10 Years

Today is hard. I won’t lie to you or myself. To make it to 10 years in a marriage is a blessing, something sacred and beautiful. It represents 3,650 days of laughter and love, therapy and heartache, a lot of work and a lot of reward. And, we didn’t make it. I wish I could explain why, I wish I had more answers, I wish this wasn’t what I was writing about.

But, I am. This is the realty, as painful as it is. And trust me, it is painful. In fact, the last 6 weeks have been the hardest 6 weeks of my life. The most pain. By far.

As the wave of emotions have been lingering over me as this day, October 29, 2020, approached, I wanted to lead with anger and hurt and fear and scream to the world how unfair this is. How this is not supposed to be what I am writing about for my 10 year wedding anniversary. How hurt I am and someone rescue me and I hate this and please MAKE IT STOP. Wake me up from this nightmare!

But, it's not a nightmare. This is real life.

And God whispered to me…what are you grateful for, Ann?

And in that moment, my response was equal parts “God are you serious right now?! COME ON! Let me continue to be filled with this pain, let me curl up in bed and cry until I have no more tears left. I am not grateful.”

And the other part of me was, “Oh, well that is an interesting ask. That feels like a better approach. That feels, perhaps, freeing and healthier and more honoring to you. Okay, God, I get it.”

I’m choosing the latter. Choosing to focus on gratitude. Because what I have learned in the suffering is that daily, multiple times a day, I have choices. Choices that impact my heart, my mind, my daughter, my health, my community, my family. But, mostly those choices impact the wholeness and trueness of me. And choosing gratitude, while some days it feels impossible, is the better choice. This is discipline. This is obedience. This is, simply, the better choice.

I'm kicking and screaming, but, it's the better choice.

I don't want to do it, but, it's the better choice.

Gratitude as a practice will always be the better choice.

Alas, God asked me what I am grateful for in the last 10 years of my marriage so, here are the 10 things I am grateful for.

  1. People. The people on the journey. There is no question that over the last 10 years, the people I have met as a result of being married to Rick have made such a difference in my life. Rey and Barb. Barbara and Sebastian. Willy and Ramon and Vega. Rayah. Auntie Yum and Uncle Roy. Irmaliz. Christy. Carla. Bill. Zach and Sienna. (Zach, thank you for letting me be your step-mom...you are a gem and I love you). Rich and DC. This blog isn't a long enough forum to list out the hundreds of people that have impacted me. From family that is now my family to friends all over the world, I am better because of these people.

  2. Travel. We saw the world together. From India to Turkey, London to Paris, Seattle to New York. We traveled thousands of miles together, exploring new cultures, challenging our tastebuds and experiencing some of the most beautiful places in the world. I am better because of ea