Everyone needs a rudder in life.

My wife and I are speaking on the phone. I’m sharing something weighing heavily on my heart. I’m struggling for an answer, blinded by dozens of trees before me.

Calmly, she straight-up tells me what I need to hear. Like that intimidating machine used during eye exams, the confusing clutter clears. Gone is the self-inflicted pressure, allowing a new focus to come into view.

My rudder, excuse me for mixing metaphors here, finds its groove again, firmly takes hold, and my mind moves forward with a completely different point of view.

Being married to the right person — someone who intimately knows you to the core as well as being the one person in your life you can trust without question — makes all the difference in life.

Life is about learning one plus one, if done right, equals three.

Earlier this week I ran into the wife of an elected official who also happens to share an occasional handshake in the highest office in the nation. Married long before their journey took off toward the life they now experience, they recognized it takes two in life to be successful.

While both are independent thinkers, I also know they unquestionably trust each other’s instincts and judgments. In many ways, if you meet her, you are meeting him. If you meet him, you are meeting her as well.

I’ll admit my life is a long way from a kid who spent countless hours beneath a corner streetlight on a skateboard figuring out a way to make a flat piece of wood twist in the air as I’d read in the pages of a copy of Skateboarder magazine. God sure has a sense of humor is all I can say.

But a few years later He also connected me with someone who would change my life — someone I wanted nothing more than to earn her respect and love. Doing so meant making wholesale changes to what I did, where I was going, and learning to trust another person unquestionably.

Forged metal is considered among the strongest pieces of manmade materials, created under intense pressure. Doing so takes all the elements contained and condenses them into something many times stronger, able to withstand whatever comes. Whenever you run across a relationship indeed forged from time and experiences, you know you are looking at one worth taking mental notes.

My wife jokes I live a good part of life off-script. I tend to study what I’m trying to learn and then out it comes through a somewhat unpredictable filter resulting in an equally unpredictable interpretation.

But over time, she became the guiding rudder in my life that, even when living or making off-script decisions, became the deeply rooted predictor of where the limits would be. And I can assure you this is a serious upgrade.

I am humble enough to admit I need a rudder in life. And I am also proud of the fact that she helped us break the rules of schoolroom mathematics.

Leonard Woolsey: 409-683-5207; leonard.woolsey@galvnews.com

(3) comments

Cindy Acosta

Well said Leonard as of this past March 17,th, I have had my rudder in life for 40 years. It has been a blast so far. I think marrying up like we did, is the best advice I could give to young men. Find someone who challenges you to reach your fullest potential.

Jarvis Buckley

52 years here , steady as she goes👍

Michael Byrd

Well said Leonard. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without God at the helm and my wonderful wife of 45 years at the rudder.

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