25 Years! / by Dana Bergstrom

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Guess what we're doing to celebrate our 25th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY this month?!

You guessed it.

We're both getting plastic surgery!

Pauly really wants a hair follicle transplant and I could use some bigger boobs.

You think I'm kidding?

Actually, we're doing something far more extravagant.

We're going back to therapy.

Geez, guys, really?

Why not take a fancy trip to an exotic destination?

Or get matching tattoos?

Or go ahead and get that plastic surgery?


Besides indulging in a super delicious meal at Northern Waters Restaurant on our special day, we're marking this marital milestone by seeing our therapist, who we visited a handful of times many years ago. 

And we're going for exactly the same reason we did last time:


I kid you not, that counselor was like an angel sent from heaven who saw right through our sticky stuckness and helped us quickly get happy again with some fine suggestions on how to be more present for ourselves and each other. 

So now we've got new piles of stuckness, as we've been living AND working together 24/7 on fixer upper #5 for almost two long years.


Pauly's still my favorite human being on Earth, yet these past couple of years have been kinda rough with almost constant togetherness.

The truth is: we have profoundly different approaches to remodeling. Ever since his dad retired from working with us, fixer uppers have been extra challenging.

Plus, we don't agree on how to spend our time, as he loves hanging with people and I love Love LOVE solitude. 

Add to that, my big ol' mid-life FEMININE AWAKENING, which has also been shaking LOTZA shit up, and there's been more way more yelling than normal.

So this month we've started to get some outside insight and talk all of our hoohaw out.


I'm super excited! 

Can you tell?

Pauly's less enthusiastic.

Yet the instant he notices a sharp decline in the hollering, fist shaking, and occasional biting (he claims Ray learned it from me), I'm sure he'll be happy, just like last time.  

Heck, I would've scheduled an appointment long ago except our therapist, Glenn Tobey, was coming to our living room every month for two years for something called A Circle of Trust, which was a part of the Sacred Art of Living and Dying Biannual Seminars we attended.

The three of us happened to be placed in the same small Circle of Trust, along with four other people. 

The purpose of the Circle is to support the inner journey of each participant. 

And it was a beautiful experience of being present for others and ourselves with the goal of living a fully authentic, undivided life. I'll write more about that later, but if you're interested, click here.


I didn't wanna stink up our sweet Circle by talking about how my adorable husband (who was sitting right there) happened to be driving me batshit crazy.

That woulda been awkward for everybody.

So I shared other parts of my life, which also needed truthy tweaking. 

Actually, the courage to do the blog came from one of my Circle revelations.

Now that the Circle has ended, Pauly and I will get some help honing our relationship in the areas where we still aren't fully present for ourselves or each other. 

We've only had two sessions and it's already been super helpful in my becoming more understanding of how Pauly's mind works. I've also made a commitment to complain less. (Actually, I said I'd stop complaining, but baby steps, eh?) And Pauly now has a deeper understanding of my need for solitude and is honoring that.

I've also already learned what NOT to do in marriage counseling.

Like when your husband starts getting a bit preachy about his life's philosophy and Glenn Tobey kindly says to him, "But that's YOUR truth, not THE truth" and it hits you that you've been dying to say that to him forever, but never had the perfect words to express how you felt until now, and you leap from the couch, slam a pretend microphone on the ground, and yell,




with raised arms and head thrown back in glee...

because after everyone in the room recovers from the outburst, Glenn Tobey will quietly remind you that "It goes both ways, Dana".

Moral of the story: 

Everybody's truth is different.

Be present for myself and others.

Keep therapy mic drops to a min.

And Happy Anniversary to us!