My husband and I talked about “down-sizing” yesterday, on the long drive back from South Beach, where we had celebrated my 62nd birthday with family. But, as soon as we broached the subject, as appealing as it sounded, we ran into problems. First of all, our house is already only 2300 square feet; we could reduce it from there but it would be tight as we’re both still physically fit and need our workout equipment at home, still need the guest room, and, while I still have a home office, my husband now works from home full-time. So what were we to discuss?
As we considered the issue, we realized that it’s really a question of finding a property that’s more conducive to relaxed living, maybe on “better water,” before it becomes too burdensome to move again. (We live on a canal in Tampa. “But,” my husband once pointed out, “wouldn’t a house on the open bay be amazing?”)
We’ve looked and looked, but everything on better water is 3x bigger and that much more expensive. Oh, well.
So how do we look at that? Well, as with everything in this world, there are pros and cons. We could be sad that we can’t afford a bigger house on better water. Or we could just acknowledge that we are very blessed.
Why do I bring this up? I think it’s because I’m the divorce lawyer whom other professionals consult about how to save their marriages. I know that divorce is sometimes necessary; I’ve been happily divorced and so has my (current) husband. But, sometimes marriage is about opening your eyes and appreciating what you’ve got, rather than taking it for granted. I often hear other people in the beauty parlor or the nail salon or at the restaurant bar observe (of their spouses), “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” Maybe they would be better served to sum up the good qualities that their spouses possess, to notice them, and to value them. Maybe the proper way to look at it is “Aren’t I truly blessed?”
Marriage is work, let there be no doubt of that. Some of that work is to realize that the quality your spouse demonstrates today that is making your life “a living hell” in this moment can be worked on, sometimes with the help of a good marriage counselor.
But some of that work, too, is simply to count your blessings.
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About this week’s author Joryn Jenkins.
Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, two of which she served as a professor of law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen Award, an honor bestowed upon those who have provided exceptional leadership in the American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.