Five years ago today it was -10 degrees in MN, and my wife (Kim Walzer) and I were standing on a beach in Jamaica having a “Jewish” wedding with 40 of our closest friends and family. Today we celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary, and while coincidentally her gift will involve the traditional theme (5 Years = Wood), that’s not meant to be a pun. Less than two weeks ago, Kim wrote a Top 10 of sorts to celebrate the first year of our daughter, Madeline’s, birthday. In honor of Kim, I offer you a list of reflective observations I’ve gained over the last five years of our marriage:
- Take a sigh of relief that you chose someone who shares the same values you do. This makes the hard times easier, and other times fun.
- When you get married, there’s no more “my family does it this way, and yours does it this way…” There’s now your way – make your relationship and family unique in a way that fits you.
- Kids change shit – whether it’s a dog, a first kid, or both. Enjoy and embrace the change – You may find you fall in love again.
- You can never appreciate your partner enough… remember to thank them, tell them you love them, and that you appreciate what they do – whatever that may be.
- Sometimes it’s good to go to bed angry – time to reflect and discuss whatever you were angry about with a fresh night’s sleep can be beneficial.
- Being happy is definitely more fun than being right.
- Learn to be flexible. It’s certainly cliché, but you do have an entire life together – is it really going to matter if the laundry waits a day or two?
- It’s OK to want time to yourself. Actually, it’s normal – take time to yourself, and encourage your partner to do the same.
- Schedule date nights – in addition to double-date nights. Life gets hectic and crazy. If you don’t find time for just you and your partner, you’ll fill it with something else, and one-on-one time is important.
- Have fun! Celebrate your successes together; new job, new baby, rocking a parenting moment – give each other high-fives even – who cares, no one’s watching!
Happy Anniversary, Sweety – Thank you for being a fantastically supportive, and loving wife!
Matt Walzer is a Philanthropy Officer for the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. He is a proud husband and loving father to a 1-year-old daughter, and 8-ish-year old dog. In his spare time he serves on the board of The Emily Program Foundation, plays baseball, and binge watches good TV shows.