So the 31st birthday is approaching
Now, firstly, how the heck did we get there!? It only seems a couple of months back that my 30th came round. Unfortunately I had been aware of that one on the horizon since the clock struck midnight on my 29th birthday (or maybe even my 28th!), so that came as no surprise. But because I was so preoccupied with 30, 31 has almost gone without any thought whatsoever. I’m totally not even bothered about what I do for my birthday this year. It’s on a Saturday so I’m just hoping the sun shines and that’s it!
Is that a sign of getting old?
But here’s the deal. I have been thinking about a family of my own for a fair while so this is not a new thought, BUT all of a sudden it feels like I’m seeing a heck of a lot of babies everywhere. In a way there are more babies in my sight because, there are literally more babies around me than previously – close friends of ours had beautiful twins a couple of months back, and my step-sister is due to give birth ANY day now! EXCITING!
And it’s not just the babies – 2011 into 2012 seemed to be all about… yes, you guessed it WEDDINGS! At the end of 2011 one of my best friends from back in the UK tied the knot with her lovely Welsh man and I was sad to miss it, meanwhile I attended a wedding of our lovely close friends here (parents of the twinnies mentioned above! – big 12 months for them!), then in April I was home for another wedding for my university roomie and long time friend. And in between all these weddings a heck of a lot of engagements suddenly started to happen too! I think I’ve seen about 20 or so diamond rings pop up on my Facebook newsfeed just since I turned 30. It’s crazy! And exciting! I’m genuinely very excited for all these people.
I’ve also seen the ex get married this year (by seen I don’t mean I was there… that’d be odd) – if anyone has ever had that happen to them, it is the weirdest thing, isn’t it? For my part, it was mostly just happiness for him, but it was also really… I don’t know, I guess just ‘strange’… and I don’t think there’s any way around that for any ex-couples. I’m sure even though he’s married it’ll be ‘strange’ for him to see me get married (if I ever get to do that!). I guess the main thing is, in having amicable splits it doesn’t get any more complex than just being that – that ‘strange’ feeling, that a few minutes after you see the picture on Facebook is gone again and you’re thinking about that bill you have to pay or that email you need to write.
I’m just about hanging in there and not going crazy waiting for my chance at all these baby/diamond ring/wedding/marriage things – mostly because I know I’m not alone. I have two or three close friends who’ve been with their other halves for longer than I’ve been with Mr OC – I know someone who has just had her 14th anniversary with her partner. Step on it mister! And I’m really holding out a big hope for one of my best friends – her and her partner are an amazing couple and she has had some really trying times in her life – I’ve watched her get back on her feet and build herself up again into the wonderful woman she is today (and always has been, but now such strength shines through and makes her even more amazing in my eyes). Put a ring on it!!
And don’t get me wrong – I’ve also seen one or two friends get married and then it didn’t work out. It’s extremely sad and makes you realize marriage is not something to take lightly.
Plus, I’m not too ignorant to think that couples have to get married to be happy, fulfilled, and strong together. My mum and dad weren’t married – although they are not the model couple by any means so maybe that’s not a good example. But the point is it wouldn’t have made any difference if they were or were not married, at least not directly to my experience of life as their child.
Of course, marriage is institution that is debated nowadays because its meaning and purpose has fundamentally changed. In the old days – no one was supposed to be doing the deed outside of marriage and so, if you really want to do that deed and make sweet babies with that person then you had to commit to marriage.
So what does marriage mean these days? Well for me, while I respect those who decide not to get married and totally understand that choice, this is why I think I love marriage and why maybe it’s a good thing to do:
First – it’s a celebration of your having found your best friend and life partner. It’s about saying – hey world, look what we found, and look what we’ve been blessed with! We want to celebrate that by having a wedding and then committing to that celebration for life, and showing our gratitude for that blessing we’ve been given by committing our lives to a joined life with one another – where we will share every burden and every joy.
Second – couples come in all shapes and sizes, and whoever you are as individuals, you are something else as a couple – by putting that into a space of its own, you’re recognizing that and hoping everyone else you know recognizes it too. I think marriage just defines that ‘space’ better. If you’re religious it’s about your lives and souls becoming entwined in the eyes of your god.
Finally – what is life without love? It’d be like sunset with no sunrise to come. If marriage is nothing else but a celebration of love – lifelong love (as is hoped and meant when we take those vows) – then who am I to argue!? Heck let’s marry our best friends too! Friendship marriages!
Mostly of course, I’m grateful for all the love in my life – both from my amazing man but of course from my beautiful friends and long-suffering family too. And I love you all back with hundreds n thousands and cherries on top.
But seriously… hoping, waiting, and looking forward to the future.
And even as I write that I know that’s not necessarily the right way to look at it but instead to enjoy the now – I am lucky to have my health and love in my life. Sometimes it is easy to get carried away with all the wants and haven’t-gots and we have to remind ourselves that is not what life is about. (For more on that check out my Gratitude blog!)
And if you’ve had enough of my optimism for one day then I’ll leave you with a little picture of Eeyore, because we all have gloomy days. I was having one today and I decided to BLOG it out of my system. For the most part it’s worked.