The proposal.

There is no doubt about the beauty and romance of seeing two people meet at a designated place and time, to make a promise to love, honor, and cherish each other until death parts them. Weddings are romantic. They are beautiful. They are a precious time. Our wedding was something I will always remember, and I can say without a doubt that our guests will remember it, too. For lots of reasons. Fortunately. I guess. But November 9, 1996, is when John and I, privately, made the conscious choice: yes, let’s DO this. Together.

That was thirteen years ago. If you need a visual reference for how long ago that was, let me show you.

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Notice how dark John’s moustache was. And notice how young my eyes and skin look. We had no idea then what twists and turns life was going to hand us. But for me, there was this: absolute, complete certainty that this man–whom I was madly in love with, who was my very best friend in the world, whom I trusted with everything–he was the only person I wanted to stand beside forever.

Sure we’ve had some unexpected twists and turns, but when I look at him sitting across the room from me with one of our daughters curled into his side, I realize that I have about a million more reasons to be madly in love with him; that after a day or a night spent apart, I yearn for him just as much as when our lives required miles of distance between us; that the depth of his love is one thing, but it is often his devotion to our friendship that keeps the spark alive; that I have trusted him with everything, and he has never let me down.

What can I say to that? Other than thank you, my dear, sweet, precious man. But specifically, on this day, thank you for asking.

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All in All

For the past year song called “All in All” has been getting a lot of playtime on my ipod because it makes me feel okay to just stand still. Even though it’s a song about time moving too slowly, and for me time is going much too quickly, the whole song feels like my inner dialogue for 2009. About ten months ago, I pretty much just emotionally crashed. I intensely doubted myself, my direction, my abilities, my worth. I had become a jumble of raw nerves, and soul-crushing fear, and constant constant worry. I was certain that I was going to fail, that I was failing. I felt inadquate to do anything at all. I thought about running away. I would never run away, but in my darkest moments, all I wanted was to escape. Not from my family, not from my children, but from that It All that I had created for myself.

And this song… this song was the only catalyst I could find. I still have a hard time articulating the depths I felt then, and I still have a hard time explaining what it was about this song at that time. All I can say is as soon as the strains of that music and  slightly haunting, echoing voice filled my ears, I could physically feel a small, tiny release. It was like someone took a single thread of that huge knot I had become, and just slowly and gently began to pull until eventually the knot began to loosen.

The line that most resonates with me is “I am only just as much as I can make myself.”  I didn’t realize until this year just how profoundly I fear failure. Just how much I worry about not living up to others’ expectations. But this line reminds me that I don’t have to be anything more than who I am. I can stand still and let the “water turn the mill.” I don’t have to make anything happen. I can’t even begin to express what a relief it was, and continues to be, to hear that beautifully expressed.

I am only just as much as I can make myself.

My life has been so full of ought to’s, need to’s, should haves, could haves; do do do, be be be, move move move.

I am only just as much as I can make myself.

I’ve spent so much time running around trying to be everything and nothing ever really moves at all. I am beginning to see that when I stand still and let the wind or the water or the fire rush over me, what remains is what I’ve been chasing all along. But I have to be willing to stand still, and hold on. I can wait.

age IS TOO a number… just not the one you think.

So, if you’re my friend on Facebook, I’ve already delved into that topic there, but this is the first blog-worthy thing I’ve thought of in a month so some of you get to read it twice…

So evidently I am old.

How do I know this? Easy.

I am driving home after an evening meeting at school, and it is quite dark. (Side note: One of the ways in which one knows that one is becoming more “domestic” is the frequency one drives in the dark dark. When you have young children, and those children like to be home at bedtime, one tends to be home at night 99.9% of the time.) So, with the recent “fall back” time change, it occurred to me that I haven’t driven much beyond the limit of my hometown after dark in quite some time because it felt weird to be on the interstate at night.

But how does this make me old? Well… I’m driving down the interstate, rocking out to “The Pina Colada Song” by Rupert Holmes and I suddenly realize, “Hey, I’m driving pretty fast. I better slow down before I get pulled over.” So I look down to check my speed and the spedomoter read….

sixty-seven. miles. per. hour.

Are you FREAKING kidding me????

67 miles per hour feels too fast? What has happened to me?

Evidently I need to get my night vision checked because  I sure don’t want to get rear-ended by some septuagenarian whippersnapper going a speedy 65 mph some day.

geez.