An Introspective Look at the Man Who Thought He Had It All Figured Out

Good morning everyone! It’s nearly spring, although the massive snow dump up in the Sierras would have you believe otherwise. Five feet of snow is quite a bit, but no one ever expects the weather in Reno to make sense year round anyways. Oh Memorial Day, how I have a love-hate relationship with your snowy self the past decade.

I’m plowing on in many facets of my life: keeping a great marriage alive and well, moving into a house in 42 days, getting ready for my 10th (tenth!?!?!?) triathlon season, and meeting my professional expectations at work. It’s always a neat time of year when the choking grasp of the holidays has fallen off, and you can feel the fresh flow of oxygen return to your parched body. It’s a time for new-ness, for rebirth, and what more appropriate holiday to remember that with than Easter…

Every other year or so, I reach a place in my life where I like to think I have everything figured out, and I’m always rudely surprised to find that A) that’s just preposterously not even possible and B) I usually get a rude awakening as to what my masked eyes have been hiding from me. I’m not a very humble person, and it often takes many repeated efforts for me to be yanked down out of my delusional cloud to be exposed to the reality around me. It’s a humbling experience to be surrounded by the nasty, evil little creatures that embody the entirety of my bad habits glaring up at me with their sharp teeth snapping away, reminding me that not only am I not perfect but I have a plethora of distasteful habits that annoy and impact others, especially those I live with (a.k.a. my wife).

In the ideal world, of course I wish everyone was more like me. I mean, isn’t that what everyone really wants? Multiple versions of ourselves, with whom we would get along splendidly because, of course, they would eat, think, talk, act, sleep, clean, and behave like us. Oh, but what a lopsided and gross world that would be. The ultimate moment of pride is when I find myself wishing that others were more like me. Who am I to ask for such things? If anything, I should be more like everyone else… what a constant work in progress that is.

We celebrated our six month anniversary yesterday. I’m always a sucker for enjoying the little things, because without those, what is there that’s worth living for? You can only vacation to Disney so many times, but mini celebrations are a thing to be frequent and cherished occasions. Regardless, it was a great day enjoying six months of journeying down the life-long path we both had looked forward to for so long. And that got me thinking – how often do I do things that revolve around my interests, my desires, and the things that I want to do? ALL THE FREAKING TIME! It’s easy from my perspective to be like ‘yeaaa, I’m a super great husband and roommate and companion without any room for blame’, but all that needs to happen is for someone to scratch that fakely pristine surface for me to see myself for who I really am. A selfish human being more interested in taking care of myself than others. No surprise there…

The positive spin to all of this is that these moments of clarity, when the darkness of the heart is exposed for what it really is, is a good thing, even slightly embarrassing and humbling one. It is used to shape and refine us as human beings, and to bring our many, many faults into light. I can only be thankful that my wife is patient and forgiving because there are just too many of my faults to count. And better yet that she doesn’t keep score – it would be very one sided. She already whoops me in basketball…

I’ve learned a lot in six months. How to be less like myself and more like the couple that we’ve become, working on having a less selfish perspective, how to move my ego out of the picture for 10 seconds so that I can humble myself and apologize and ask forgiveness, and mostly trying to remove my pride from the equation of life’s daily tumble in the wrestling ring. It is sooo easy to huff and puff and come up with a list of 200 things that someone did to me that got me riled up, but what good does that do? None. It does nothing. All it is is me feeding my selfish desire to be heard, understood, and who would do that better than my own selfish heart programmed to revolve solely around me?

I always find myself asking for the ability and fortitude to practice being patient, and here I am, practicing patience but the catch is that it isn’t on my own terms – that would be too easy – the terms of growing in patience and grace are not set according to my own will, they’re set by another.  For the next six months, and the (hopefully) 60+ years after, I can only hope that my wife will continue to love me, despite all my faults, and that I can continually be brought to a humble and contrite place to love her how she needs, not how I think she needs.

Happy Tuesday – the tacos await in the crockpot once I get home! Yummy…

How does your pride affect your interactions with others? Do you find that the parable rings true – pride comes before the fall – ?

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