Friday, March 23, 2012

The road again

With all the life changes I've witnessed lately, I think it's time to bring up my favorite life message again.  The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

- Robert Frost

So what makes some marriages work, and others fail?

I wish I could wax poetic that it's true love and passion, and all those other things of fairy tales.  But it's not.

The day after I got engaged, I got one of those life lesson pieces of advice.  While showing off my ring, and receiving gleeful exclamations, one thing stands out in my mind.

I was student teaching at the time.  As luck, or fate, would have it, my master teacher I worked with ended up being the mother of our best man.  Totally by chance.  Seemed like an omen.

She gave me a piece of advice that has served me well for years.

"Just remember, you won't love him every day."

Amongst the giggling girls and prince charming stories, this stood out.  It was... real.

So back to the divorce question.  It turns out that the advice was true.  Of course I love my husband every day.  But actively love him?  Want to be around him every single day?  Hmmm...

I think all you need to make a marriage work is wanting to, and staying that way at least 51% of the time.  That's it.  Perhaps the failed marriages account for the people that only wanted it 49% of the time.

Makes you realize we aren't that different.  Just 2% different.

Ahh... but that 2% makes all the difference in the world.

One more thing that will help you along the way... come to peace with it. 

Robert Frost refers to that road not taken.  He accepts that the road he took led to a lifetime of adventures.  The other road would have, too.  He's okay with that.  I think we should all try to be.

Could have?  Should have?  Fate?  If you spend your life wondering, you will never enjoy the life you have.

Love the life you have, with all your heart.  Live all those adventures to the fullest. Just chose your road, the one you want at least 51% of the time.

And... if once in awhile, you look down that other road and wonder, it's okay. 

The way I see it, I'm the luckiest girl in the world.  Either road would have led to love and happiness.  I chose my road.  I love my road.  And I'm at peace with loving the other road, too.


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