Expert Opinions

In his book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell says it takes about 10,000 hours to become an expert. To make his point, he followed the lives of people like Steven Jobs and Bill Gates. Guess what? Both of them spent over 10,000 in the world of computers before they became famous in their respective ways.

In June, Jeannie and I will celebrate our 35th anniversary and that got me thinking. So, I did a little math: 365 x 35 equals 12,775 days. 12,7775 days x 24 hours equals 306,600 hours.

That means Jeannie and I have been married for over 300,000 hours!

If 10,000 hours makes you an expert, what does 300,000 hours make us? Grand Poohbahs? What do you call an expert 30 times over?

Honestly, I don’t know if I’m an expert at marriage. Jeannie has managed to retain an air of mystery over all of these years. Just when I think I have it figured out, I realize I really don’t have a clue.

But I have learned a few things, such as:

1. Most things don’t matter.

They’re simply a matter of personal taste. If she wants the towels folded a certain way, fold them that way. In the long run, it really won’t matter.

2. Never let anger simmer.

Too much time is wasted trying to punish each other over stuff that doesn’t matter. (See #1.) Learn to deal with your anger and move on.

3. Never pass up a kiss, hug, or flirty touch.

Life is short.

4. Never let love go unspoken.

And no, you really can’t say it too much.

5. And, oh yeah, put the toilet seat down.

For some reason, this is a really big deal.

If you’ve been married long enough to become an expert (less than a year and a half), look around and find a young married couple to befriend and mentor. If you’ve been married less than 10,000 hours, find an expert couple. They’ve learned some things that you can learn without all of the pain and drama demanded in the learning process.

One more thing: 35 years has flown by. Savor every moment.