A few years ago, I was getting ready to officiate a wedding for a couple, and in the lead up to it, she asked me a question.
“What is the biggest surprise about marriage that nobody who hasn’t been married would guess?”
I thought about it for a minute, and said, “That like 90% of the time, it’s pretty boring. It mostly isn’t exciting, or romantic, and most days you don’t look longingly at your spouse and swoon. Most of a marriage is just life – paying bills and going to work and figuring out who is dropping off the kids and forgetting today is trash day and figuring out what to cook for dinner.”
“That is depressing”, she said with a chuckle.
“Oh, I know it sounds that way”, I said. “But the wonderful thing about marriage is that it means that while you have to do all of those things – all of which single people have to do as well – but you don’t have to do them alone. In fact, marriage is really just deciding publicly that you won’t do them alone.”
Most of life is pretty boring. Most of life is cleaning house and washing clothes and feeding the cat and buying food and figuring out what restaurant to eat at (No honey, you decide!) and paying bills and getting the oil changed and commuting to work and, these days, doing tech support for your kid who is doing virtual learning because we are in a global pandemic.
And if you are fortunate and have energy and resources and some degree of privilege, you can work into the mix the opportunity to work to make the world lighter, easier, kinder for the people who follow you. And if those things are true, I believe you absolutely have the responsibility to work to make things better. As Alice Walker has said, activism is the rent you pay for living on the planet.
But it is always crammed in. Always an extra. Always fits in around the edges. And sometimes, you run out of room. Sometimes, you don’t have any energy. And sometimes, life is just full.
This is why you didn’t get a newsletter last week, as my laptop was occupied with a 7-year old’s tech support when I was supposed to be writing this. And that’s OK. And why today’s is shorter than normal, because, for some reason, we had a power outage this morning, slowing everyone down.
I used to be upset about the interruptions to my life, until I realized that interruptions are our life. It is the part of our life that make it worthwhile, that make it memorable, that move us forward.
Thanks for your understanding. Now I have to go help him get on a math test.