This Saturday we will be celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary and as part of the celebration, they will be renewing their vows. We are talking the whole nine yards here – tux and gown, brunch reception, receiving lines etc. It is supposed to be a beautiful day and we are looking forward to seeing over one hundred friends and relatives.
The whole idea of fifty years and how long that truly is has been on my mind a lot lately – not surprising. Fifty years is longer than I have been alive on this earth. It is longer than some people will live and yet here is a couple who have spent that length of time dedicated to each other. That is truly inspiring.
As part of the reception, I am in charge of games. After promising my mom that we would not be playing Twister or any game that required a blindfold, we settled on the Newlywed Game, or in our case, the Not-So-Newlywed Game. For those of you who don’t remember it, four couples compete by having one member of each couple answer questions and the other person has to guess what they said. It can be hilarious and can sometimes cause arguments right there on stage. In planning for this game, I decided that I would just have all the couples at the party who have also been married 50 years or more compete. So I asked my parents for their names. Seventeen couples that will be attending have been married over 50 years. That is over a third of the guests! Now that is inspiring! Looks like we will be drawing names out of a hat instead. 🙂
Fifty years is a long time to do anything – marriage, a job, a hobby. I figure if I live 50 more years, and I keep writing, I could become a very prolific writer indeed. And 50 more years is not out of the realm of possibility. My grandmother lived to be 93, and her brother was into his 100s! Family genes are on my side. So if I am to pursue my writing for 50 more years, it is a good thing that I get a kick out of it. Because doing anything that long that does not make you happy would be a drag. 🙂
The other thing that has been rolling around in my mind as we get closer to this event is the idea of renewing vows. In doing this, my parents are rededicating themselves to their marriage. They are choosing each other again, promising to continue loving each other for the remainder of their years. They are saying to each other, and everyone around, “hey, I would do this all over again.”
I think we need to rededicate ourselves to various areas of our life. Often we do it without even realizing it. I think every month or two I rededicate myself to eating right and exercising. And one of these times it will stick. 🙂 Rededicating yourself to something can renew your passion. It can help you re-evaluate your progress and determine where you are going next.
I find that I rededicate myself to writing at each juncture. When I picked up my first draft that had been sitting in a drawer for months and I started to edit it, I reconfirmed my desire to move forward with the project. When I reached the point of having a few friends and family read and critique my novel, I was telling myself that I was ready for the next step. When I mailed off that first query to an agent, I was putting my passion out there for the world to see. And perhaps most importantly, when I received my first rejection, I found myself revamping my query and revisiting editor bios to choose the next recipient. This was my way of rededicating myself to my writing every step of the way.
Rededication does not have to be a grand gesture. Each small nod toward your muse strengthens your resolve and your passion. It happens every time I pick up a pen, or open a document and start typing. It happens every time I come to this blog and add a post. It happens whenever I read another book on writing, participate in another discussion in a writing forum, or say the words out loud, “I am a writer.”
Big ceremonies bring a vow renewal like my parents front and center, but really vow renewals even in marriage take place at a much more intimate level. It is like in writing where every day I do a little something that reiterates to the world and myself that this is what I am doing, that I am really going to write. In a marriage, it shows up in little things too – a light touch, an encouraging word, a kiss goodnight. My parents have actually been renewing their vows every day for the last 50 years. That is what makes a marriage work.
Renew your vow to yourself and your creative dreams. It tells your muse that you are serious!