Change begets Change

This summer, I went on a life change bender.

I simultaneously undertook two of life’s major changes. I said I do, again, merely two years after my divorce finalized and four years after my first marriage ended. I said yes to a new job, completely obliterating my comfort zone and choosing passion and intuition over predictable results.

My boyfriend of three years and I decided to have a wedding about six weeks before we exchanged vows on June 28. He sat in a guard shack in Afghanistan and I sat at a desk I knew wasn’t right for me.

He was finishing out the last several weeks of a three-month-long stent. He’d come and gone to Afghanistan twice already, and would be going several more times during the current private security contract.

I thought he would propose when he was home in February. If I’m honest, I’ll tell you it was absolutely the first time I knew I would say yes. We’d been through a rocky patch and he spent a year proving he belonged in our lives. I spent the year proving I’d be successful and happy with or without him.

He told me later, he didn’t propose because he felt he needed more money to do it right.

Ruth and Dave Engagement_0049

He proposed a week before the already planned wedding, and it was everything each of us wanted it to be. He got to surprise me. I got the ring and the moment I wanted. We loved sharing it all with my son and family.

There is never enough money or enough time. I wanted to know the energy I expended to keep us strong and connected despite the distance had a purpose.

I’ve learned more than once the danger of setting expectations in my head only to be disappointed when they are not met. Throughout our relationship, I often retreated from attempting to control its course and allowed it to unfold naturally.

My need for certainty became too strong. I couldn’t wait and see anymore.

In May, I said “if you’re going to propose when you get home, let’s just plan a wedding.” Maybe I proposed to him. Maybe I exerted too much control. Maybe I’m impatient. Once we made the decision, though, it seemed meant to be.

The decision to leave a job I knew stifled me to take a job with promise but no certainty became much easier once I felt sure about the future of our relationship. I’d been unsure about too many aspects of my life for too long. Something definite felt right.

Today, we both love being newlyweds and I am approaching the new adventure in my work carefully and thoughtfully.

With the major changes underway, I now want to begin fine-tuning. I want to write daily and exercise more often. I want to expand my commitment to healthy eating and healthy living. I want to read more and Facebook less.

I have a plan, but executing is always the hardest part. First step, give myself credit for what I’ve done right. I know adjusting my daily habits will make the big life changes more valuable.

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