Today marks six months that we’ve been married. (Don’t worry, I’m not spending our six-month anniversary writing this. I wrote it in advance!) I thought, when we got married, that by this time I’d have some profound thoughts to offer, some deeply nuanced reflections – you know, ‘this journey’, ‘this wonderful adventure’, etc. To my surprise, I have nothing like that to say.
Instead, here is my sweet husband:
(He took this picture of himself while I had the camera set up with the timer on.)
If it weren’t for him, this blog probably wouldn’t be what it is. I’d actually had the idea of starting up a blog last year, but it never materialised. However, after we’d been married a couple of months, I kept considering the idea until the title and the general concept came to me quite suddenly. One night at dinner, I said, ‘I want to start a blog. I know what I want it to be about and what to call it.’ I explained it to Mike, and almost before I’d finished he had grabbed the iPad and, tap-tap-tap, had bought the domain name. I almost said something about spending money without asking me first…but I realised it was silly to criticise generosity.
He also helped me customise a few things about the layout, and gave me the courage to link it to my Facebook account. I don’t like being the centre of attention, or having the appearance of pompously monologuing without authority, so publicising my blog in that way wasn’t something I would have done on my own. I nearly lost the courage even as I was doing it (I think I was cowering in a little ball on the sofa), except that he kept prompting me.
He also let me expound to him endlessly about what I was writing about, and many of my posts are verbally outlined, talking to him, before I set out to write.
As I said, this isn’t the ‘reflecting on marriage’ post I thought I’d be writing by now. I think there may be a reason for that, which is that those kinds of reflections often require intense solitude. Marriage itself – at least in the absence of children or business travel – has a tendency to fill up life’s little corners, the bits of morning and evening that used to be solitary, and thus diminish the opportunities for reflection. Sometimes, lately, when asked how things are going, I find myself coming up dry, and I suspect the lack of extended, unoccupied solitude is partly responsible. In fact, I would strongly liken the experience to what C. S. Lewis describes as his response to his own conversion:
[…] a marked decrease […] in the fussy attentiveness which I had so long paid to the progress of my own opinions and the states of my own mind. For many healthy extroverts self-examination first begins with conversion [or marriage?]. For me it was almost the other way round. […] I had been, as they say, ‘taken out of myself’.
(Surprised by Joy)
This is a good thing, Lewis says. And so for me, too. Not that I intend to stop thinking or blogging, but that marriage has relieved some of my mental intensity, and, quite healthily, occupied me more in doing than in contemplating.