Ah, anniversaries. They can be an interesting day, can’t they?
Some people forget them, others spend extraordinary amounts of money on gifts for their partners while some have a simplified yet special day.
How We Celebrate Love The Simplified Way
Mark and I have celebrated 11 wedding anniversaries and when I think back to each one, I smile. How we have celebrated is a reflection of whatever life stage we were experiencing at the time.
I was lucky to be home for our 4th wedding anniversary after giving birth to our second daughter 6 days earlier.
For anniversaries 4 to 8, we would buy Chinese food and a bottle of wine and drive down to our local beach, where we would watch the sunset and listen to the radio program “Love Songs And Dedications” (not because we were hopeless romantics but some of the callers made us laugh).
For our 9th we stayed at the Crown Metropol 5-star hotel in Melbourne and spent a night enjoying our city and staying in our luxury room. But then we realised we had to do something even more special for our 10th!
So we spent 2 nights at the Langham Hotel in Melbourne- which was the most relaxing weekend I have ever had, and our favourite anniversary. The hotel really made us feel special! Our annviersary coincided with the Chinese New Year and there were celebrations throughout the city. The day ended with a fireworks display which we watched from the top of the Eureka Tower.
The hotel really made us feel special on our anniversary!
Chinese New Year celebrations viewed from the Eureka Tower, Melbourne.
This year for our 11th anniversary, we thought we would keep it simple but fun. We went ten-pin bowling in the city followed by dinner and a leisurely stroll along the Yarra river, to South Wharf where we have never visited before.
Each anniversary has been special to me because I got to spend the day with my husband, no matter what we did. And I think that’s what has made our anniversaries so memorable: we have focused on what’s most important and not what society tells us is important when celebrating an anniversary.
In fact, we don’t remember ever buying each other a gift! We have never cared about whether our anniversary theme is paper, clock, wool or leather. Who cares? Not us! What’s important to us is celebrating our love for each other. You don’t need gifts to do this.
Living a more simplified life is all about recognising and celebrating the important things, and leaving behind the stuff that truly does not matter.
Society places too much emphasis on materialism when celebrating relationship milestones- whether it’s buying a dozen red roses, a piece of jewellery from Tiffany’s or dinner at an exclusive restaurant. Just look at how commercialised Valentine’s Day is!
Society also places pressure on men to spend ridiculous amounts of money on their partners for their anniversaries. Many women expect lavish anniversaries and are disappointed when their partners don’t deliver.
We have friends whose partners have passed away, and friends whose partners are currently experiencing trauma or illness. Seeing what our friends are going through is a reminder to make each day count, and not just our anniversaries. It’s nice to celebrate our special day but our relationship is a lifelong commitment.
That’s why it’s important to create time each day to be with the one you love. Unfortunately for many people, the busyness of life sucks away the quality time that could be spent with their partner.
Before becoming unbusy, my husband and I would see other each for only 15 minutes a day during the week. He would work all day and come home, and I would then leave for work and work through until 11pm. That 15 minutes together was usually very stressful- he would be exhausted from work while I would be rushing in a panic. It was a bad time to have a conversation!
After creating a less busy life, my husband and I decided to make either Friday or Saturday night as our “date night” (depending on what night the football is on TV!). We have a love of movies from the 80s, so we pick something fun and share a bottle of wine and a laugh. But now that we are both unemployed (we were both laid off from our jobs in the last 10 months) we have all day together as well, and sometimes when the kids are at school and kinder we go hiking in the countryside or for a bike ride. We never would have dreamed of doing this 5 or 10 years ago!
If it’s a challenge for you to find the time to spend with your partner, then perhaps a good start is to set aside some time each day. It could be 30 minutes at the end of your day, or even a commitment to sit together and eat dinner. Set aside a “date night” either once a week or once a month when you commit to doing something together, even if it’s waiting until the kids are in bed and enjoying a quiet meal and a movie at home.
Do you celebrate an anniversary or relationship milestone? How do you celebrate? Do you find it a challenge to make the time to spend with your loved one?
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