Day 7: Patty / by Jeff Tacklind

Can I tell you something about my wife?  She’s fierce.  Almost a year ago she turned 40 and at her birthday toast I mentioned that you have to be brave to be friends with her.  Patty isn’t merciful.  She doesn’t suffer fools.

I can still remember the fear I felt the first time I asked her out.  And the second.  She isn’t safe.  A relationship with her takes courage.  It makes you feel vulnerable. 

And yet I pursued her, and continue to pursue her, because I want to see myself the way that she sees me…she sees my potential.  She sees the good things in me and draws them out.  She doesn’t coddle or comfort, she speaks right to the fears and affirms that I’m bigger than them.

What she does is push you to be your very best.  It isn’t her shtick, it is who she is.  She only speaks truth.  More than anyone I know.

Which is why her opinion is the only one I truly trust.  “How was that sermon?”  “What do you think of this post?”  “How was that talk?”

Sometimes her words are the last thing I want to hear, but already know deep down to be true.  That pause and then, “it was good.”  Meaning, “not your best.”  Or, “I think this part could use some work.”  Because she’s right. 

I wish I could just get it the first time.  But first attempts are almost never my best.  They are simply a first draft.  It requires so much energy to go back in and pull it apart again, and again.  So much effort.  So much courage.  It can be so tedious and humbling.

But it is worth it.  Because there is nothing better than that flash of her smile as she says, “this is so good!”  It isn’t that I’m becoming who she wants me to be.  I’m being who I want me to be.  And that is what lights her up.  She’s a coach, through and through.  She’s a leader.  She’s my inspiration.

Today is National Women’s Day.  I am so grateful for this beautiful, strong, fierce woman in my life.  I love the example she sets for our girls on who to be.  I love the example she sets for our son on how to value and respect women.  And I love the example she sets for me, to be the very best version of myself.  She’s not just my wife, but my coach.  I love you, babe!