You all know that I have been in school the entire five and a half years of mine and Joe's relationship. I started my degree two months before we met and just recently graduated, a year and a half before our five year wedding anniversary. Joe has been running a lawn care business since he was a teenager, but he set that aside for two years to serve an LDS mission. When he got home, he met me and four months later, got the ball rolling to start his lawn care business over from scratch. Throughout our relationship, we each have invested our time and energy into other things that we are passionate about. I've had this blog and Joe has seriously considered quite a few entrepreneurial endeavors. The great thing about marriage is that you can still go after your own dreams, but rather than doing it on your own, with the support of those around you, you get to work toward your goals and dreams as a team, with those around you to support the both of you.
Last week I was interviewing Deidre of Deidre Emme for the Wives to Watch in Every Stage of Life series and she talked about this exact thing. She mentioned how so many people always tell her that they admire her for being a baseball wife and supporting her husband from afar during baseball season. As we were talking, she said something that really resonated with me, especially with this post that had been on my mind for a while. Deidre mentioned that while Adam's baseball career is something that he began pursuing long before he met her, it has become something that they are pursuing together. Achieving that goal is as important to Deidre as it is to Adam, and no matter how hard it might be for them to be apart so many months of the year, if he ever quit, it would be as disappointing for her as it would be for him. Baseball is something that the two of them are doing together, just like Deidre's pageants, blogging and more are something that they both do together.
The same is true for things that Joe and I decide to pursue as individuals. I may have been the one going to classes, doing homework, taking tests and walking across the stage at graduation, but it was as much an accomplishment for Joe as it was for me. He supported me the entire way, encouraged me to keep going and never give up, an helped make it possible for me to get my degree without going into debt. Joe is the one who mows lawns, purchases equipment, hires his crew, etc. but we're both in it together. Whenever he has a decision to make about Mow Joe, he discusses it with me and asks me what he should do.
Are you and your spouse involved with each other's passions? Because you can and should be making the things that they care about a priority, even if it's something that you aren't interested in personally. I dread yard work and am not going to complain about never "getting" to mow my own lawn. There are still plenty of things that I can do to support Joe in everything that he does. I can be there for him to bounce ideas off of, and I can help him do other things with the business like write an employee manual, set schedules for aeration or weekly lawn care services, and I've told him that I will do the books for him this year because I know that's his least favorite part of the business. You don't have to go out and run a marathon with your spouse or get up early every morning to help them train, but you can get up and fix them a good post-run breakfast, make sure their workout clothes are always clean, and be there to cheer them on and greet them as they cross the finish line.
Earlier this week, I joined Elyse from Just Murrayed and a few other wives in a collaboration post. In that post I said that "marriage can tie you down, if you aren't willing to support each other in the things that you want to do. But marriage will open doors that weren't previously available to you because you have someone who is invested in your future, as an individual and as a couple, and who will push you to be your best and live your dreams!" Be that person in your marriage by not only supporting your spouse in their endeavors but by doing everything that you can to help them achieve their dreams. Those goals aren't just theirs, they are yours as well!
What is something that your spouse is passionate about? What are you doing or what can you be doing to make their goal a priority for yourself as well?