Time is subjective. We all crave more of it, and try to pack as much as we can into the 24 hours that we are given each day. The minutes quickly turn into hours, hours into days, and soon we are measuring in years. It has been eight years since I vowed that death would be the only thing that would separate me from my husband.
When we met, it took me minutes to realize that I enjoyed talking to Brian. Minutes easily turned into hours on the phone when we were dating. It was three days of phone calls that lead to our in person “date.” It wasn’t an official date as we were just “hanging out.” Weeks turned into months and by the third month, I knew this man would be my husband. (Not sure if he knew it yet.)
Before getting married, we were warned that the first year of marriage would be the most difficult as we adjusted to life together. The logistics of how to actually live together, and experiences as husband and wife in those first 365 days were deemed as challenging by many. When we made it through that first year without much difficulty I thought, “Yay us. This marriage thing isn’t that hard.”
Then came year two, and three, through to year seven. As we enter year eight, I will admit that the past seven years have been tough. This marriage thing is hard and it takes constant work. Getting married was easy. Staying married requires work.
This year marks 14 years together. When I say 14 years outloud, it seems like a long time. Living it feels much shorter. I’m still learning about my husband. There are still little interesting facts that pop up here and there. Random fact: Brian has never tried Cheez Whiz! Who has not had Cheez Whiz?!
I was at an educator’s conference yesterday and in discussing pedagogical practices, we talked about how it’s such a challenge to make time for this type of practice. Where can we find the extra time or make time for practices that require so much work? We will never have extra time, but we can repurpose time.
In this very busy season of parenting little humans, we literally have zero minutes of spare time. Someone asked me to call them, and I thought, “How am I going to manage a phone call?” Every minute between arriving at home until bedtime is carefully choreographed so that neither children nor adults have a meltdown.
There is limited time to connect with my husband. We text each other from separate bedrooms at the end of the night as we try to get our daughters to bed. By the time that both girls down, we are exhausted. We look at the clock and realize it only reads 8:00pm most nights. As I bring this up jokingly with other mothers, I find that it’s a common circumstance.
Where have our minutes gone? Where are the hours spent in conversation? Where are the moments as husband and wife, and not as Mommy and Daddy?
They’re all still there, but Brian and I have to be intentional about repurposing our time to repurpose our marriage. We can easily get swept up in parenting. Our girls mean everything to us, but without making marriage a priority, the way that we raise our family would be completely different.
When I said “I do,” it was beyond acknowledging that I loved Brian and that he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. To me, “I do” was a covenant to better the world as partners, to use our grief, our challenges, our highs and our lows to encourage and bring hope to others.
As Brian and I change and grow, we continue to repurpose our marriage. We are not the same people we were eight years ago. The partnership has changed. We have redesigned our roles, refined ourselves and each other, reassured each other through times of struggle, and reclaimed our vows. It is an honour to spend the rest of my minutes partnering with a man who finds ways to keep our marriage timeless.