When I was young I didn't have a dream for the future.
I never really even imagined what the future might hold for me & I had no idea what I wanted to "do" with my life. So I can only imagine that if you did envision a future for yourself as a young woman, it most likely would include getting married, or at least falling in love. I doubt that many dreams involve wanting to get married 5 times or facing 7 broken relationships & 3 miscarriages.
The month of December always finds us chatting & thinking & celebrating about how we met so long ago & how we've somehow made it to 34 years of being married.
It's a long time ago now, that we first met!
YFC trip Samoa 1979,where we met.
Many people gave us 6 months.
Had we understood the odds stacked against us we might have moved to another country, first off!
But we didn't & the trials have been enormous. But, no one else understood just how much we loved each other & how that would see us through, sustain us; be made new over & over.
A few weeks ago, a friend posted a link from The Business Insider (of all places). The article looked intriguing so Rob loaded it on to his iPad & we took it away with us when we went to the Waikato; the title "Science Says Lasting Relationships Come Down To Two Basic Traits".
The opening premise is this:
"Every day in June, the most popular wedding month of the year, about 13,000 American couples will say “I do,” committing to a lifelong relationship that will be full of friendship, joy, and love that will carry them forward to their final days on this earth.
The majority of marriages fail, either ending in divorce and separation or devolving into bitterness and dysfunction.
Of all the people who get married, only three in ten remain in healthy, happy marriages, as psychologist Ty Tashiro points out in his book "The Science of Happily Ever After," which was published earlier this year."
Did you hear that...3 in 10 remain in happy, healthy, marriages!!
So...what makes the difference?
It's actually really, really simple...in this study they conclude that it all comes down to kindness & generosity!
To me, it's a whole lot like "love your neighbour as yourself". It's in the marriage that we get a million opportunities to work out our own stuff; to learn to be kind to ourselves & to be patient with one another, to learn the language of attention & generosity; only then, can we make a half decent job of loving others in the "neighbourhood".
So right here in the middle of our messy, topsy-turvy, rough around the edges, unfinished life we chose to celebrate our love & be grateful.
We still find ourselves feeling timid & shy & not terribly brave (which frankly, is quite ridiculous!) but we managed to take ourselves off to West Quay in Ahuriri & to Mexi Mama for dinner last week.
The Mexican food & vibe were fabulous.
This old shipping warehouse vault had been transformed in to a quintessential Mexican shrine to St Thereses of Lisieux at which candles are lit each night at eight.
but there's always so much to get done!
A lesson we learned a long time ago is: the imperfections truly do not matter. Just do the best you can & don't fuss.
Keep calm & carry on.
I have been putting together a random patchwork Sanderson tablecloth for some time now, not complete yet...we used it anyway.
We have very busy birds here you know...there was just no time to wash the outdoor chairs so we plonked down old towels & covered them with pretty vintage blankets.
We picked flowers from our own garden during the day.
Every year this rose Jubilee Celebration flowers right on time; a little later than all the others.
The accidental hollyhocks towered nearby.
It's lovely to have old friends. They are so important.
We bought a wee gingery treat from the raw, vegan cabinet in a cafe in Matamata & loved it.
When we got home we had a go at recreating the flavours.Really Gingery Ginger Snaps.
Wishing you a December of sweet memories, kindness & generosity of heart...& a little peace.
Much love Catherine x0x0x