Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Year Eight -- The Year of Chasing My Dreams

Yesterday was not a good day.

There were a lot of reasons, but the biggest is that we're at the very end of 5.5 weeks of Ryan being on the other side of the country, and I don't function well when he's gone.

Yesterday was also our anniversary.

(I am still 3,000 miles from my husband--just in case you missed that in the "bad day" bit above. We've spent a lot of time like this lately, with him in CA and me in GA.)

We've now been married for eight years.

When I look back on year eight of our marriage, I will always see this as the year Ryan pushed me to chase all my dreams. No matter how I fretted and second-guessed and guilted (oh, how I have guilted), he was always ready to reassure me, find a way through, and make major sacrifices so that I could pursue being a ballroom dance instructor and an author. 

I have friends from my dance teams in college who no longer get to dance, because their spouses don't dance but don't want them to dance with anyone else.

...Mine puts three very intense children to bed by himself multiple nights a week so I can go dance. 

I have writer friends whose spouses make comments like, "Don't you think you've been at this hobby long enough? You gave it a good try--now why don't you get a real job?"

...My husband uses his personal spending money (which is very limited around here) to hire a babysitter so I can have a couple of uninterrupted hours with my laptop. 

I know I'm not getting this across right. I just can't show you the exhaustion I've sometimes seen swallowing him up in its fog even as he hugs me with love in his eyes and pushes me out the door, saying, "Go get your dream."

There was no "seven-year-itch" in our marriage. There was only an increase in kindness, thoughtfulness, and gratitude as we worked through a very long year full of new jobs, our oldest daughter starting school, writing conferences, theatrical productions, and so, so much more. 

I'm grateful not only to have a man who loves me, but to have this man's love, this man's continual support and adoration. 

The adoration goes both ways. Forever and always.

Happy anniversary, Ryan.


  1. You forgot the part after I tell you to go get your dreams where slap your behind on the way out the door.

    For luck.

    Happy Anniversary, Love.

  2. I'm so grateful you're married to such a good man!

  3. Love this- so awesome! I love it when husbands encourage us to be awesome. I got to be in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" a few years back; I got to dance and sing it it, which are two of my loves. Brandon had to put the kids to bed 5 nights a week- it was such an awesome experience, and I'm grateful that he let me participate in something that required hard work on his part! :)

    1. That's so awesome! I'm glad we have these awesome men in our lives.

  4. I got teary eyed reading this. You two are such a great example of sacrifice and selfless love. I'm sorry you're having to spend your anniversary apart. Shannon, someday I hope to live less than a days drive away so we can visit and dance and smile and the child-caused mayhem together.

    1. That would be great, wouldn't it? And the anniversary was lame, but he's home now, and my universe has righted itself.


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