Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. Yes, 23 years. It’s a tremendous source of pride, but also quite perplexing too. Because if you’re like me, you might ask yourself, well, how did I get here?
The honest answer is love and a whole lotta grit. Nothing worth having comes easy. The investments we’ve made in each other, the dedication we have, and our willingness to grow together has made this a mutually valuable relationship. Oh, and our shared love of 80s music doesn’t hurt.
Now, see where I’m going with this? Any type of committed relationship — personal or professional — has the same secret sauce: an investment that ultimately leads to growth.
But what does it look like?
- Common Goals. We had to ask ourselves so many questions as we made decisions early on and, believe it or not, we still do. We have to continually check in to ensure there is still alignment. Do we have the same objectives in life? In work? An understanding of the end result? For us, it’s a small cottage on Martha’s Vineyard near one of the bike trails. And dogs. Lots of dogs.
- Investment. While it might seem trite, this meeting halfway thing is absolutely true. Relationships of any kind only work when both parties are willing to put in the time and energy — to learn, to support, to grow.
- Commitment. Not every day is fabulous, even in the best of relationships. My husband and I strive to have significantly more good days than not, and we seek to earn and keep each other’s trust each and every day.
- Acknowledgment. Every ounce of energy we’ve put into this relationship has paid off. Big. We have two beautiful children, a fun-loving (albeit a bit odd) dog, and more fantastic memories than I can count. And the more we put in, the more it continues to pay off for our family.
And then, we rinse and repeat. Because that’s how we grow together.
I have to agree with James Cash Penney, an American businessman and retail entrepreneur — and, I might add, an exceptional marketer. He said, “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” I hope that Peter and I have the opportunity to do that for many more years. Until then, I’m just thrilled that he’s my lobster.
Btw, I’ve embedded a famous quote and song lyrics from one of the most iconic 80s bands. I’ve also included a 90s cultural reference. Let me know if you caught…without the Google.