Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The tally

In a time when divorce is common, this one came as a surprise. They had been married for six years and, to all who knew them, had a great marriage. As couples do, they argued. As couples do, they reconciled. But one issue kept creeping up. Regardless of what the argument was about, he would bring up the time she forgot an event that was important to him that they had to attend, or the times she forgot to pick up the dry-cleaning on the way home, the times she drifted away in a phone conversation with an old friend, the times she went to the mall with her mother and took too long, the time she redecorated the house as a surprise, without consulting him, or the times she made dinner with the sauce he hates. He kept a tally of everything she did that made him angry. He couldn't forgive these small issues and it eventually destroyed the relationship. It was later that, during a cathartic aha moment, he began a new tally. He started to remember the times she made him laugh, the times she went along with his crazy ideas, the times she ignored his bad moods, the times she tiptoed to keep silence and outfitted the house with food and supplies so that he could meet a deadline, the times she believed in him when no one else seemed to, the times she comforted and supported him after his plans failed, the time she took her vacation time to take care of his dad who was in the hospital, the times she hosted his friends, or the times she didn't fuss when he made a mistake or went back on his word. This tally was longer, but he didn't add it up in time.

Today is a good day to stop keeping score of grievances and start tallying up the goodness, the blessings, and the joys in our days, in our relationships, in our work, and in our homes. Thankfulness begins with a list of what does go well, what people do put up with about us, what we already have, the comedy in our days, the extra chances we get, the many gestures of love.

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