In the world of marriage, ours is a baby; We are coming up on 2 years in October. It’s a drop in the bucket when you think about that whole forever thing. Although we haven’t been married all that long, we are also coming up on 10 years of ‘togetherness’ in October, and in the world of relationships that’s pretty significant! In this time, we have shared a lot; From travelling internationally, to road tripping, to weathering growing pains through college, we’ve seen many sides to each other’s personalities.
I believe strongly that with each new and different thing we experience together, we see new sides of each other and, as a result, grow stronger. Seeking new experiences is a great way to continue to get to know each other, even after ten years. And I hope this holds up through the decades to come. Whether it’s in setting up a tent together, moving, communicating in a foreign language, or even trying a new food we have a lot of opportunities to learn new things about each other. And, most recently, it’s in canoeing!
We bought a canoe to have around this summer and, from our first excursion with it I knew we were in for a great learning opportunity; Sure, we are learning how to canoe (how far can we go in an hour, how to pack the canoe, etc.) but, I should have known, we’re learning new things about us too.
To be successful in our canoe, we have to communicate frequently and clearly. From the moment we begin taking the 80 pound watercraft off the top of our Subaru we have to be clear with each other. If we aren’t talking about when to lift it together or which way to flip it, we end up with a bobbling, messy, and possibly dangerous unloading of the canoe. Then, if we don’t talk about how to get down the trail to the water, we end up stumbling and falling. On the water, if we don’t communicate about our destination, we travel in inefficient paths. If we don’t trust each other about what those big, gray clouds mean, we end up arguing about when to go in. And if we don’t listen to each other’s directions, we wind up out of control and being taken by the current straight into a patch of thick willows. Then, with tired arms, if we don’t talk about how to flip and load the canoe on top of the car we wind up a) laughing hysterically in the parking lot and hoping no one is watching or b) in danger of injuring ourselves as we struggle to load the thing.
Despite the fact that Alex and I both think we work quite well as a team and despite the fact that we’ve had great fun on our canoe trips thus far, all of the above-mentioned has happened already in our three canoe excursions together. But each time we unload and reload the heavy canoe, each time we lug it to the ‘put-in,’ and each time we get on the water, I notice that we are getting better.
It went from silence through the whole process to something more like:
“Ready? Lift. Okay, flip to the right. K, set it down.”
Then down to the water:
“Rock. Go to the right. Slow down. Rock, lift it.”
And on the water:
“Let’s aim for the patch of willows, then that rocky point, then the island.”
And things like, “Paddle hard on the right until I say stop.”
So, as with travelling, as with moving, as with trying new foods, new sports, new languages, I see that with this new experience our communication and, therefore, our marriage is getting stronger.
Happy Tuesday, and here’s to remembering the power of trying new things! 🙂