Tuesday, March 20, 2012

40 To 40 Day 1: On Being Married Half My Life

Here we are- the last 40 days of my 30's. Well, technically it's 39 days, but whatever. I wanted my last post in what I'm calling "The 40 To 40 Series" to be on my birthday. So it is what it is. Most people enjoy reflecting when they get to a milestone birthday. I have been reflecting on turning 40 for several months now, and thought it would be neat to count down, having each day being a different topic of all the things that shaped the woman who is sitting here now writing. Pretty much doing this for myself, but you are certainly invited to take the journey back and forth with me. There is no specific agenda, no order of topics. It's just what I feel like musing about for the day. Some might be short postings. More often they will be long. Even more often I'll probably forget to do this. Let's see what happens!

So, since today happens to be a special day in itself, I will start with our 19th wedding anniversary. Yep, on March 20, 1993 a very young, not even old enough to drink legally (I'll let you do the math, I gave enough clues!) girl walked down the aisle (in a Catholic Church no less!) to share her life with her High School sweetheart. I couldn't even tell you who that girl is now- she doesn't seem like me at all anymore. Other than the fact that she still loves her man!

Today, getting married so young is a strange concept. In the late 80's and early 90's, it seemed like the next reasonable step. I knew two others who I went to high school with who were married within a few years of graduation- one of them a few weeks after! I also wasn't in college at the time we married- the college thing didn't exactly work out for me. More on that another day. But we knew we wanted to be together, so we did it. Then I helped him finish college. ;)

It's pretty interesting, growing up while married. Discovering who you are while married. Making small and big mistakes while married (and actually staying married!). Learning independence while married. All of the things you usually figure out before marriage. I still had a lot of baggage and growing up to do, so learning that balance between taking care of me and taking care of us was not always the easiest lesson. 

And while I was doing all of this, Bret stayed the same. I mean, he hasn't changed at all. I'm not kidding. If you've known him 10 years or longer, tell me am I right? He has had to adjust his thinking a little, especially as I go through what seems to be my never-ending saga of  "what do I want to be when I grow up?" All I know is that when I look at him, I am in disbelief that he's put up with me for so long, and I feel a little undeserving.  Overall, I like having a stable place to be. I went through a lot of instability as a child, so I'm sure that plays into this too. Some would look at decisions I've made as backing down or giving up, but I look at it more like choices. It doesn't have to be 100% independent woman, all the time. As with anything, if something is important enough, I'll stand up for it. 

Now I've caught up to him, and we seem to be meshing pretty well into middle-age together. I'm not so hung up on things that when I look back are pretty superficial. I enjoy a cozy home-body life, just like him! I'm way more laid back than I used to be. However, when I need to go be social, I can go be social guilt-free. There are times I do wish he would join me, but it's cool if he doesn't. When we do go out, we still have a pretty good time together. Hehe- even when we stay in we still have a pretty good time *nudge nudge wink wink*! I could go on and on about all the rest.. best father in the world, blah blah blah... but it really goes without saying. Which I said anyway. Heh. 

Knowing that I will be someone has only spent 20 years of her life single isn't a daunting thought. It isn't a regretful thought. It makes me smile. I can't wait to find out what's in store for us as our kids continue to grow up and give us back our freedom. I know it won't be clear sailing for the rest of our lives, but there isn't another person I want to sail with! 

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