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Anniversary Anticipation

April 6, 2014



Twenty years ago a man had a choice to make. The choice was between the two loves of his life: a woman and music. It wasn’t an all-or-nothing choice. He could realistically have both in his life.  The choice to be made was about which one would take first place in his life—first in line for his love, time, attention, money, passion, and commitment. The runner-up would get only leftovers.

That man was my husband, and the woman was me. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision. Music had quite an advantage over me. She was an easy companion for a talented musician like Tim. She could lead him to a life of fame and fortune at best, and at the very least, a life doing what he loves. With her, Tim felt competent, confident, and inspired.

I, on the other hand, was a package deal with three kids. This was a whole new song and dance for him, in which he had not even an ounce of expertise. It would mean an instant transformation from a single man to a family of five. He would become a husband and a father at the same time. I could promise to love, honor, and cherish him until death do we part, but my buy-one-get-three-free deal felt so small compared to the sparkly vision of life that music dangled in front of him.

In case you haven’t made the connection yet, he chose the scary unknown. He chose me. He chose my children. We’ve been his life and his focus ever since.

It hasn’t always been easy. At times his focus seemed to blur a bit. At times he found more than his fair share of solace in his other love. I’m sure there have been times he wondered if he made the right choice. I’m not the easiest person in the world to live with. I’m stubborn, I’m emotional, I’m a perfectionist, and I’m a perpetual worrier. I insist that work and responsibilities take priority over fun, even though I know our work is never done. I have a nasty habit of expecting everyone else to think and feel the same way I do about the work-play relationship.

Despite all that, Tim is still with me after nearly twenty years of marriage and over three years of dating before that.  He helps me find balance in my tendency toward perfectionistic and emotional extremes. He has helped me learn to relax and have fun, knowing the to-do list will still be there. I admit, I do argue that knowing the to-dos will still be there is part of the problem with relaxing. I could nail footloose-and-fancy-free if I knew the work would magically get done anyway. Old habits die hard.

On July 11th we will celebrate our twentieth anniversary, and we’ve been planning to take a trip. In all the years we’ve been together, we’ve never taken a trip that was just the two of us. As crazy as it is that we’ve never done that, we still think all the places we talk about going would be fun for the kids, too. Old habits . . .

We’d about made up our minds to go to Hawaii, despite the fact that a trip like that usually involves a bathing suit at some point. I’ve grown very comfortable with NOT showing that much skin. I tried not to grumble as we set goals for healthy eating and working out to get somewhere in the vicinity of “in shape,” or at least publicly presentable in tropical vacation attire.

Recently I changed our minds about that. He crazy-loves it when I do that. Okay, I’m the one who loves it, but this time he loved it, too.  I decided I need to take my man to Nashville, but it has (almost) nothing to do with keeping my body covered. I want to thank him for the twenty years he’s given us, and for neglecting his other love to give them. It’s not exactly a record deal or a promise of fame and fortune, but it’s my way of showing him I love him and that I care about the things he cares about.

That’s where the A to Z Challenge comes in. My theme for my posts this month will be things to see and do in Nashville. Feel free to chime in with suggestions. I want this vacation to be the best song and dance Tim has ever had.


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  1. I had no idea what kind of adventure I was signing up for but, it has been one heck of a ride. There is no doubt in my mind that I made the right choice though. Not only have I had the love and devotion of the most wonderful, fascinating, intelligent and beautiful woman in the world, but I have also had the opportunity to help in raising five incredible kids. They have taught me so much about living and loving and laughing and have given me an abundance of joy and pride. I know that I would never have become the man I am today without the amazing family that I have been blessed with. I love you all!

    • Adventure is right! I have no doubt that the next twenty years will be even better. So hang on, the ride isn’t over!

  2. Kensi Kempf permalink

    Awe! That’s sweet. So glad he picked us!

  3. I love how you are using this challenge to pursue your dream (writing) by supporting his dream (music). So sweet. I hope you have a great time in Nashville when you make it there.

    • Aww, thanks! I hadn’t even thought about it that way, but thanks for making me feel kinda cool for minute! haha
      Thanks for commenting!

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