Measure of success: 9,125 days, and one sleepless night

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Image by she_who_must via Flickr

Convention requests that we acknowledge rounded numbers; anniversaries and birthdays, a 20 pound weight loss, or being sober for 100 days. They seem to me, although pleasing to the eye, arbitrary. Wasn’t it great when your friend was sober on the 99th day, or married for 24 years too?

Why is the nine thousandth one hundred and twenty fifth day in a marriage deserving of celebration more so than the one before? Perhaps giving us pause in increments we can appreciate gives us the desire to go on.

Not for me. Numerical markers do not propel me, motivate me, or even interest me all that much. Society tells us, “Good job! Keep it up! We are proud of you!” I struggle with messages from society that tell me how to behave, especially where numbers are concerned. (Remember my math and number-skills issues?) I get sweaty and feel boxed in when “big dates” approach. I have gotten over this mostly by just enjoying the moment for the moments sake and not for the bigger picture.

For me, a milestone is more tangible. It may make its mark at odd hours, odd dates. They are experiences, not pre-determined numbers. Milestones in my marriage include the yard sale in Arizona when we sold pretty much everything we owned, and laughed about it. All we had was each other, a dog, and a truck pointed east with no job, or plan, and it was good. Another was just recently, in the middle of the night when I woke up restless, and realizing I still liked my husband. (To those of you who have been married a while, you know this is a big deal. For those of you who are not married, or newlyweds…this is a big deal.)

So, as I approach what society tells me is a big deal, my 25th wedding anniversary, I am starting to sweat. But I know sure as sugar on snow is delicious, that one day does not a marriage make and what’s more, one day does not sum it up.

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Responses to Measure of success: 9,125 days, and one sleepless night

  1. jb says:

    Write on! just going through some stuff from my dad’s attic. He is selling the house and I had a couple of boxes of stuff. Yearbook’s from Central Jr, etc. Also some pictures…..remember the Pete Seger (sp?) concert in Vt. I think it was UVM in your sisters dorm room for a weekend?? There is a group pic of you, me, Steve and a few others lounging…How many days since then!!! And now I have sleepless nights when my 19 year old is out till 1:00 am!

    • Sally Sally says:

      I definitely remember the Seeger concert…but I could only have told you I was there! I could have been all alone for all I remember. (and it wouldn’t have been out of character) But I am glad you were there in case I needed help getting another beer or something equally important (like ice tea on tap) Good times in Burlington, so many. JoAnn was at St Mike’s up the street…it was a second home for me for 4 years! Keep the memories comin’ JB

      • JoAnn says:

        JB
        I hope your 19 year old has as much as you did. I remember how much fun you had and all these days later (also not good at math like Sally!) aren’t you glad you did? I know I am.

        Waht a great memory you gave me on this beautiful summer day…

  2. margaret says:

    Love this Sally you are “right on” as usual

    And…HAPPY ANNIVERSARY (no number needed)!

  3. margaret mackenzie says:

    Sally,
    You are “right on” as usual!

    And ..Happy Anniversary (no number needed!)

  4. joan chandler says:

    Our family has been talking about this very phenomenon, because…..In 2010 my husband and I celebrated our 50th anniversary, while our daughter and son-in-law were celebrating their 25th. [We enjoyed a 75th anniversary dinner!] This year our son-in-law AND our son turn 50. And next year our daughter will be 50 and our grandson the Big 21. Not to mention the following year, when my husband will be 75. These round numbers are only significant” when I get upset about some small thing and announce, “You may not MAKE it to 75….”
    This habit of worshipping these kinds of numbers probably stems from our schooling, where we have always learned to count by 5s and 10s. It’s easy to rattle off “10, 20, 30”, etc. on up to “970, 980, 990”, and so on. But counting by 7s or 13s is an uncomfortable task, especially when we are at “119, 126, 133” or “377, 390, 403”. It’s all in the familiar.
    Even though we joke about it constantly [maybe BECAUSE we joke about it constantly], my husband and I like each other, too. It has gotten us through 50.5 years, and I’m hoping for 50.5 more.
    😀

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