I don’t know what’s happened to time lately. We were just talking about this the other day, how time seems to have been doing these weird slip-skip things, so that one minute we’re toasting the New Year and then suddenly we’re baking the turkey for Thanksgiving. All I really know is that one morning I woke up and took a shower and put on fancy clothes and went and stood in front of a room full of our closest friends and family and promised to have adventures with you as your wife, and then I blinked and somehow a million minutes have passed and it’s our second anniversary.
I did the math–if a year is ~525,600 minutes, then two years is more than a million. Yowza.
A million minutes as your wife, your partner in crime, your sidekick. A million minutes as your first-line support system. A million minutes as your fashion adviser (ha!), your personal chef, your cheerleader, and occasionally your very own in-house Grumpy McGrouchyson (sorry about those).
A million minutes.
And I was thinking about all those minutes, and since a million minutes is a little abstract, I converted them to dollars. Y’know, like if we won the lottery or something. And if I think about it that way, something kinda jumps out at me: suppose we were told that we were going to get $1 million deposited in a bank account every other year for the next, say, 40 years; but if we put aside $20 a day, like into an interest-bearing account or something complicated involving stocks or something, we can get an additional few payouts. So, y’know, mo’ money, honey. We like mo’ money. And that’d be pretty easy–we could set up an automatic transfer, maybe–and even if we had to hop into the car and take 20 minutes to run to the bank and make the transfer manually, I reckon we’d still do it, ’cause, y’know, money. Money money money. And it’s only 20 minutes. Maybe we could make an adventure out of it, or a ritual.
Now convert that back to minutes. Still with me? No more money (boo), but now we’re talking about time. I’ve had about a million minutes with you so far, and I’ll be delighted to take every additional minute I can get; and from the quick googling I just did, it looks like using 20 minutes per day to exercise instead of sitting in front of the television can add between 2 and 14 years to our lives together, depending on which article you want to believe.
2 to 14 years. That’s up to 7 million additional minutes.
If it was cash we were talking about, I think we can both agree that it’d be no problem at all to wedge in a quick daily bank run–20 minutes, or $20, isn’t very long / very much / very difficult, in the grand scheme of things. We’d do it without even thinking about it. But somehow when we talk about time, and more precisely about time spent looking after our health, it becomes this big giant bothersome irritating thiiiiiing, and we doan wanna do eet. I’m guilty of it, and let’s face it, so are you.
But y’know what? One million minutes doesn’t even come close to the amount of time I want to spend with you. It doesn’t even scratch the surface of how many times I want to sit on your parents’ porch and watch the waterfall with you, or how many times I want to play in the lake with you at Grandpa’s house, or how many times I want to watch you show Mom how to use a complicated gadget, or how many times I want to hear you read a story to our nieces’n’nephews. It doesn’t begin to cover the number of minutes I want to spend watching you skritch the critters or put away the dishes or drive us to some new and exciting place. It doesn’t even come close.
So maybe it’s not the sexiest anniversary present a man could ever want, but this year my present to you is my workout pants. They say the second anniversary gift is supposed to be cotton; so this year you’re getting my exercise clothes. T-shirts, tank tops, pants, shorts, socks, the whole shebang. And in return, I want yours.
And I don’t want them pristine. I want your workout clothes in the clothes hamper, sweaty from use and smellin’ weird. It’ll give me an excuse to use that homemade laundry detergent I’ve become addicted to (seriously, have you smelled it? It’s sooo niiiice). And eventually I want new workout clothes from you, because the old set is too big.
I want us to not spend 20 minutes together each day, because we’re busy spending those 20 minutes by ourselves, doing whatever it takes to earn the extra 2-14 years. Sure, sometimes we can do activities together; and this is a family show so I’m not going to get overly descriptive here, but I know I can think of a fun workout we can do together in 20 minutes or so (longer if we’re feeling particularly–ahem–motivated); but I also want us to cultivate a pattern of exercising even if the other person isn’t around to be a cheerleader.
I want to put those 20 minutes into a timey-wimey bank account and let the interest start growing, because dammit, I want my extra 7 million minutes. Especially if they’re going to go as quickly as these first million have gone.
So happy anniversary, sweetheart. Thank you for the first million minutes, and for all the adventures and misadventures and laughter and love we’ve shared so far, and please know how very, very much I look forward to all the millions of minutes we have ahead of us.
Now if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to go gift-wrap my socks.
I choose you every morning and I love you more each day,