“Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.” —Anonymous

Last weekend we did a new type of challenge. We traveled the beaches of San Diego County, from Oceanside to the US-Mexican border.

Make no mistake, we’ve been to these places hundreds of times before, but never by foot along the entire coastline. There are some awesome lessons we learned along the way.

Alisa is doing the 1000 mile challenge this year and as part of it, we decided to challenge ourselves and add in the San Diego portion of the California Coastal Trail. This is a 65 mile stretch along the Pacific Ocean where the waves meet our beaches. Last weekend we set out to walk the entire section in 3.5 days.

We could have visited these places as we had hundreds of times before and been largely unchanged. But it’s not the destination that challenged us, it was the journey that we did together.

The same is true in marriage. New perspective, effort, and teamwork takes what would be mediocre and creates extraordinary.

It only takes the story of “Green Eggs and Ham” to demonstrate the power of perspective. Tony jokes that he likes to follow behind Alisa because of the view, but choosing to place yourself outside of your typical routine will release you from the tunnel vision and cycles that we fall into.

We learned that a beach is not just a beach: some are warmer, windier, busier, more full of sea life, or secluded than others. Imagine the ah-ha moments you could get just by gaining a new perspective.

No one with an extraordinary marriage would say that it’s easy.

Effort is required.

On our challenge we remembered the irreplaceable nature of time spent together. Put in the time with your spouse to learn them.

They are not (nor are you) the exact same person that you married. Through regular, quality time spent together you will each observe one anthers’ passions and character and be able to better serve and love them.

And finally, you guys are a team.

Alisa and Tony each bring skills and abilities to the table, and we are most successful when we allow each other to lead in our strengths. Too many couples compete against their spouse and thereby diminish their accomplishments and enjoyment.

Alisa is great at planning logistics and Tony is one who encourages even when thinks look bleak. We might have ended up giving up after being washed away in high tide had we tried to squash each others gifting.

If your desired destination is Happily Ever After, don’t seek out the shortcuts, embark upon the adventure together with your spouse. We’re into walking long distances; find the adventure that will enable you and your spouse to grow together.

Connect Like You Did When You First Met

433: Setting Up Guardrails

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