This was inspired by a writing prompt given by one of the colleges one of my students is applying to. It is not a thorough interview, just one aspect.
1) You have clearly done quite a few jobs in your life. Was that by design or did that just happen?
I started out as a psychotherapist in my 20’s. I am genuinely interested in people and their complexities and so therapy was a perfect match for me. However, after Ray and I married, he introduced me to the world of antiques. This had a profound influence on my desire to learn more about art and design. I credit Ray with teaching me how to see. Up until that point, I spent much of my time in the interior world of the psyche. I loved that arena, but knew that I needed to expand my worldview. Buying and selling antiques and then later becoming the primary collectibles’ vender for the Chili’s chain for 600+ restaurants gave me the chance to see the world in a new and exciting way. This also helped me to learn the skills needed to operate a small business, which was interesting. In addition, Ray and I began having our children so working together gave us the chance to share parenting, which was important to us both.
2) What was the best thing about that part of your life?
I would say the sheer adventure of our life together. We were open to any experience, any challenge, any opportunity. We worked hard, made lots of friends, traveled extensively, all the while bringing our kids along for the ride.
3) Is there anything you regret about that time?
We did a lot of head-butting during that time. We were both trying to figure out who we were individually and as a couple and the sparks flew quite often. We brought a fair amount of baggage into our marriage and it took quite a while – and a thousand fights – before we just wore each other out and were able to round out our very sharp edges. I regret that we fought so much when our kids were young. That must have been tough on them and I genuinely feel sorry about that. I have, in fact, apologized to each of them for this.
4) Do you think that discord is just a natural part of marriage?
I can’t speak for everyone. I know in our cases, we had to push past our resistances to intimacy and it was hard going. We are happier now than ever, but I wouldn’t say this has been the easiest of marriages. However, I will say that it is one of the most interesting marriages I’ve seen in my life.
5) What makes it interesting?
We both bring unique perspectives to our shared experience. We both are adventurers and are willing to defy convention to create a life that suits us. We both share the value of family first, which has helped us to build a wonderful connection with our beloved three daughters and now their expanding lives and relationships. We are both willing to try new things to grow and change. That’s where my writing comes in.
To be continued…