Robert and I have our birthday traditions. We travel somewhere fabulous for mine, and stay home and eat cake with his kids for his. This year, we sort of reversed roles… I spent my birthday driving around rural Denmark in a moving van picking up mid-century Danish furniture and Robert spent his sailing around the Baltic sea!
When I’d first heard we’d be alone on his birthday this year, I saw it as an awesome opportunity to bring my A game! And so, we woke up on Robert’s birthday and headed to the pier.
And it didn’t come a moment too soon! I’ve been crazy busy with freelance assignments and I needed a break and some alone time with my husband. I’m working more hours now than I ever did as a corporate employee. Which is all-consuming and why I don’t blog nearly as regularly as I used to. After 10-12 hours of writing and editing for clients, I’m all out of words!
But it’s awesome to be doing what I love with complete freedom over what I do and how I structure my time. I work with the clients I want to work with, and I’m free of corporate nonsense like performance indicators, performance reviews, development plans, and stupid lingo like, “lean-in” and “reach out.” If I suck, I don’t get the next job. If a client sucks, I don’t take their next job. Every job has to be my best. It’s a good arrangement.
We’re are also struggling to make peace with our decision to stay in our current apartment because it’s really not logistically suitable for a family of three, a cat, and a home-based business. In theory, it sounded romantic, and if it were just the two of us it could work, but with a teenager in the house we need more space.
We’ve been to look at a few apartments, but we haven’t fallen in love with any of them. We’re both ready to settle down, yet we can’t seem to manage it.
A Birthday Trip
Anyway, learning from our Norwegian Epic debacle in the Mediterranean this past winter, I wasn’t in an expense sparing mood this time, and we weren’t disappointed. We spent nearly two weeks at sea with unlimited Hendrick’s and tonic, room service, afternoon tea, hours of promenading, live classical music, endless free time, and a full moon.
When I booked, I didn’t mention that it was Robert’s birthday, but they must’ve noticed it on his passport when we checked in because they delivered a birthday cake to our room! We definitely traded up from Norwegian. As Robert says, “you pays your money, you takes your choice.”
I put down my camera this time and experienced everything with my eyes. I feel a tinge of regret over not photographing the double rainbow as we sailed away from the misty St. Petersburg skyline, but standing on the promenade deck sipping a martini with Robert completely in the moment was well worth the missed photo-op, even though I wish I could’ve posted a photo so you could see how much the scene looked like futuristic film set.
So my big plan was to spoil Robert for his birthday, but he always one-ups me. That man!
A French Antique 1920s Art Deco Wedding Ring
Last month, Robert and The Oik spent a few days in London. I had to stay home because I was too busy with work, but as I waved them tearfully off, I told them to bring me something pretty.
So what did they do? They went to Hatton Garden and brought me back what Robert calls a “proper wedding ring.” Uh, yeah!
Back when we got engaged, I was adamant that I didn’t want a diamond engagement ring. My vintage sapphire and diamond engagement ring was also my wedding ring, so unless you count Zelda Fitzgerald, which is really too big, ridiculous, and fragile to wear in situations outside of cocktails and dinner, I don’t have an actual wedding ring. Zelda had to be repaired three times in the space of a year, so now she’s only allowed out for Friday cocktails and on special occasions.
My “proper” yet to be named antique Art Deco wedding ring is from the 1920s, which is my favorite jewelry era. It’s French, which I can tell because the hallmark is on the outside of the shank, and it’s set with a whacking great big old cut diamond surrounded by a hexagonal halo of more old cut diamonds, all in platinum with a beautiful handmade openwork gallery.
Sometimes I can’t believe how much Robert knows my taste, it goes perfectly with this pair of earrings I had made a couple of years ago!
Big Dreams Pay Off
Yesterday was my one year anniversary of deciding to go freelance. I’d dreamed of it for years and I’d agonized over actually going for it, but now I can’t imagine my life any other way.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.
~ Henry David Thoreau
That’s one of my favorite quotes and it’s guided me in so many difficult choices over the years. I’m often asked how I managed to move abroad, start over and build the life I’ve built, and that quote pretty much sums it up. Well that… and sheer chutzpah. It never actually occurs to me that I won’t get what I want, so I just figure out what it is that I want, and go for it.
Aside from our current real estate situation, which we’re working on, I’m finally living the life I’ve imagined!
Dream big or go home…