A few nights ago my high school friends and I got together. This was no small feat. With kids, holidays, different zip codes and coasts, it was a miracle we pulled it off. What I love about this crew is that everyone is cool being exactly as they are. No pretense. No B.S. We've all been through various good and bad things. Divorce, husband issues, child issues, parent issues. We've all walked through the fire.
When the conversation turned to marriage I heard a lot being said about how hard it really is. What it takes to have a marriage that lasts.
My analogy that I came up with was: Marriage is like a quilt.
When you first get married the quilt is perfect, snugly, and everything you want. You don't know how you ever lived without it before! The perfect comfort and happiness.
But over time job stress, financial strain, emotional strain, kids, can put holes in your quilt. It can wear it really thin and leave it threadbare. Mending it takes major work. You need time alone to reconnect, you need to let built up resentments go, and that's HARD. Sometimes the mending is as easy as watching your kid score a goal at soccer together, or sing in the school play.
You just smile at each other and feel mended.
Sometimes, however, you feel tired of mending. You think of how your quilt used to be and compare to how worn it looks now. You even think about getting a NEW QUILT. We could all just walk away from our relationships. Say we would be better off, happier, without it.
In reality, in a lot of cases, there's a comfort to that old quilt that a new quilt can never bring. There's a history, a shared dream. New quilts look better but there's no guarantee it will really keep you warm.
So when you're holding on by a very thin thread....remember that's all it takes sometimes. You can always mend and patch those holes.
And for those of you who feel you NEVER had a quilt, WANT to have a quilt but can't find one, or have a quilt so DAMAGED it wouldn't be good for YOU if you fixed it....I am thinking of you and know what while all the crazy emotions of this past year are swirling around, and you are having a hard holiday, the new year beings RENEWAL. And NEW QUILTS. So take heart and keep the faith.
Oh, and everyone keep your sewing kits handy. Mending will happen!