Posted by Meg Soper, 09-06-2015

“Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can’t sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can’t sleep with the window open.”  George Bernard Shaw

Mr. Shaw’s quote touches on a key element of any marriage: how to resolve the inevitable differences between 2 people.  While his quote is witty, it does not tell us how he would he have resolved the window dilemma. But having had the opportunity to reflect on 25 years of marriage to my husband Andy, I am guessing that Mr. & Mrs. Shaw might have experienced an evolution in thinking over the years along the following lines:  

  • Honeymoon phase: “OK hon, I love you so much, lets do it your way. As long as you are close to me.”
  • Kids & mortgage phase: “Opened? Closed? Whatever! I gotta get up at 5:30 a.m!”
  • Mid-life phase: “Lets split the difference and just open it half way…or I’ll sleep in the other room!”
  • Got it Figured phase:”Great idea! Lets buy a fan and close the window.”

Prepare to Enter…the Twilight Zone

Quarter Century Snapshots
Lets see… twenty five years equates to 9125 days of marriage, including holidays and weekends. The memories that stand out for me are those sun fun filled days you hoped would never end: the unconditional love of a young child, the look of wonder in your children’s eyes as they discovered the world, the moments  of laughter during family adventures  and the many milestones achieved over the years.

Meanwhile somewhere way in the back of my mind are faint recollections of the pain of childbirth, the sleepless nights, bouts of the flue and chicken pox, the angst of the teen years and the ever present worry that you were falling short of a passing grade in the academy of parenthood. Yes there were frequent scrapes and falls, even the odd family crisis, but looking back it was more imagined than real…a bit like John Prine says in his song:

That’s the way that the world goes ’round
You’re up one day, the next you’re down
It’s a half an inch of water and you think you’re gonna drown
That’s the way that the world goes ’round

Reflecting back over the past 25 years, and all that has taken place, seems somehow surreal. On one hand I have plenty of evidence to prove all those years have passed . At the same time I get this strange out of body feeling as though I am sitting in a theater watching a mystery movie about my life. Sure,  I know it is me on the screen. But no matter how often I watch, I’m not really sure how it all happened.  I just hope like hell I appear in the credits, and that they ask me to star in the sequel!

But if asked to boil the last 25 down to its essential elements, what am I left with? I am glad we asked for help along the way when we needed it and I know now more than ever that the richness of my life is entirely a function of the relationships I have with the people in it. I am not sure exactly when this finally hit home, but I know that this has been the biggest ‘aha’moment from those many years. Family and friends aren’t everything, they really are the only thing.  

All in all it has been a heck of a ride, for which I am so grateful. As for the next 25, well, that movie is about to begin.

Now let’s have a beverage and toast to the road ahead!

About Meg Soper

Meg Soper is a leading motivational humorist for organizations in North America. Her unique perspective combines the insights and experiences of her last thirty years spent as a Registered Nurse, stand-up comedian, and ultimately a motivational speaker. Meg has co-authored two books and appeared on the CBC Television network, Women’s Television network, and Prime TV as well as on radio and at comedy festivals.