Today is my 17th wedding anniversary.  It seems like just yesterday I was a kid in school, and the thought of being married and having a family seemed eons away.  It really is incredible how time flies.

Marriage and family life have been interesting.  Besides brief glimpses into the lives of other families, all we really know about family interactions are what we learned from our own families while we were growing up.  Like the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I’m beginning to think that in some respects, my dreams about the type of marriage, family, home, career, etc. that I want to have are too idealistic.  The chronic need to want things to be better than they are can become wearisome, which is ironic considering the title of this blog.  But, how does one lower one’s expectations?  Is it ingratitude to want to improve?

When I really think about it, I am amazingly blessed- I have a wonderful wife, two beautiful, intelligent children, a good job with a generous employer, health, and a knowledge of the gospel.  What more could one really want?  At the same time, I believe strongly in progress and that progress requires effort.  I want to improve my marriage, to be a better parent, to improve my employment, my health, and my knowledge of the gospel.  What is the balance between being content and striving to improve?  Perhaps a few keys are to remain grateful, to enjoy the present, and to humbly seek learning and improvement.

I’m probably a slow learner, but after 17 years, I feel like I’m just beginning to understand marriage and parenthood.  I have much yet to learn.  There are times that I wish I could begin over with the knowledge and experience that I have now.  Since that isn’t possible, the best I can do is start today to try to change and to be a more loving and selfless husband and father.

It still seems like eons until our kids will be grown and will have families of their own.  But as Jacob said, “our lives passed away as it were unto us a dream,” so time really is of the essence.