We spent Christmas together this year, just the two of us in San Francisco. For the first eight years together we went our separate ways for Christmas, it was the easiest thing to do, I saw my family, he his. Sometimes we might visit the other one after Christmas and before New Year but in the main we kept things as they had always been.
The last two years have been different. Last year we were in DC, sharing Indian takeaway with friends. This year we were on holiday, our first holiday which was longer than 4 days since probably last Christmas. It was a quiet affair, the weather in San Francisco was horrid, truly truly horrid and so we didn’t have much of a desire to get out and about. Instead we made one foray to the restaurant for lunch and then spent the rest of the day relaxing, I even squeezed in a two hour nap.
Lunch was dim sum, a big departure from the more traditional Christmas fare, and certainly no pudding, Brussels sprouts or even Port. In some ways it was good to be doing something so different, it made it less odd to be so far away and just the two of us.
As much as it was lovely to be spending the time together and having a very relaxed time, having done things differently for two years I now feel ready to return to more traditional ways and to sharing it with family as well as friends. At some point J and I will get to build our family traditions for Christmas, thankfully this shouldn’t be too contentious as both families are relatively aligned. In the meantime however, I will look forward to next year knowing that it will again be different from the last two but familiar too.
J and I have been a couple for 10 years now. 10 years of time spent growing up together, learning about each other, working together, celebrating, commiserating and becoming the people we are now. It felt momentous that moment when we ticked over into double digits.
It’s been another whirlwind year, so much going on since last year and more big changes to come. Thankfully though before the changes we get to relax a little, we are heading off to San Francisco for Christmas and some down time. Time to re-connect, to forget all the stress and crap we have to deal with and to get on with enjoying being together and exploring somewhere new.
I do wonder what the next 10 years will hold and I am looking forward to finding out…
On our last Thanksgiving in the US (until the next one we spend over here…) I am thankful for:
- My husband, for sharing his life with me and being an absolute rock of support and love
- My family, for their understanding, patience and support
- My friends, both those who I have grown to love dearly in Washington, DC and those I am returning to rekindle my friendships with in London
- All of you who read this blog and who chatter with me on Twitter and Instagram!
There are many more things I am thankful for, however for now I will keep it brief. Being reminded to think about all you have and all that it gives you is very special. I shall certainly try and bring this celebration back to the UK and to make sure I spend that one day thinking extra hard about all I have and how lucky I am to be where I am and surrounded by so many special people.
Sending good wishes your way, eat, drink, be merry and enjoy an afternoon nap if you can!
Today it is nine years since I sat in a university halls room with J and declared that since we were acting like a couple we may as well ‘officially’ be one. This was the days before Facebook and the change of status being the announcement of where one was in one’s relationships.
I remember back then thinking that since I hadn’t been in many relationships and as J was very lovely I might as well go for it and see where it went. Likely it would only be a month or two right?
Well, more fool the young me who thought that. All these years have passed and he still makes me smile more than anyone else. Still cares for me, makes me feel special and I look back on that day and think about the punt I took and how it was a jolly good one.
Here’s to the next nine years…
As I was walking home this evening I was dreaming of holidays, holidays past and hopefully holidays future. J and I have not a holiday just the two of us since January 2009. Sure we’ve travelled around but we’ve not stopped anywhere and just been together, with each other.
This thought train all started this afternoon when I got an email from Jetsetter, filled with beautiful hotels. So of course I got to thinking, wouldn’t it be lovely. Then the planner side of me thought about dates and all I could think was 2013 looks hopeful.
You see the thing is this move has rather scuppered holiday taking for a while. The first year was taken up with J setting up an office and me being self-employed. We did get away, back to the UK for weddings, up to Massachusetts for a long weekend, but always with others, lovely as that was it’s just not quite a really relaxing holiday. This next year we’ve already got three UK trips pencilled in (three wonderful weddings to attend), plus a hopeful fourth. With me moving onto US holiday allocation this makes trips away a scant possibility.
So here’s hoping that we can snatch the odd long weekend, normal weekend or just some time to be, be together, be away from day-to-day gumpf and cherish this time in our marriage to be just the two of us.
“We Greeks get married in circles, to impress upon ourselves the essential matrimonial facts: that to be happy you have to find variety in repitition; that to go forward you have to come back where you began.”
From Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.
I read this and my first thought was yes, absolutely. It then got me thinking about marriage, a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, what with a recent divorce of someone close, hearing about a few friends struggling in their marriages and friends getting engaged.
Something which once the thoughts formulate more in my mind I will try and write about more soon.
I was recently led to think about the power of touch. Especially within relationships, be they friendships, familial or sexual. How through a small touch on your arm, or a shoulder squeeze you can communicate as much if not more than you can with words.
Touch for me is important, I remember when I first travelled abroad with work. I was in Asia, I’d never been there before and it took me a while to adjust to the cultural differences. But more than anything else it took me a while to get used to being such a long way from home by myself without anyone for support. I remember sitting in my hotel room just longing to be close to J and to be able to go home to him. All I needed when I got back was to know I could go to sleep with my foot resting on his and all the reassurance that contact gave me.
It’s something which I’ve thought about with friends here too. One of the girls I’ve met is a natural, she’ll just gently squeeze your arm or touch you on your leg while she’s talking to you. The first time she did it I was taken aback, but in a good way, surprised by how much closer that little touch made me feel. But of course I shouldn’t have been surprised I touch friends I’ve known for longer all the time, we hug, we lean on each other, we support each other through little touches.
And then I noticed an elderly couple the other day, her gently resting her hand on his knee and his hand on hers. I couldn’t help but reach for J’s hand and hope that one day we too will remember that the little touches matter and can be that elderly couple gently reassuring each other and giving each other strength.
Of course there’s plenty of other touching which goes on in relationships but in the interests of trying to avoid the bots let’s leave those unsaid for now, I’m sure y’all know what I’m talking about
I wrote a guest post…
The incredibly lovely Clare from Any Other Wedding asked me to write about marriage and moving to a new country. So first thank-you to Clare, I really enjoyed doing this and it is a privilege to be featured as a guest blogger on your fabulous blog. Second, hello to anyone who has come over here from there, hope you enjoy it and third, go read it!
Today is St Valentine’s day, we have no plans, by choice I hasten to add. I have mixed feelings about Valentine’s day. On the one hand I hate the contrived way one has to declare their love using flowers, chocolates, crap teddy bears and other toss. On the other hand I like the opportunity to think about love, how we can show our love, share our love and appreciate our loved ones.
I remember when I was a teenager in my religious education (R.E.) class I first learnt about the different types of love. Familial love, physical love, unconditional love and brotherly love. I’m sure there are many definitions of the different types of love but what I’m getting at is how there can be different types, how love comes in many different amazing forms. The love I feel for my husband is not the same as the love I feel for my friends, or the love of the outdoors or my love of cooking. All though need to be nurtured.
So I shall take this opportunity we have been given to think about and nurture the love which I have and which I give and to appreciate what I have, especially the relationships I have. I shall try and take the opportunity to think about love, what it means to me, its wonderful power and all the many ways it displays itself.
Wishing you all a wonderful St Valentine’s day full of love, in all its many forms. ♥
It’s been 2 years already! I certainly didn’t imagine on that freezing day in January 2009 that in 2011 we’d be living in Washington DC. Nor did I imagine that marriage would change me, change us, change our relationship. But change has happened, good change, tough lessons are being learnt, bonds are being built ever stronger and all this is possible because I have J by my side. Marriage has given me a confidence I didn’t have, a belief in myself and my abilities and the support that I need.
Here’s to many more years and all that may come with them.