21 years of Married Bliss…

anniversary

21 years…I have been married for 21 years.  That is longer than I was not married.  I have had my husband’s surname longer than I had my own.  My eldest child is now older than I was when I got married. 21 years.

I was a bright eyed 19 year old when I got married.  Gavin and I had been dating for more than two years and I really believed that I was ready.  I believed that I knew what I was getting into.  Then I fell pregnant.

Yep, honeymoon baby.  One month of wedded bliss and then nine months of morning sickness followed by months of sleepless nights and post-natal depression.  Our early years of marriage were not easy, but we survived 🙂

Looking back over all the years is bittersweet.  We had some really wonderful times but we have also had some really low points.  We were broke, living pay check to pay check surrounded by second hand everything (not the cool retro/vintage jag that everyone is on now) and struggled to merge two single lives into one while raising a baby.

Marriage is full of compromise, as cliche as that may sound.  Two individuals with their own likes and dislikes, their own preferences and their own opinions suddenly need to share the same space with someone else.  It is easy to fall into the trap of one becoming the giver and the other the taker.  This is not a great recipe for wedded bliss.  Eventually the giver gets sick of giving and the taker loses respect for the giver.  For a marriage to be happy, both parties need to be happy, both parties need to win sometimes and both need to lose sometimes and both need to retain part of their individuality.

We all know someone who has been totally swallowed by their partner.  They stop hanging out with their own friends, they stop doing the things that they like and their whole life revolves around the one person.  This isn’t healthy…for either of them.  To have a healthy, happy marriage you need to retain yourself even as you learn to compromise.  It’s a tricky balancing act, but when you get it right, it is worth it.

For me, the most important thing in my marriage was the decision I made that there was no option to walk away.  Please understand that I am not talking about when there is abuse in a relationship.  What I am talking about is not allowing yourself to view your marriage as something that can be undone when it gets too hard.  Sometimes we have to make changes to ourselves so that our lives fit together and this is hard.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of times when I have thought it was too hard and it would be easier to walk away, but I knew that that wasn’t an option.  It wasn’t easy and I often believed Gavin would be better off without me, but I gritted my teeth and put my shoulder to the wheel and made the changes I needed to make…and I am a better person for it.

I think that that is one of the best things to come out of my marriage, that I have become a better person.  Gavin often says that we grew up together in our marriage and it is true.  We were very young and we have grown together as we have grown older.  We are both better people, we have both compromised, we have both won sometimes and we have both lost sometimes.  We are not perfect, we are still having to compromise (especially since we run a business together) but it has become easier.

I can’t imagine my life without Gavin in it.  He is my rock, he is my best friend.  He has put up with a lot because of me and my baggage and without him I wouldn’t be who I am.  So, Happy Anniversary baby…I love you xxx

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Sunny Saturday Adventure

ssatitle

Today dawned bright and beautiful.  I got up early, while the rest of the house slept and indulged in the stillness of the morning.  I didn’t have to work today and because it is a Saturday and it is a rare occurrence to have a Saturday off, today was a magical day.

In my last post I tried to explain, with my limited capacity, the struggle to achieve work/life balance for a business owner.  In this post I want to share with you that I have made a concerted effort to take some time off and to do something fun with it.

This day didn’t just happen.  I have found that if I want to do something on my day off, I need to plan it.  Spontaneity is often defeated by lackadaisicalness.  We planned to go to the markets, if we hadn’t then we would have probably ended up doing nothing. So we had a plan.  We had to make a delivery first and pick up some yummy relish from the mother in-law and then we were off.

Our destination was the famous Eumundi Markets. We estimated that it had been at least five years since we had been.  Considering we were Sunshine Coast locals, this was pretty poor.  We decided that since we were going through Nambour, we would take the scenic route through Yandina.  Highways are so boring.

It is interesting to travel roads that you haven’t been down for a while and see the changes.  I have lived on the Sunshine Coast for nearly twenty-four years and during that time have lived in different suburbs.  Places that I used to frequent regularly, now I rarely visit so it is nice to revisit those places and see the changes.  Did you know that Yandina has a brand new shopping centre?  I didn’t until today.

When we arrived at the markets, parking became our goal.  I remember having to get to the markets at some ungodly hour in order to get a park.  Parking is a lot more civilised now, they have car parks and everything.  You have to pay for the privilege, but I find that the convenience is worth it and the money goes into the local community.

The market has grown exponentially.  There seemed to be thousands of them (I don’t actually know how many there are, but there are lots!)  Eumundi Markets used to be known for their strict regulations for Market holders – make it, bake it, sew it, grow it – but things have changed.  There is still a section of the markets that stick to these rules, but there are other markets that have grown up around the original and they are not so strict.  Some of these are great, but unfortunately there are some that just stock cheap imports which, I feel, have no place in a real market.

Overall, the atmosphere is great although very crowded.  There is so much to see and taste and experience and not just at the markets.  There are some really interesting shops along the main street, notably Berkelouw Books. This place was phenomenal.  New alongside second hand alongside antique…a book-lovers heaven.

bookstore

 

coffeepot

 

 

Another great shop was a Retro and Vintage shop called Retro Spective.  They have some amazing pieces and furniture and really reasonably priced.  I didn’t get a photo in the shop, but we did buy a little treasure.

frenchpatisserie

 

 

We had a delicious, freshly baked chocolate croissant from a gorgeous little french patisserie stall.  I think the chef was actually French!

 

 

van

 

And saw this cute little van that I would love to turn into a coffee van or maybe a muffin van 🙂

 

sugarcreamer

 

We bought some adorable mini Monte Carlo and Melting Moment biscuits that were about the size of a ten cent piece but ate them before getting a photo and also found this set of sugar and creamer that most of our grandparents probably owned.

 

PumSpinFeta

 

Our market plans fulfilled we then took a drive to Noosa, well, Tewantin.  We were heading for Noosa River, but Gavin got lost and we ended up in Tewantin which wasn’t any big drama.  We were enjoying our sunny Saturday adventure and decided to just go with it.  Neither of us had ever actually been to Tewantin before, so we wandered down the main street to find some lunch.  We ended up at Tewantin Deli were I had a Pumpkin, Spinach & Feta Salad with Grilled Chicken and Avocado.  Gavin had a burger, but only ate half.

fishmarket

 

 

And on the drive home we saw this cute little shop that I wish I could transport to Mooloolaba and turn into a Vintage Cake Shop

 

That was our Sunny Saturday Adventure!