For the history buffs out there, you already know that the Bronze Age refers to the era situated between the Stone Age and the Iron Age. It varies in its place along the human timeline depending on which culture is being studied. For some cultures, the Bronze Age began as early as over 3000 BC while others didn’t get there until closer to 1300 BC. In a nutshell, the Bronze Age describes the middle years of humanity’s ability to manipulate its world…more advanced than banging rocks but not yet able to smelt ore. It was a time of great growth and potential for humanity as all areas of human existence evolved right along with our ability to forge metals. It was the time when humanity advanced meteorically but in hindsight was nowhere near reaching its full potential. The strength and shine of the metals it used mimics humanity’s own strength and ability to shine.
Therefore, in some ways, it makes sense to describe the 19th wedding anniversary as the Bronze Anniversary. After 19 years, a relationship has come so very far in its evolution. But the evolutionary periods of that relationship are still unknown; it is still a work in progress.
Marriages (or committed partnerships) evolve right along with the people in them. There is growth and stagnation, periods of great excitement as well as times of quiet contentment. There are bright shiny moments and cloudy gray skies. To experience the full spectrum is not only normal but is advantageous. Without the lows, the highs seem much less wonderful. Without the times of darkness, the bright light cannot be fully appreciated.
In 19 years, Mister Soandso and I have evolved far from the 22 and 24 year olds we once were. Of course our evolution has involved changing hair colors and clothing sizes. But I like to think about those changes in the same way humanity evolved all those years ago in various places about the globe. What once took great effort has become a much smoother process.
That is not to say our marriage has been hard or difficult, because in truth, it hasn’t. What it does mean is that over the 19 years we have been married, we have learned many things about ourselves, one another, and how to be “us”.
There have been so many things that have aided this learning process. We have belabored over purchases as small as kitchen appliances to as large as homes. We have deliberated over power drills and power of attorneys. We have taken pictures and taken vacations. And we have witnessed one another age and mature and evolve as we evolved from young adults to adults to parents of infants to parents of a middle schooler. We had our “young and in love” period, our “starving graduate student” period, our “dual incomes, no kids” period, our “two kids, two parents working, major stress” period, and our “three kids, one parent working, still stressed-out” period. Our Bronze Age is a time of becoming stronger, of refining ourselves into better people to be better parents.
I’m in no real hurry to get to the Iron Age of my marriage. These middle years are actually quite delightful–filled with dreams to be dreamed and achieved. And today, as I look back on where we were 19 years ago I know that the best is yet to come, with its potential to be even more shiny and strong because of the work right here and now.
Happy 19th Anniversary Mister Soandso. Thank you for saying yes all those years ago.