Exactly one year ago today I woke up like it was any other Saturday. I quietly stretched the sleep away and snuck out of the house without disturbing my teenagers still asleep in their beds. I went to the gym and did that thing I do by starting my workout session in the sauna.
Then I made my way to my elliptical machine and proceeded to do my hour of cardio. As I had so many times before that, I cycled through apps on my phone. I check text and email and, at times, various social media platforms. On that day, the bumble dating app was in the rotation and I checked to see if there were new profiles and pictures that met my search criteria.
I did that swiping thing I had become accustomed to and wasted no time starting conversations when there was a match. Unless I had something more clever to open the conversation that was based on info from the profile, I would just say “hello” and ask the other person how their day was going.
That’s what I did with Jim shortly after I swiped right on his profile and found we matched. He remembers the exact opening line I used (actually I believe he took a screenshot of it before deleting the app from his phone). So thoughtful. All I really remember is that we had a nice back and forth exchange via text which ended with a plan to talk on the phone sometime that afternoon.
After that I continued to finish out my set at the gym and move on to the rest of my Saturday morning chores. I probably hit the grocery store on my way home and did some random things around the house. It was a very nice day out, above average temps albeit quite windy. I really don’t recall exactly when the kids got up or what we did for lunch or what else was on the agenda. It was still just a regular day.
When the time came for the phone call we planned, I had decided it was nice enough out to walk and talk and so I grabbed my phone and headphones and headed down the block. That was actually a mistake because with the wind, I had trouble hearing the conversation. We were both outside and both struggling.
I decided pretty quickly to head back home and finished out our chat from my front porch which was very much shielded from the wind. By the end of that conversation I knew most of the big things.. we were both divorced with kids (two teenagers each) and what our respective “careers” were. One thing we agreed on was that there’s no time like the present and there would be no reason to wait on meeting in person. We made a plan to meet up for a glass of wine later that evening. And so it was.
That’s the day our story started. It’s been a whirlwind of a year and it’s sometimes still tough to believe that it’s real. Things progressed quite rapidly, but I think that’s due to the fact that we both knew what we were looking for and had a high level of confidence about the other person.
Within 6 months he proposed and I said yes. Within 11 months we were living together. We have enjoyed a year of good times, travel, and just being in love and we have also navigated the complications that come with having a past with baggage and other continuous life struggles. Everyone has their shit.. but it’s been easy for me to open up and let him in to help me with mine. He’s super supportive and I try to return that in kind.
It’s one thing to be happy and find joy and satisfaction with another person and with life in the gaps where everything is sunny and the world is outside the bubble of bliss. It’s another thing altogether to burst that bubble and let reality pour in. It’s messy and sometimes we swim in chaos and doubt, but if we put our faith in our partner, we can sort it all out. Jim and I have done that and I think we have done it fairly successfully.
I mean, it’s not like a box you check off a to-do list. It’s a continuous “thing” that continues to evolve and requires effort. You don’t just wake up one day going “oh yeah, we figured that out and can live out the rest of our days in bliss”. Nope. It’s not like that. The wisdom that comes from experience is that you have to always continue to try and as soon as one thing is resolved, another is waiting around the corner. That’s a tough lesson to learn.
Having learned it already, I think will help us continue to help each other and hold each other up when life throws those nasty curve balls. It makes me think that everything I have been through was for a reason. I had to learn those lessons in order to prepare me for that day one year ago that has changed the course of my life. If that’s true, then I’m just as grateful for the pain and struggle I’ve suffered through than the wonderful, easy times.
At this point I can’t imagine what my life would be like right now if I would have “swiped left” or any one of another 100 alternate realities based on choices that I have made in the past. It’s not worth thinking about further really. It’s just another day in the life of Miss SugarCookie and as both Jim and I agree “there’s no time like the present.. why wait?”, so let’s get on with it!
On that note, it’s time to get on with enjoying this Sunday. We’ve got some living to do today!!