Understatement of the day coming up –
Marriage is a real commitment.
I was only 19 when we were married and this weekend we are celebrating our 34th anniversary. I don’t think I realised how big a commitment it was when I was married all those years ago. I can’t quite believe it’s been that long as I swear I still think of myself as being in my thirties.
There is a great song by Redgum, an Australian band, called ‘I was only nineteen’ – the song is really about a soldier going off to the Vietnam war and I don’t want to equate my marriage to a war zone – but that line is so apt to me and always makes me think of getting married at 19 when I hear it. In some ways I was just a baby but I felt I was ready to get married. Grant was almost 23 and we’d known each other for a few years before getting engaged when I was 18. This seems ridiculously young in terms of today’s norms and even then it was a bit out of the ordinary. My parents did ask if we were sure and didn’t we want to wait, travel the world, experience a bit more of life first, but we were determined that we would do all those things together. And we have!
We are lucky to still be together when the statistics tell us how many marriages end in divorce. But are we lucky or we have we just worked hard at it? I like to think that we have worked hard, yes we have compromised, yes we have disagreed on many occasions, yes we have had hard times, yes we have struggled over the years, but we have stayed together and in love through it all. We have had years full of love, fun, laughter, shared joys and sorrows, celebrations and we have travelled the world together. Yes we are very lucky and yes we have worked very hard!
We started our life together as newlyweds, then went on to become new parents a few years later and suddenly we were parents to three young daughters under five. We became a family. We moved our family from the city to the country, then within a year we moved again from Australia to England for a year which was full of fun & travel combined with stress, loneliness and darkness (at times). We made many new friends, saw lots of wonderful sights and gave our daughters the gifts of independence, confidence and a love for travel.
The teenage years were difficult at times but in hindsight they passed by much too quickly. We are now into the ’empty nester’ stage of our lives with all our daughters independently making their own lives all around the world. We have become friends with them and in the meantime we have had to redefine our own relationship. I must admit that it’s a nice stage to be in and we have a great life as we are both still young, fit and healthy – one of the many benefits to marrying so young. We have our separate hobbies but always take an interest in each other’s activities and give each other space. We know each other very well and luckily we still like what we see!
This photo always makes me laugh as all I see is the black stormy sky coming in over my head and the clearer sky over Grant’s…I think it says something about us!
This is my favourite song at the moment as it sums up what I think a marriage is all about – the chorus goes something like this:
…all of me loves all of you, love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections, give your all to me I’ll give my all to you. You’re my end and my beginning even when I lose I’m winning, cause I give you all of me and you give me all of you. (John Legend)
So happy 34th anniversary to us and may we have many more!