Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Once Upon a Time to Happily Ever After


Do you watch Once Upon a Time? My eldest daughter introduces me to it when she asked me if she could watch it because all her friends were watching.   So, we both watched one episode.  I loved it.  She hated it.   Now I'm hooked and she doesn't watch. I'm on Season 4 on Netflix.  Not sure what I'll do when I finish that and Season 5 isn't available yet? That will be a sad, sad day. 

I love Once Upon a Time because it's so realistic.  Well..not the fireballs or magic beans or portals between worlds or ripping people's hearts out and storing them in your magic vault. But the rest of it. The way that people feel and act and behave.  The characters are always looking for a happily ever after....and they never find it. 

There is always one new plot twist, one new discovery, one new villain, one new hardship. Of course...that's how they keep the series alive, but that is also how real life is.

And the characters are so real.  No one is all good or all bad.  People change and grow just like they do in real life.  There are heroes and there are villains but they aren't always the same people.  Sometimes the villains do something heroic and the heroes does something villainous. 

Which is how life is.  There is no happily ever after, because crosses are always popping up.  Just when one thing gets settled, something else comes along.  Sure, our crosses are not quite the same as evil queens incinerating people or losing our loved ones when they fall in a portal to another world.  But we have our crosses just the same.  Sometimes we behave in a heroic manner and sometimes we are villainous.  

Kinda like marriage.  Everyone thinks marriage is happily ever after, but it's actually more like happily ever two days and then the next thing comes up.   

Today, Ben and I celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. Fifteen years seems like a really long time.  And it is. I remember when I was younger and I would hear about friends celebrating their 15th anniversary and I was all "wow, that's a long time".  Now, we are there. 

A few years ago, when we were only at 13 years, I dreamed of taking a romantic getaway for our 15th anniversary.  Unfortunately a getaway of any sort....romantic or not, is absolutely not in our budget.  So, we're just staying home...or maybe we'll go out for dinner. The good thing about making it to 15 years, and having had a baby within the first 2 years of marriage, is that we now have a built in babysitter who works cheap.....free for room and board. 

Every year at this time, I like to blog about marriage.  And even though the blog has been quieter as of late, this year is no different.   So here are my rambling thoughts on how to go from once upon a time to sorta happily ever after.  Because, after all, there will always be life's little and big crosses to bear. 

Always Try to Do the Right Thing.  That seems sorta obvious and not at the same time.   This world would be a much better place if people always tried to the right thing.   This world needs more heroes and less villains.  While most of us will probably never go on a quest to find the one ingredient in the potion to save some one's life, there are millions of other opportunities to do the right thing.  To be kind and considerate and not lazy or demanding. To put someone else first, instead of ourselves.  Anyone can be a hero...you don't have to pull someone from a burning building or jump in front of a moving train.  Even just putting someone else first and yourself last is heroic...just on a smaller scale. 

Don't Expect Your Spouse to Provide Happiness.  This is where my advice differs from the fairy tales.  Happily ever after doesn't come from anyone else.  You can't look to someone else to provide your happiness and joy.  They will fail you again and again and again, in both big ways and little.  The fairy tales and the movies would have us believe that happiness only comes from true love.  Not true.  The happiest people realize that they don't need someone else to be happy.  Happiness comes from within and above.   But mostly above.   So, don't look to someone else to provide happiness...it always fails.

Enjoy Each Other's Company. This is probably the biggest thing.  A marriage where both spouses enjoy each other's company is a happy marriage. 

What about you?  Do you have any good marriage advice?  Do you like Once Upon a Time? Talk to me. 

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