Wednesday, June 20, 2012

30 years and counting

Hard to believe that Bret and I have been married 30 years now. It seems like so very long, and yet the blink of an eye.

If you had told me 30 years ago that in 30 years we would have moved to America, raised two young adults, remodeled 4 houses (3 with our own hands), had lots of great dogs and cats, spent plenty of time on and in the water in the sun, worked too hard, run our own companies, loved each other, liked each other, and disliked each other - often all at the same time - and lived a hurly, burly two tech industry executives lifestyle I would not have been surprised. That was what I expected.

But if you had told me 30 years ago that we would have had to learn so much about Alzheimers, cancer, strokes, learning disabilities, eating disorders, divorce, meth addiction, aging, broken friendships and fatigue I would have ignored you and said "not us!". Ah the innocence of youth.

But also if you had told me that we would be happier at 50 than we were at 20, that while our bodies were better looking at 20, our minds were not, that there is a greater depth and sweetness and appreciation of our lives today I also would not have understood, but I do understand now.

I was 19 when we moved in together, Bret was 21, and we were married 2 years later. We were different people then, just kids. Marrying young and moving to a different country with no family was either a recipe for disaster or burning the boats so we had to make it work. We are the lucky ones that we are still married 30 years later. With shared values and a pragmatic view of what it takes to build a life together and raise a family together - and plenty of respect for each other's personal space and hobbies - we've emerged still loving each other and still having fun together.

Last night we talked about what happens next as we become empty nesters and we each made our bucket lists - the places we want to go and the things we want to do before we die. Some places appear on both our lists and we'll get onto those right away! Some appear on only one list and for those we agreed to either sign up friends, or take it in turns to go where the other wants to go. Either way we're going to get going on the list. There is just so much to do!

Whatever happens we're living life to the full, and loving and supporting each other as we do it. I feel very lucky.

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