Ten years ago today I married my soulmate at this little event called Blissfest 2002. The wedding itself was pretty epic. It was a weekend event on a dude ranch just outside of the city, we had an arsenal of four dj’s; a chill out teepee, three wedding dresses my mommy made me (one worn underneath a minus 40 down jacket), a totally made up wedding ceremony that lasted only five minutes and a few break ups and hook ups inspired by the ridiculousness of the intensity of the love of many flavours that happened that fateful weekend.
To help me get into the spirit of this pretty profound day (my longest relationship ever until I met him was like one tenth of our married time together now) I thought I would dig into the little locked vault inside me that stores all sorts of wisdom bits and share with you what I would tell a modern age maiden upon entering this sacred agreement. Off the top of my caffiene soaked head I offer you my personal:
Top Ten Tips to Wedded Bliss
1. Try your hardest to marry your soulmate: These are pretty easy to recognize but hard to come by. You might have to wait a while like I did. Talking in a soulmate is totally optional. What’s not an option is the ability to look straight into your soul and make you feel truly seen, accepted and recognized. If you can nab yourself one of these soulmate dealies, the rest of the tips are a piece of organic, non-gmo’d wedding cake.
2. Regularly share your dreams: No matter how outlandish or self-serving they might appear spill your aspirations like beans in a Nescafe ad. I share a bit of the story of our second date over on my about page. I told him about my bright idea of moving onto a farm in the middle of nowhere that night. Mind you, he asked but at that point in my life I readily shared this tidbit with guys on tryouts to weed out the uncooperatives. This shared dream set a dreamy tone to our blooming partnership. Still today I frequently tell him my ongoing dreams and any new ones and try to remember to ask him about his once in a while.
3. Be trees: Someone used this analogy on me once; imagine you and your beloved are two trees growing side by side. Simply check out their growing style but try not to interfere. In other words, keep your own interests, venture into your own adventures, honor each other’s personal journey but still offer love and support with soft eyes. It’s sweet too when branches get tangled up together for a bit before it’s time for a bit of a pruning.
4. Delegate household chores: We got this one figured out pretty quick. He does laundry, I fold and put it away. I vacuum, he takes out the garbage and compost. I milk Daisy, he keeps the chickens alive. I cook, he does dishes. I fall in love in love with him a bit more every time I see him carefully wash and not scrub my cast iron pan. Especially when he does it with his shirt off.
5. Take good care of each other: Thanks to my mom for always reminding me of this one. Kind of old school but makes totally sense. I take care of him by cooking really nutritional meals and by checking in once in a while that he’s bending at the knees and not working too hard. He takes good care of me by giving me the space to have my self-care needs met and supporting my crazy endevours (love him for that!)
6. Remind each other about your values: When we notice a rise in weird, doesn’t belong here really- type of energy in the house we take turns reminding each other of our core values using code words. Code words like “That’s not very Simplicity Parenting is it Ms Oh I’m So Into Simplicity Parenting because it’s just so Simple?” or “Why don’t you just add extra work to your plate for no apparent reason Mr Permaculture Poster Boy“. It’s so adorable it just makes our friends want to puke.
7. Have a team handshake: It all started on our honeymoon. In the throes of passion we came up with our team handshake. We pile our hands together and say “teaaaaaaaaam STOWELL!” and when we get to the Stowell bit we throw our hands jubilantly into the air. When our children’s arms are long enough to reach passed the top of their heads we promptly hold a sacred ceremony where we teach them the Stowell family secret team handshake. It’s the glue that keeps us cheering together.
8. Collect many inside jokes: Ensure you have a plethora of one liners to slip in there when things get tense and a little mood lightener is called for. Our current one is Craig singing the theme song to the Sopranos while walking with a little jig in his step. So that’s where the kids get their insane cuteness!
9.Have a date night: Saturday nights. We don’t necessarily leave the house (we’re in the boonies afterall) but we do have a video rental/New Age books/crystal store in our town! A movie, a book, a few crystals, a bag of organic chips and, to quote Ina May Gaskin, me and my man get super high (high means love in Ina May speak by the way. You totally should read Spiritual Mid-Wifery if not just for the hippie speak).
And last but not least…
10. Remember who this person is: He or she is just a big baby all grown up. When I get frustrated with Mr Wonderful I like to look at this framed picture of him of when he was about six years old. He’s wearing a brown, velvety polyester suit with a plaid fly collar. I can’t stay mad.
Happy Anniversary my BIG LOVE. Gawd! There is hot, watery substance squirting from the corner of my eye now and it’s not my latte. It’s you baby. You do this to me.
Tomorrow we’ll celebrate Blissfest 2012 in style (that is if I can get my paws on a karaoke machine)! But fret not; karaoke machine or no karaoke machine; our party’s still going to be beautiful, romantic and epic. Just like the last 520 Saturdays.
By the way, do you want to share some tips for wedded bliss to carry us through to the next ten years and beyond? Would love to hear them in the comments below!