23 Years

Uncategorized Aug 02, 2021

This past Sunday (July 25), my beloved husband, Paul, and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary. (We had to do some math to figure out how long!)


We decided to go to Kelowna, BC (a lovely lake town about 7 hours away from us) in honour of our special day.


A few things happened on our trip that help to illustrate why I think our marriage has been so successful to date.


1- Forest fires and optimism


Calgary (where we live) has been smokey on and off for the last few weeks due to many fires in the provinces adjacent to us on both sides. We knew we would be heading into potentially even more smoke, but we were optimistic regardless. Perhaps you’re familiar with the feeling of just wanting to get away and see some new sights? 


On our drive, we ended up driving right by some fires in the mountains. Like literally trees burning just above us. However, the highway was still open, so we assumed we were safe.


Despite the very proximous fires (I know that's not a real word, but I like how it sounds), Kelowna ended up being less smokey for most of the time we were there. Hooray! Our optimism paid off and we got to enjoy mostly blue skies with just a touch of ash and smoke.


In our marriage, we are optimistic, we follow our hearts and we expect the best. We have many adventures along the way and we support each other through them.


2- A sick son and going with the flow


We left on Friday afternoon and drove until we arrived at around 10:00pm. Our son, Oakley mentioned that his throat was a little sore. By Saturday, he was full-on sick. Boo. We had big plans to rent a boat, go to restaurants, spend time at the beach, etc, but we had to adjust on the fly.


Paul ended up staying at the hotel with Oakley where they watched the Olympics (a happy bonus because we don’t have a TV at home) while Zoe and I went out wandering. We pounded Oakley with natural remedies and by dinner time, he felt much better. We were able to enjoy some exceptional tapas and spend the evening on the beach. Then, we rented a motor boat the next day and had a spectacular adventure going outside our comfort zones (our preferred pace on lakes is more like a canoe or paddle board).


Our marriage has been successful so far because Paul and I have actively developed our ability to go with the flow. We make plans, we get excited about them and then when things don’t turn out as expected, we’ve cultivated the ability to detach from our expectations. Personally, I used to find that extremely challenging, but I’ve gotten much better at it, especially in the last couple of years through specific breathwork, meditation and yoga. (Shameless plug: I’ll be running a teaching on the breathwork and meditation in the fall. Stay tuned!)


3- Gelato for breakfast!


Confession: we went to Kelowna primarily for gelato. You see, we have friends who went to Gelato University in Italy to learn how to make real-deal gelato (only 2% of gelato shops in the world make their own gelato from scratch). As a result, Victor and Kevin make THE BEST GELATO I’ve ever had at their amazing shop QB Gelato and Bakery. 


In my mind, a seven hour drive each way is totally worth it for this gelato. Now, we are a very health-conscious family AND, personally, I’ve learned how to let go of militancy about food and lighten up to have more fun. 


We had gelato for breakfast one day, and another day we had it for lunch. The old me never would have done that because the more rules I could follow with food, the better. The old me struggled to have fun because life was SERIOUS BUSINESS. 


The new me is way more fun, light-hearted and easy-going. In our marriage, we’ve both been very willing to grow, evolve and learn. I feel so blessed to have a husband who is as enthusiastic about personal growth as I am. Well, maybe not quite as enthusiastic, but he certainly does his own work in his own way. 


Early on, I realized that the only person I could work on was me, and so I’ve done that. Paul has given me lots of space to discover who I am and be patient with me, and I’ve done the same for him. 


Here are some visuals from our trip. (Somehow we didn't manage to get a photo of me and Paul together.)



And now, to sum it all up, I believe we’ve had 23 wonderful years of marriage because:


>we’re optimistic, we’ve learned how to go with the flow and we expect the best (in life and from each other)


>we do our personal work to grow and expand, and we allow each other space and time to do the same thing


>we plan for fun together, we practice being light-hearted and we try new things


>one other thing that I think is super important is that we speak kindly to and about each other


I hope that this message was helpful for you and that it finds you well, enjoying your summer (or winter, depending on where you are in the world). 


With timeless love and flourishing courage,




Creator of Courageous Self-Care

QB Gelato Enthusiast

Road Tripper Extraordinaire (but only as a passenger; I preferred to be chauffeured)