This weekend my husband and I are celebrating our 12 year anniversary.
My gosh, has it really been that long?
As we spent yesterday sitting at our kitchen table, spread with minis and character sheets and a veritable smorgasbord of junk food, I looked up at the wall at a picture of us on our wedding day (at all of barely 19) and realized that it had indeed been 12 years. We're both a little rounder, a little more wrinkled around the eyes, and much more wiser for the wear. We've born and lost children, bought and lost homes, had knock-down screaming fights and spent memorable moments, like this weekend, in intimate forget-the-world bliss. We've made good memories. We've endured bad ones. But each of those moments have made our marriage what it is that it was not yet on that day 12 years ago. What it continues to be a little more each day.
And how have we managed that? I refer you to exhibit A above. We spent our weekend celebration at home. Gasp, I know. We shipped the kids off to my sister for the weekend and chose to spend our few days concentrating on being together rather than spending ridiculous amounts of time and money on escaping to a tourist trap. Several years ago, I got it into my head that we could spend our anniversary at a cabin by the lake, cut off from the world, relaxing and just enjoying being together. So I surprised my sweet hubby with a dumping of the kids at my sister's, then whisked him off on an hour and half drive out to a cabin rental place on the Arkansas River. Turns out, he loved the idea of spending the weekend together, but hates surprises and had a small heart attack at the bill. I had enjoyed my anniversary celebration at the expense of my husband's comfort. Yay for me. Not so much for him.
So for the next two years, we've done things a little differently. We still shipped the kids off to my sister. (Thanks, Sis. You're awesome.) We stayed home instead of going to the cabin. We spent the weekend playing video games and watching TV and engrossed in a two day long DnD campaign. We saved money on the cabin, but splurged on pre-made deserts, ribeye steaks, freezer junk food, and fresh fruits that my husband loves but I would normally never buy. I even scheduled him in for an hour long massage to help him be able to relax a little more--something he has a hard time doing. All in all we have had a fantastic, memorable, and rejuvenating weekend. Not only do neither one of us need to feel like we got the short end of the stick on our anniversary celebration, but everything we have done this weekend is a perfect example of why we've made it this far.
I'll be honest. I've spent quite a bit of my life just "biding my time."
That's exactly why it's taken me over two years of active writing to finally finish my first full-length novel. I've spent days sleeping till 10 (or later), eating, watching television, surfing Facebook, or just simply staring out the window under the impression that I am technically "writing."
Now, don't get me wrong. I am not lazy. In fact, I'm perfectly capable of being a relatively, and sometimes even overly, active adult. When I set my mind to something, I will push myself to the brink of literal exhaustion just to get it done. Painting my living room before the new TV arrives? Check. Two-tones in the kitchen, dining room and office, complete with chair railing as an anniversary gift while my better half is on a business trip for 3 days? Check. That 2x4 bookshelf I kept saying I was going to build completed in a day, without so much as even a predetermined design? Check. I mean, come on. I'm an author, which automatically makes me a visionary (right?) and if I get an image in my head of how something is supposed to be then I will not stop until I'm done (to the expense of all those involved, I assure you).
But most of the time, I don't really have those spurts of determination. Working from home full-time, without a supervisor hovering over you or a publisher breathing a dead-line down your neck (most of the time), takes an incredible amount of discipline. Not to mention that, as a curse of the trade, you are naturally disconnected from "the real world." It is not unusual at all, in fact, to spend days without leaving my own house or so much as gracing the outside world with my social-media presence. In fact, attempting to assimilate into "normal" humanity for any period of time whilst in the midst of writing a work of fiction can actually be detrimental to an author's cause.
"Did I just make a trip to Walmart for milk in sweat pants and a t-shirt? Why yes, yes I did."