Last night I was thinking about how it was ten years ago today that Brett and I met face-to-face for the first time and went on our first date. I was wondering what I’d been doing the night before our date and if I really had any idea how much the next day would change my life. And then I realized that wasn’t quite true. That first date didn’t drastically change my life. Not on its own anyway. There was nothing about that date that was really dramatic. It was definitely a good date, which was why there were more. But it was not “life changing.”
As I thought about how not-life-changing that date was I realized there haven’t really been any huge life-changing events in our relationship where everything suddenly changed. Not even getting married. Instead there have been hundreds and thousands of little moments that have built up to the slow changes that brought us to where we are now, 6.5 years of marriage, three kids, three more graduate degrees than when we started, medical issues, travel, excitement, and even some rather dull moments.
Huge life-changing instants are rather rare. Win the lottery – life-changing instant. Tragic car accident – life-changing instant. Victim of an act of terrorism – life-changing instant. I can’t think of any example of a life-changing instant that isn’t the result of the randomness of the universe. And most of the examples I can think of aren’t pleasant either.
Ten years ago my life did change. But it was in a small, imperceptible way. Just like will happen to me tomorrow when something changes my life in another small way. And maybe in another ten years I’ll look back and realize what a difference it made. Or maybe in another ten years I’ll look back and won’t remember if it was a day I washed diapers or not. (But if I don’t wash the diapers tomorrow it will change the lives of several other people in our house as well.)