Marriage 3.0

Ashleigh Renard

Our birthdays are just a few days apart and this is one of my favorite parts of being us. Besides commemorating our entries into the world, our birthday time has special significance because it was this week 15 years ago that we started falling in love.

Just 21 and 22, we took the same job out of college. When I flew from Manitoba to New Jersey for my interview I was told they had just interviewed a Greek football player from Temple University and were likely going to offer him a position.

I thought, Greek football player…interesting.

When he was there the week before he had been told they were going to interview a Canadian figure skater the following week.

He thought, Canadian figure skater…interesting.

The next month I packed up my car and moved to a new country. We met just a few days later. I did not want to judge my new life based on a boyfriend, so we tried to just be friends, for about two minutes.

We worked together all day, worked out together on our breaks, ate at fabulous restaurants, saw Broadway shows and every live sporting event in the NY area (thanks to the generosity of our awesome clients), and discovered that our favorite date, hands down, was coffee at a bookstore.

We bought our first house together 11 months after we met.

We got married, had babies, passed little humans back and forth, day and night, and we both changed careers. Life was beautiful and life was hard. There is this thing about having some fortune in your life, that you may feel varying degrees of guilt or shame for wanting more, for wanting something different. Can we simultaneously appreciate our lives and want them to be better? Yes, we can. If you have never been told this, I am granting you permission right now.

Me? Among other things, I wanted a marriage operating system update.

I update my marriage in a similar manner to how I clean rooms my house. I dump everything in a heap on the floor, start by carefully considering a few items, then get overwhelmed and my human cohabitants wonder if today is the day I will actually throw out every single thing and start over.

Then I remember to breathe and remember that there is still some good here, a lot of good. We put some things in their place and a few more, until, like magic, it all comes together, sometimes looking very different than before, but always better.

And then we live for a while and start to get notifications that we may be due for another update. We usually ignore them at first, but then they come more frequently and with greater intensity. And then we overhaul again.

Here’s to the adventure of Marriage 3.0.

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