This is the meaning of life.

It starts with a smile, an introduction and a pair of googly eyes. Two hearts beating a little faster than usual and and a shared connection that transcends any interaction you’ve ever had which fills you up inside like a balloon that might just float away into the sunset. It’s real and it’s powerful and while it’s the only thing under the sun that is worth a damn thing at all; it is tragically forgettable.

Love is a many splendid thing but life is a busy bee buzzing. Somewhere along the way, my buzzing grew louder than my love. Or perhaps more accurately, I was so busy buzzing that I forgot to just stop and smell the roses.

Last night my wife and I left town, without the kids and spent the night alone together. God bless my parents who are not only the best people I know but also gracious enough to watch my children over night. They even slipped me money to buy dinner. My parents kick more ass than your parents, but I digress.

A funny thing happened next, my wife and I talked, like three hours in the car alone together, talked. Now, we “talk” every day but we dont really say anything. We might recap the day, update one another about the kids and possibly bring up some topical issue but that’s about as meaningful of a relationship as I have with my gas station clerk. As it turns out, a night alone was long overdue.

What we did was essentially evaluate the health of our marriage. It was awkward and initially forced but ultimately rewarding. We’ve been married for ten years and we’ve never done this. Perhaps we never needed to before but time will build habits that are based more upon what’s easy than what’s necessary. We had become habitually complacent in our marriage. That means we had become complacent in our lives.

Marriage is more than a contract, it is a line in the sand. It is a statement to the world that this partnership is a force to be reckoned with. It is the belief in the power of a mutual love to not only navigate the torrential seas of this life but to conquer them. It’s the light in the darkness.

I met my wife the old fashioned way, in a bar. Whatever cheesey line that I used to strike up our conversation was fueled by cheap whiskey and the fact that I was hopelessly in love with her from the moment I first saw her. The whiskey helped but my foolish love was the well from whence my courage sprang. From that moment came a chain reaction where we created three uniquely awesome human beings and established a family. This is my universe and the center of it has always been the love I share with my wife.

This is the meaning of life.

The source has always been just just a whiskey fueled pair of googly eyes and two twitterpated hearts. From this experience, we humans are capable of making ripples upon the ocean of existence which turn into great waves. We are not here to weather the storm, we are the storm.

Life will either happen to you or you will happen to life. I’ve been insanely lucky to have found the partner I’ve found in my wife. She is the reason and she is the meaning. She is the why and she is the how. It started with a smile and a pair of googly eyes and I don’t intend to ever forget it again.