Hillary and I had a few core values which our relationship was built around. As with the other posts that touch on these themes, these will be a bit rambling as I try desperately to compress fourteen years of feelings and life into a couple of hundred words.
Running through our entire relationship was a good natured ongoing competition. We would try to outdo each other in little ways all the time. We had that deep respect for each other, so the line between the competition to do better because winning and trying to do better because you'd impress the other person was very fuzzy.
In fact, I'd actually hazard a guess that if we had sat down and analyzed that fourteen year competition, it really would boil down to us trying to be better for the other person.
Equally importantly though, the concept of teamwork and teams is tied directly to competition. We each competed for the accolades of the other. But we could both easily turn that same motivation such that we were aligned and working together.
Nonetheless, a competition it was.
Which parent would which kid pick to assist with which task today?
Which of us would be the last one to not clean one of the Clutter Places?
We'd both playfully sprint ahead of each other while we were riding bikes. Hillary would perfect the timing of these for a period of time in Ottawa. This would be the source of many Hillary victories in an activity that was normally a Warren one.
Hillary largely dominated the board games we played throughout our entire relationship.
Occasionally one of us would challenge the other person, directly or otherwise.
"There is no way you're going to make that work."
When we did, "That's awesome. I can't believe you got it."
If it didn't work out, "Well, it was a good attempt, perhaps with $XYZ it might work next time."
Sometimes the competition was serious, but it was always good natured. Either of us being a sore loser or an ungracious winner at any point would have made it not fun. But we managed to keep it going for nearly a decade and a half so I think we figured out the right balance.