Antonia and I celebrated our 2-year anniversary on the 6th. We ended up having a really nice evening out at a restaurant that was recommended to us by a coworker. We have said quite a few times that our second year was better than our first. We had a very tough adjustment period at the beginning of our marriage. There were a lot of factors involved, but one of the biggest was my own selfishness. One of the blessings/curses of marriage is the way that it holds a mirror up to the flaws you didn’t realize you had. The trap I tend to fall into is the false idea of “fairness”. My default approach to a lot of things is to assume that things are always supposed to be even. (i.e. “I should always have an equal say in everything”; “Every insult she hurls at me can be stored away as one that I get to throw back at her at a future time of my choosing”; etc.)
The problem is, I tend to be a huge proponent of equal say in the cases where it’s most convenient for me. The times when there is a TV show that I really want to watch, I believe that the person who displays the most passion (whines the loudest) gets to decide what we watch. And for some reason when I cash-in by busting out the insult that’s owed to me, we end up being more unhappy with each other for a longer period of time. I often look back at the times when I’ve demanded to have my say and think that giving my wife exactly what she desired would have tasted so much sweeter than winning the argument.
I’m still trying to absorb the fact that marriage isn’t about things being equal. It’s about sacrifice and service. And learning. Learning and growing together is why our second year was ten times better than our first. Here’s hoping for an even better third year.
This last weekend was my favorite in China so far. On Saturday we took a bus to a nearby city called Nanjing. It’s a pretty major city with around 8 million people. It also has a history that spans thousands of years, but upon arrival we immediately headed for the Starbucks. We sat and enjoyed lattes for an hour or so and then wandered around until we found our lunch destination: a western-style restaurant with sandwiches and french fries. Clearly, we did NOT go to Nanjing to see old temples, although those were nice too. It’s only an hour and a half bus ride away so we figure we’ll have plenty of time to go back and see the important stuff, this time we wanted good food.
The next day we went up to the mountains just outside our city. There are farmers that live on the mountains who run little restaurants out of their houses. We found a nice little hotel/restaurant hidden at the foot of one of the mountains and had lunch there. The food was amazing and it was a very peaceful place. After lunch we went up to one of the small temples that are scattered on each of the mountain peaks. Beautiful.
Ok, some pictures: