Its that time of year again, when my husband and I share a month of celebrations. Both of our birthdays and our anniversary fall in January. This was not by design, but it has turned out to be a great way to get through long winters. January is also when we take a sort of inventory of our lives. We look at everything, the big picture and the mundane- like insurance. (My husband IS in insurance after all.)
Its kind of a yearly life evaluation that we started back on our 2nd anniversary when we went to Manzanita Beach on the Oregon Coast. It was really nasty weather and we ended up watching the waves from a high bluff, crashing onto the shore during a big storm. I guess it made us think about different possibilities and making plans for the future.
Up until I met my husband back in October of 1995, nothing in my life was very stable. Since we were married 14 years ago (we picked the next available 3 day weekend and eloped.), some really amazing transformation has come into my life.
Some of these things are small:
I have had the same last name for 14 years now. Up until we got married, I had used 3 different last names and I had never been married before! My mother had been married twice after I was born and subsequently changed my name along with hers each time as she didn't want me to feel left out. (Funny, I still felt left out.) Not a great plan!
I have lived in only 4 different homes over the last 14 years. We have lived in our current home for 8 and a half years! Longer than I have ever lived in any other home. Sure beats the 16 moves I made by the time I was 9 years old...
Some of the things that have changed in my life since I married my husband are HUGE:
What a true gift it has been to know him. My husband has allowed me to be safe enough, to be open enough to discover who I am, and should have been, if I had never been through so much. It has been an amazing sort of do over. Before I knew my husband I never would have acknowledged that I needed a do over. I was tough. I was strong and I had made it through just fine. Ha!
This is sort of what I tried to get at in my last post, but missed. I've been left feeling guilty lately for all that I have in my life. We've discussed it and my husband believes that this is part of what makes passing his exams so difficult. With each one passed comes much reward in the form of compensation and relative freedom. The actuarial field is very tight and those who can do the work well are highly prized. Sometimes it's hard for him to remember that his success doesn't take away from anyone elses' chances. It can be so hard not to worry about others who are just as deserving, yet haven't been in the right 'place'in their life- emotionally, spiritually or otherwise. How long will they have to wait? There are those who seem to suffer needlessly no matter how hard they try and those who seem to bring it on themselves. Though it may not be our business to try to take care of, it is especially hard to let go of poor choices that people we love have made.
My take on all of this is that yes, there will be guilt. Anyone who gets through tough things can't help but feel for others who may get left behind in some way. At the same time, the world is better when people use the talents they have to their fullest. We all owe it to society to give freely what we have to offer. Holding back not only hurts ourselves, but everyone in some way. It will never be easy to see others suffer, but our own suffering does not necessarily save anyone- unless we do something bigger once we get through whatever life deals us.
So for anyone who might be curious, here's the plan for this year: (knowing of course that there may be unforeseen bumps in the road), we have made the following plans for the coming year and the future in general:
Next (and hopefully last of the high level calculation multiple choice type) test- February 22, 2011
After that, relative free for all- meaning we concentrate on getting ourselves to the sun in one way or another! We will add as many possible locations to the list as we can with the criteria being that said places have these qualities: warm weather place, very little or no snow, low cost of living, have larger property casualty firms that my husband may find jobs with, prefer laid back people and lifestyle. So far we have added Charleston, SC, Jacksonville, Tampa, and Tallahassee, FL. (Of course, we still really want Texas.)
Get ourselves to one of these places by Fall 2011.
Move on to the essay type tests that I am just sure my husband will be fabulous at in November 2011.
As always, will keep you updated.