A few weeks ago, I saw a post on Instagram that thought-provoked me. It’s rare for a random image to touch me so deeply and then continue to sit in the forefront of my awareness.
With permission from my friend, Rob Comish, here is the post he originally shared:
This is what I wake up to everyday. This beautiful half gone cup of coffee. They are all over the house. One of those things that used to make me smack my head…and now it makes my heart swell. This is a quirky little thing my beautiful bride does. Every. Single. Day. And I love it. I love her. It makes me smile every single time. And I hope she does it forever. #coffee #marriage #newlyweds #love
You can tell from Rob’s hashtags that he’s a newlywed. But this isn’t his first rodeo. He’s older. He’s wiser. And this time around he’s equipped with the knowledge of how dangerous complacency is inside of a relationship.
I admit I felt a pang of jealousy the first time I read his words.
I’m acutely aware of my quirky little habits that might drive someone else absolutely insane, yet this tribute reminds me that it is possible for a partner to choose to see past the quirks, to recognize that the metaphorical half-empty coffee cups strewn about the house are a tangible reminder that I was recently there… that the potential annoyance is outweighed by on-purpose gratitude and appreciation.
Obviously this image really touched my heart. (understatement)
During that same week, I spent an evening with friends taking turns sharing music. For each song, we expressed why it was on our list of favorites.
I played a song by Safety Suit called “Never Stop” and relayed the story about Rob’s instagram photo.
I cried as I listened to the words of the chorus (and no, I didn’t even have PMS, though I actually wondered myself, so I understand if you wondered that, too) and it occurred to me that this song represents the opposite of complacency:
I will never stop trying.
I will never stop watching as you leave.
I will never stop losing my breath every time I see you looking back at me.
I will never stop holding your hand.
I will never stop opening your door.
I will never stop choosing you, babe.
I will never get used to you.
Let me clarify that the words to this song aren’t meaningful to me because there’s a forever promise, but because the author is consciously choosing to make the efforts necessary to avoid complacency.
And that is exquisitely beautiful.
We have choices to make every single day. Some of them are significant, but most are relatively inconsequential. When we spend time with the people we love, we can choose to let their annoying behaviors irritate the crap right out of us.
What if, for example, you find yourself extremely bothered by the way your close friend eats toast and you let it eat at you until you say something snarky? And what if, one day, you discover this same close friend is dying from cancer and your attitude changes.
What if, once your friend is gone, you realize you’d be ecstatic to spend eternity with your annoying-toast-eating friend?
Savor the Moment
It’s not my usual to spend time dwelling on morbid thoughts, but, I did just listen to Jason Silva discussing how inextricably connected love and joy are with pain and melancholy:
He calls it the “Existential Bummer” and my favorite line from this clip is,
“Sometimes I feel nostalgic about something I haven’t lost yet.”
And then he goes on to inspire us by asking how we can overcome the awareness that our loved ones will die, that everything is impermanent.
Do we love harder? Tighter? Do we accept impermanence and practice non-attachment?
Do we spend the precious time that we do have fixated on trivial matters?
I say we CHERISH every single iota… that we EMBRACE the minor irritations, the quirks, the inconvenient differences…
…that we REMEMBER how much we’ll miss these moments when they are gone…
and we CHOOSE to be grateful, to see the exquisite beauty, to remember that all we have is this present moment.
I say we kick complacency to the curb.
Following your lead, Rob.
Your Transformation Tour Guide