Today is my husband Dan’s 65th. Our birthdays are one day apart (yesterday was my 50th). As I reflect back on the last twenty years or so of our partnership, the following guidelines have kept us strong and vibrant as we’ve weathered the natural ups and downs of daily and yearly life. I take very little credit for them, seriously. Dan is a genius imho about creating and then living a really intentional life:

  • Make it an adventure (not every day necessarily, but check in and make sure you’re having fun and trying new things)
  • Don’t use “fighting words” (the things we know will trigger the other)
  • Date nights are a must, at least one a week
  • Don’t take ourselves too seriously
  • Have lots and lots of inside jokes
  • It can’t be all about the kids (and the kids do best when we’re a team)
  • Discuss the concept of “resource allocation” on the regular (this is a term Dan made up that refers to how much energy, effort, and money is going into certain buckets of our lives and not others at any given time)
  • Go to bed together most nights
  • See things from the other person’s point of view
  • Accept the way your partner wants to express his or her love and don’t try to force it into a box you think you need
  • Partnership is not going to the grocery store and selecting what you want from each aisle: be all in for the whole package
  • Make room in your life for what’s important to the other, even if it’s not important to you (I cannot tell you how many conversations about yoga Dan has pleasantly sat through even though he doesn’t give a s*it about the alignment principles of healthy backbending)
  • Be generous in your praise and sparse in your criticism
  • Be constantly curious about each other (there’s always more to learn)

Happy birthday, Baby. I love you utts (that’s our code for up to the sky).