About 13 years ago, this guy came into my company for an interview. He was a programmer, and clearly very talented. At the time, I thought he was all-business and all about the code. Totally perfect for the job, so we hired him. James just happened to have muscular dystrophy and be in a wheelchair. Turned out we hired one of the funniest people I have ever met and someone who has become our friend for life. We now know his whole family and we still see him regularly even though I left the company I co-founded over five years ago. When the Muscular Dystrophy Association asked me if I knew anyone who lives their life limitlessly that I could honor with a post, of course, I thought of James.
Last week, we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Many people say this, but it feels like just yesterday *and* forever ago - all at the same time. We married here in Denver, a little while after we moved and it's fun to think about how young and optimistic we were then. We may be more cynical and jaded now, but in many ways, we still work on our marriage just as hard as day one. Some things get easier over the years, some harder. For example - we literally have talked about everything. What is there left to say after all this time? Well, for one, we recently chatted about how we make our marriage work so I could write one of these condescending posts about it. Look... We know every marriage is different. We've seen some couples split for reasons I could not explain, and people stay together for no good one. No judgements here, just some suggestions from two goofballs who still lean on each other as heavily now as they did two decades ago.
We had some bad years. Primarily they started with my mom getting sick and ending with me getting sick. 2013 started to turn things around, but last year was good. Really, really good. Sure, we are still struggling out of a financial hole from those dark years, but whatever. Money is money. If I have learned anything this decade, the most important thing is the ones you love, then the experiences you have on the journey. No collection of 365 days can be perfect, nor would I even want them to be. But 2014 was pretty damn awesome. I am so incredibly thankful. Here are my highlights.
I have had diabetes for over twelve years now. Probably more, because they were pretty sure I had it for several years prior to diagnosis. The first ten years were a cakewalk. I only took a little bit of medicine and checked in with my doctor and really not much else. Then there was that time in my life when things got rough. I call them the Dark Years. It was when my mom got sick and I got sick and other then that bad time in childhood with my dad, it was pretty much the worst period of my life. The good news is when you have a bad couple years, you appreciate the good ones so much more. After I spent nine months on my back with the ear infection my body didn't bounce back easily. Part of this I know is age; when you're over 40, things just take longer to heal. But it just seemed like my pancreas has decided it just wasn't going to work anymore. So I was taking all kinds of different meds and lots of insulin.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.My first surgery on my teeth was at age eight. There was all this extra space and an excess of gums. At that time, dentists could put patients under anesthesia in the office so I don't remember much about it. My second mouth surgery was in 6th grade and the doctor had received a letter just the week from insurance telling him no more in-office operations, which caused complete panic at the idea of being awake while they had another go at making my teeth grow in more normally. That was my first experience with nitrous oxide and my mom still talks about how hilarious I was while high. Unfortunately, it didn't work, either. I ended up with years of braces, retainers, bonding and my smile was still messed up. I had a huge gap between my two front teeth, which in retrospect is really unbelievable, given all the pain I went through. I finally got veneers to fix my smile, but I wish I had access to something like Invisalign because I would have been their perfect patient.