What happens when you hit a big life marker? When you hit 40, 50, or 60 years old? Or you hit 20, 30, or 40 years of marriage?

Something happens inside. You look at things in a slightly different manner.

The world calls all of that aging.

I call it something else. I call it living.

But I’ve also discovered that people approach living in two different ways.

Some people create life. They choose what happens to them every day. They choose a job they love. They choose work that is meaningful. They choose hobbies that fulfill them. They choose to live in a home that inspires them. They choose to eat foods that nourish them, body and soul. They choose every moment of the day carefully knowing it creates a beautiful inside.

Other people coast. They don’t pay attention. They do what they’ve always done. They choose easy instead of challenge. They get lazy. They blame.

When you coast, there is only one direction to go. Every day is like the last. You grow bitter. You grow old. You die. And you can exist that way for months, years, decades.

When you create, your options are unlimited. You make happiness happen. You create your best life.

That applies to you as an individual. It also applies to you as a couple.

All of a sudden it’s not just about you anymore.

I can choose the right job, the right hobbies, the right location for a home.

But what about we? That takes a little more work.

The reason a lot of “we’s” fail is people act with “I” in mind. When “we” disagree, the troubles begin.

With “we”, your goals grow to a different level. You’re working together towards a common goal. That means give and take. That means doing things in a different order to ensure the both of you reach the final destination, together. That means putting I to the side in order to ensure WE gets what it needs.

And that’s tough.

It doesn’t mean taking away from your goals and dreams as an I. It means working together to ensure both of your dreams and goals are fulfilled.

Sometimes that takes time.

We hit 30 years of marriage this year. And if you were to spend any time with us today, you would assume we’re in a fairly new relationship. Our daughter is always rolling her eyes at our playful antics. We have fun together. We like to spend time with one another. We truly like each other.

But that didn’t just happen without work. A LOT of work!

Every day, we choose to keep walking the path together.

There have been days I didn’t like him much. There have been days we didn’t say a word. But at the end of the day, it was always a question of whether I wanted him on the same path. And the answer was always yes. I wasn’t done with the relationship. I had more to discover, more to explore.

And obviously, the feeling is mutual.

I’m not a coaster. I’m an explorer.

I look for the side trails, the hidden paths. I want to discover every aspect of this life. I want to learn and grow. I want to try all I can.

And I have created a relationship with someone that enjoys the journey too.

You too?