10 years and still learning something new everyday, even if I’m not surfing

Where I didn't get to surf
Where I didn’t get to surf

Last weekend my wife and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. As has become custom, we watched parts of our wedding video and looked over the photo album. The kids, as usual, complained that it was boring but at least they were able to comment on how many people that they knew looked younger. It made me nostalgic to see us so young. The world seemed so open to us and family and kids were an adventure waiting to happen. I still lived under the illusion that my parents would be together forever. I looked so happy! Later, I wondered what I would have told myself if I could go back in time. No clear answer, but I wish I still had that optimism.

My mom was kind enough to take the kids for the weekend while my wife and I went to Santa Cruz. We had chosen Santa Cruz with the idea that I could go surfing while my wife did her daily run. There would be something for both of us(on previous getaways I felt kind of stuck while she was off running). Of course the one time I make it to Santa Cruz there were no waves, so my surfboard and wetsuit ended up just coming along for the ride. I ended up joining my wife on hikes in the redwoods for both days, and really enjoyed the experience. She ran off a few times to get her jogging in, but overall we spent a lot of time together on the trails. I realized how much I missed being in nature and started getting a bit depressed since I obviously was so out of order in taking care of the things I value. The interesting part was that I shared my experience with my wife as it was happening, and she was able to redirect me to acknowledge that I wanted more nature in my life, but without the judgment. Amazingly enough it really helped me feel better.

Coming back home was not too difficult with the kids (I tend to miss them when I’m away and they didn’t have a difficult readjustment this time), but I was kind of swallowed up with the stress at work. Since I’m leaving my current group I have to train my replacement and also try to finish up some loose ends. At the same time I am attempting to get trained for the group I will be joining since there will be no overlap between existing group members leaving and me officially starting. It’s been hectic.

In our couples’ therapy after our weekend away, I triggered a big episode because I said I had a “nice time”(I’m not the most verbal person) during our weekend away, but I was back to the grind. From the ensuing discussion, among other things, I was reminded that I tend to have a very porous sieve for holding onto the good stuff in my life. It made me think back to the origins of this blog, and how it was an attempt to keep track of the good things in my life, to hold onto them longer.

It’s good to be reminded of my intentions. Seeing the video and photos from 10 years ago reminded me that we got married so as to go through life together. We were vowing to be there for each other. In the subsequent years I think I’ve forgotten that fact when it comes to my own issues, and have tended to operate under the assumption that my depression is my problem to deal with on my own. However, between our couples therapy and the experience during our hike, I am learning that it’s not just my problem and that I can get support and help from my wife and in doing so brings up closer together. Being alone with my wife reminded me of how well we tend to do with each other when we get time alone, and also of our connection and bond from all those years ago. I don’t know if this blog will be around in 10 years, but I am working to make sure the marriage is. Maybe for our 20th anniversary celebration I can convince my wife to go surfing with me.

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