“You made a million choices in 2015. Write about one of them.”
That is my assignment for tonight's Blogapalooza, a monthly writing exercise during which the bloggers of ChicagoNow are given the same topic and exactly one hour to publish a post on that topic.
When I first saw this topic, I immediately thought of this great quote by Elizabeth Gilbert from her book Eat, Pray, Love:
"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it."
I love those words so much that they were read at my wedding. I promised my husband that I would keep swimming upward into happiness with him.
The imagery of swimming together seems so perfect for a relationship - it's not hard labor, or at least, it shouldn't be, but it's effort. It can feel wonderful and be lots of fun, but it is an act that requires intention. Sometimes the waters are smooth, and sometimes choppy, and you have to adjust accordingly.
It also reminds me a bit of Dory from Finding Nemo and her advice to "just keeping swimming."
One way I try to keep swimming and not become lax about my marriage by showing him affection, and that's often through hugs and kisses, actions that are guaranteed to generate a wrinkled nose or a rather disgusted sounding "Ewwwwwww" from our 13-year-old daughter.
Fear not, we're not making out in the living room or meriting calls of "get a room."
I think that as a couple of mature adults in a loving and committed relationship that it's okay for us to show affection. It's not even PDA if it's in your own house, right? Just DA? I digress.
By pecking my husband on the cheek or giving him a hug as we finish the dishes, I have two goals. One: To remind my husband that he is loved. Two: To show my daughter that it's normal and even healthy for a married couple to love and like each other.
My daughter took a photo of my husband and I kissing at dinner while on vacation this fall. I shared it on Instagram. It's this one:
A friend expressed surprise that I posted it. My goal is that my daughter is not surprised that married people kiss, and are okay with doing so in front of friends and family. Again, propriety is key, but a little more love and affection can't be a bad thing, right?
Showing some affection to my husband is a choice that I'm really glad I've made on a daily basis this past year, and I hope that your new year is full of love!
You can find all of tonight's posts here.
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