30 sheets of paper, representing the 30th Year of this lovely little tradition of ours.
30 cups of tea later, we’ve written of what we wanted to have, what we wanted to do, how we wanted to feel and most importantly how we wanted to be, as a couple and individually. Each New Year a possibility of continued growth, written on a single sheet, now 30 of them.
Bullet point by bullet point, written in alternating he and she script, these 30 sheets of paper chronicle the evolution of our marriage, the essence of who we were then, who we are now and who we want to be in the future. It is our story, our evolution from immature twenty-something year olds to mature fifty-something year olds.
And it all started because we were broke! Very broke. No money, no savings, zip, nada, niente! A very modest wedding behind us and a ton of growth before us, we were bound and determined to be intentional about… well just about everything. Intentional before it was in vogue, that’s how at ages 26 we began our lives together. Dreaming.
It is our tradition to pull out those sheets of dreams and look back on the year before the New Year begins.
And as we look back, we revel in the memories. Chuckle at the innocence. Marvel at the audaciousness of our dreams.
1983 we needed to save money. We also needed to earn some.
1985 money saved we bought our first home.
1986 we dreamed of starting a family.
1988 dream came true when our first daughter was born. Heaven!
1989 husband becomes a teacher.
1991 the joyful anticipation of child number two. Magical!
And so it goes…..
Along the way, there were trips taken, jobs changed, investments made, good health, bad health, first communions, confirmations, graduations, marriages, funerals, singing, dancing, births and deaths.
Year after year, adventure after adventure, we lovingly looked back at what was accomplished, what wasn’t, and looked forward to the possibilities of the coming year, but with this in mind:
You can be as intentional as ever.
Plans can be made.
Goals can be executed.
But, be prepared for the unexpected.
Because all the planning in the world, all the fulfilled and unfulfilled dreams will never prepare one for the unbelievable depth of emotions; the heartbreaks and despair, the fun and the mundane and the joy and love that come with lives fully lived.
The older I get, the more I love the unexpected.