By Dorothy topfer · 2 min read · From PocketDocs: Running With Scissors
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
‘Let’s get married,’ I said to my beloved.
As a modern woman, I was always going to be the one doing the proposing.
His enthusiastic response – ‘Yeah ok’ and we celebrated with whatever alcoholic beverage we could find in the apartment. Warm beer I recall. We were students at the time, with a palate constrained by financial realities.
He was clearly the man of my dreams. Not one for planning ahead or planning at all- just like me. And so we lurched on to marriage, with no idea of what we were doing or what it entailed.
The night before the wedding I met with two of my dearest friends at a small bar in Glebe, for one last time as a single woman. Both unattached career women they asked ‘How could I commit myself to one man for the rest of my life?’
Well, I had never thought of my marriage in that way and, for a moment, I was stuck for an answer.
‘Well’ I said, ‘I suppose I hadn’t thought that far ahead - ‘
‘Or at all’ laughed one of them, who has known me since I was three, her laugh taking the sting out of the words.
‘I guess we will just take it as it comes and if it does end up that I have committed to one man forever, then that is what it will be.’
When I look back on it, planning has by and large been absent from my life. The three children that followed our marriage were each a happy surprise.
Our homes must have selected us, as I do not recall any considered thought going into their purchase. In fact, one home to our family for six years was acquired as the result of a drive on a wet Sunday afternoon.
‘Stop the car’, I said as we drove through a little village outside Canberra. ‘Look, that lovely house is for sale and it is open for inspection.’ My beloved, as usual, responded to my request – ok, call it a command.
Leaving the two youngest asleep in the car, we walked through the house, which wrapped its arms around us. I already knew we belonged here, but my eldest sealed the deal when he took my hand and whispered, ‘Mummy can we stay here.’ And so we did. It made life complicated for a while. But that is what happens when you don’t plan things.
My view is that sometimes we overthink things and that can only constrain us in what we do in life. Running full tilt into life, heedless of consequences, can give us the greatest adventures.
I remember a ski instructor once cautioned me, as I looked down with terror at a seemingly vertical black run.
‘Just point your skis and go’, she said. ‘Your muscles and your instincts will do the rest. You will be surprised.’
And so I was!