April in Glenwood: Midlife loving and cherishing
If I were a stereotypical bachelor from an ’80s movie suffering a midlife crisis, I’d be buying new cologne and a pretty red Corvette. I’d suddenly be interested in roller skating boogie and gold chains. But it’s not the ’80s, and I’m not a guy.
Although I wouldn’t mind the Corvette.
I’m clearly not the stereotypical bachelorette either — if I’m mathematically at midlife, I’m living until I’m 88. That sounds fine by me, and along the lines of much of my family tree, although I have lofty goals of making it past 100. I know, that’s overachiever talk.
I’m mostly relying on advancements in medicine to get me there.
Instead of a crisis at my age, I’m celebrating these more mature, enlightened years starting a new chapter in my adult life by exchanging wedding vows. Sure, my story sounds like it came straight from the Bridget Jones novel series or a “Sex and the City” episode. Life is never as predictable as that, and I don’t intentionally mimic those fictional rom-com scenarios.
It just seems to come naturally.
Life doesn’t always follow a rom-com script or that structured formula society has deemed appropriate, particularly those featured in the lyrics of that playground K-I-S-S-I-N-G song. Sometimes the baby in the baby carriage is the precursor to the marriage part. Not in my own case — just to clarify, of course — but the baby in the baby carriage can sometimes come before the love part.
It’s been known to happen over the last few centuries.
Planning a wedding now that I’m older is seasoned with an entirely different perspective than I had in my 20s. The commitment has the maturity that only a couple of people who have seen some things — and we’ve both seen some things — holds. The promise we’re making to “have and to hold … through sickness and health … ’til death do us part” aren’t just the vows countless of couples make to each other in front of friends and family each year.
We really, truly mean it.
That starts with a commitment transcending beyond ourselves and our individual needs and wants. Our commitment rests on the promise we’re making to our children to have the stability they need to grow and thrive. That means working through every issue and disagreement with compromise and resolve. Especially maturity. Anything to do with the heart about what married life should be like is easier said than done. The key is to use the head and the heart together.
Which happens to be the name of one of my favorite bands.
The head and the heart is also a coupling of words I plan to keep in mind while navigating marriage after such a long span spent being single and living by my own rules. I need to remember that it’s the head that keeps us under control and in line when forming combined life goals and a meaningful, successful relationship. The mind is also key in making major life decisions together, such as what faucet to buy in a bathroom remodel or which coffee creamer tastes better, Italian or Irish crème. I’m usually more of a Irish crème type.
But I can compromise.
The heart is the tricky one — historically known to play tricks on the head — and is the driving force behind the fire that can spark arguments over unpleasant feelings like jealousy or disappointment. For many, the heart is what makes love comes first. Then marriage, and babies in carriages to follow. The heart is what makes golden-anniversary marriages work for 50 years. The heart keeps the sparkle in the eye for each other and the passion alive. Even after all those decades of birthing and raising children, going to the grocery store every week, sitting in the sun at baseball games, crying through school graduations, and diligently working until retirement together. I’m especially looking forward to all the everyday life experiences as a family and couple. And respecting our vows with the ultimate promise to always stay together as we grow older, no matter what we face. With a lot of holding, plenty of better, and less of the worse. More health and minimal sickness. And so much love and cherishing, all the days of the rest of our lives, we can hardly contain it.
Maybe with a pretty red Corvette in retirement thrown in the mix.
April E. Clark wonders if specialty wedding sparklers are out of her “simple wedding” scope. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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