In the culture I was born into, we love measuring stuff, whether it’s time, distance, speed, a Yelp review. And we love anniversaries.
We count babies’ ages in weeks, months, and then years. Kids plan their birthday parties for ages in advance. We throw a huge bashes for significant birthdays as adults. Social media loves reminding me how many years I’ve been working somewhere or Facie friends with someone.
There are sad anniversaries, of the death of someone we loved or other traumatic experiences. And of course, there are relationship and wedding anniversaries, to demarcate the length of time spent with a partner.
My own relationship turns one today, which might not sound like much given that I’m almost 40 and some of my friends have been married for a good two decades. But it has been such an amazing year, that it feels natural to reflect on how we met and what has happened in the interim.
I never celebrated anniversaries of being single – now that I think of it, that seems like a major missed party opportunity. But I’m celebrating this milestone, for a few reasons.
1. I love celebrating. We are alive! Uncork the bubbly!
2. Being in a long-distance relationship and travelling extensively to encounter each other has at times been hard for both of us, even exhausting, but also incredibly rewarding. I’ve learned SO MUCH.
3. I celebrate our courage: our willingness to completely upturn the plans we each had a year ago, and survive without a plan while the relationship grew. And our courage to form new plans together.
These moments of reflection – whether it’s New Years’ Eve, a sixtieth birthday, or a second wedding anniversary – are to be savored. Because they give us the chance to:
– observe how we have grown and what has changed
– learn from our experiences
– be grateful for what we have and who we are
– form goals and plans for the precious time that lies ahead
Pass the champagne, please.