Marci and I have been married for a little over 15 years now. That is a pretty decent span of time. Other than family, I can easily count on my fingers the number of friends I have that I've known longer that I am still in contact with. She is the most important person in my life, and I couldn't be happier that we are together.
However, and Marci will immediately agree with me, we have very little in common as far as our likes and dislikes. Allow me to list just a few examples: I love hiking and camping and generally being outdoors as much and in as remote a place as I can get. Marci's idea of camping is staying at a Motel 6. I love trying new and unusual foods, I love fixing it, eating it, and especially exploring new foods from different cultures. Marci's current idea of a good meal is a steak and a salad, and if it ever lived in the water she won't touch it with a 10 ft pole. I'm a techno-nerd, she's more craft-centric. I love science fiction and fantasy, she couldn't care less. She loves Grey's Anatomy, I think it is among the worst shows on television.
That's just the beginning - it's an extensive list.
We really have very little in common when it comes to many of the things that others would consider crucial to a successful relationship. However, we do share things in common that are so much more important than any of that superficial stuff: our love for each other, our love for our children and our love for Heavenly Father. None of the rest of it matters one little bit. As for our differences, we derive quite a bit of joy and humor from our them and I love her all the more because of them.
But that's not what I'm specifically grateful for today. I wanted to share something very special:
I love photography. I've been pursuing it as an active hobby for some time and some of my greatest laments are my lack of funds to buy the cool equipment I'd like to have - photography is not a hobby for the faint of wallet. However, I am very happy with the gear I have and I make the most of it. I've been working recently on starting a side business of doing portrait photography. I haven't really been marketing myself or anything, just offering to do photos for friends. It's been a lot of fun and I've gotten some results that I'm really happy with.
Not too terribly long ago Marci helped me with a photo shoot for some friends of ours. They had a number of kids and I figured I could use some help managing everything. It was a total blast. Having her with me was really fun for me. She was sharing in a hobby that I enjoyed and she really did help me and some of the best shots of the day were due to her suggestions.
For the last week or so we have been talking about Marci possibly finding some kind of activity that would allow her to start her own business. It's something that she'd finally be able to do now that the kids are in school and it's something she's wanted to do for a long time, she just wasn't sure exactly what she wanted to do. I'm not sure how it came up, but on Sunday we were just chatting and somehow, I honestly don't remember who started the idea, we began talking about her learning about shooting photography and the two of us working together on a portrait photography business. I was very excited at the prospect and we began making plans on how to make it happen.
Tonight we went out to do a photo shoot of our kids. She would be behind the camera and I would be working with her to teach her what I could about photography and how to handle the camera. I could not have been happier. My wife was now participating WITH me in one of my favorite hobbies! She has an interest not just in watching me do it, but actually learning how to do it and participating and partnering with me. I could be wrong, but it also seems that she is interested for her own reasons as well as because it's something I'm interested in. I don't feel like she's doing it to humor me but that she really wants to become a photographer. It's a very important distinction for me. We have a genuine common interest. Don't get me wrong, this doesn't make me love her any more (how could I?), but it is genuinely exciting and fun to think that we could have a common hobby. It only took us 15 years to find it!
So, today I am grateful for my lovely wife. I'm grateful that we love each other in spite of and often because of our differences. I'm grateful that we enjoy spending time together no matter what we're doing. I'm grateful that we share the most important things together. And I'm grateful that I have been given yet one more reason to look forward to spending time with her.
As if I needed any more reasons......