disagreement. It is the power of love that keeps us going in the hard times and makes the good times even better.

The beauty of the natural world reminds us that both diversity and similarities are important to keep the world in balance. Embracing differences is just as important as feeling comfortable with someone who likes and does all the same things. For me, embracing our differences provides new experiences and a way of looking at the world. As long as we can respect each other's opinions and not feel less than the other or better than the other, it works really well.

My books often explore that role of balance in our lives. It is an age-old journey that each person must make for herself and, if you plan to share your life with a partner, to also determine how the two of you together sustain and nurture that balance in each other and as partners.



Jessa Slade said...

Happy anniversary! I love your analysis of a successful relationship, the balance and the contrast. Much like taking a good photograph :)

The Oregon Garden said...

Congratulations on your anniversary, and thank you for spending it with us at The Oregon Garden!

Maggie Lynch said...

Thanks Jessa and The Oregon Garden. As this is not my first marriage I think I have an idea of what works and doesn't work. :) Now that I am more mature, I appreciate those differences instead of feeling threatened by them or caught in the myth that we must be joined at the hip at all times. I am truly fortunate to have such an interesting and exciting man in my life. I pray we both last until age 100 or beyond. :)

Anna Brentwood said...

You two sound very much like my husband and myself (31 years) both so opposite but aligned when it comes to beliefs in family and home and love- love the way you articulated it and wishing you very happy future anniversaries.

Maggie Lynch said...

Thank you, Anna! Wow 31 years is something to be proud of. Congratulations to both you and your husband for keeping it together. In that amount of time we all know there had to be ups and downs and neither of you ever gave up. That's a testament to love for sure.

Paty Jager said...

Sounds like you have a wonderful working relationship. Congrats on the anniversary! My hubby and I aren't as opposite but he is a people person and I prefer to stay at home.

Donna Martin said...

Maggie, I enjoyed reading your anniversary/Oregon Gardens blog post. Thank you for sharing:)

Maggie Lynch said...

Thanks for the good wishes, Donna!
Paty, I think there is a certain amount of balance those differences provide. My husband and I are similar in our amount of "people person" ability on the inside. I think I'm just better at putting myself out there than he is. Part of it is the jobs I've had in the past and do now. But inside we both have a desire for extensive quiet times.