I once read that marriage is what happens between all the memories, good and bad. I do understand the premise of this comment, but I am not sure that I agree with it. I think that somewhere in those words there is partial truth – that between all the memories is where the foundation of a good marriage is found, but without the memories – emergencies, tragedies and joyful celebrations alike – there would be a foundation with no house… and you live in the house, not on the foundation.
We are celebrating our one year wedding anniversary today. Well, we are celebrating the whole weekend. Friday was just the two of us, last night was with our best friends and tonight will be with the children. In the same sentence I can tell you that I feel like the year went by so fast it was as if in one blink it had already passed us by, but in other ways it was a very long year filled with so much change and growth. Two contradictory perspectives can’t seemingly live in the same memory, but it is true. All I know is that this past year with Joe – if it only repeats for 50 more years, it would be too short. Think about how many times you have watched your favorite movie? Would that be enough times of waking up next to the person who is most important to you? Would it be enough chapters in your life story? Maybe when you find love and respect like Joe and I have for each other – forever wouldn’t be enough.
This I do know. I have been forced to recognize that at the end of the day – I spent too much of this year living to work, instead of working to live. No one ever tells you that being ambitious can be extremely unhealthy and no matter how high you climb on the ladder of success – each rung can plunge you deeper into unhappiness. I did not recognize how lost I had become and shallow my days – until my professional situation abruptly turned on its heels by no control of my own. I can assure you that I would never have chosen to find myself in this position – losing a company I worked so hard on for so many years, jobless and self introspective at 31 trying to ask myself once again who I am and who I want to be. But I’m here and I can tell you that I haven’t been this happy in a very long time. I haven’t slept this well in years. I wake up every day feeling light and happy. With nothing, I feel like I have everything. Maybe that’s the secret to life – that in the contradictions you will find the answers.
In these past few weeks I’ve learned a lot about myself. That my ambitious nature never brought me happiness. My husband, children and friends bring me extreme pleasure and satisfaction. That no promotion, salary increase or bonus ever gave me the pure pleasure that is experienced during a simple breakfast listening to my children divulge their life’s aspirations at 10 or 11 while devouring Joe’s lovingly scrumptious and now famous omelets. Never has a project’s successful completion at work ever brought about the laughter, joy or memories of really bad bowling with friends. I will never repeat this past year of my professional life. There is no job, project or opportunity worth stealing my happiness…. or worth missing my life with my loved ones. Somehow in losing everything, I have found myself again.
So to the love of my life – here’s to 100 years not being enough.