So, the cat is out of the bag. I’m getting engaged in the very near future (how soon remains to be seen…my ring is being sized and we want to wait until it is all ready before our official proposal). Needless to say, that exciting and important life decision has been occupying a lot of my thoughts lately. As excited as I am to be getting married, I’m also eager for the special season of life that is engagement. I’ve developed a few goals and things that I want to accomplish in the next 12 to 18 months prior to my marriage. (My soon-to-be fiancé is in the process of enlisting as an Army chaplain’s assistant, so exact dates are hard to come by just now!) I’d like to share them with you if you’re in a similar situation now, you have been before, or you will be one day! Some of these items are personal objectives just for me, and others involve Vincent a good bit as well as myself. Read on!
Develop a vision
At this point, Vincent and I know basically what we are hoping for in our lives together. We want to have a close, nurturing relationship that challenges and supports each of us, an inviting home where others feel welcome and loved, and one day, we hope to have children to bring up in a Godly and loving environment. But those are pretty general goals. It’s one thing to say that we want to be gracious and hospitable or great parents or loyal friends, but another thing to sketch out concrete goals for how to accomplish that! In the next few months, I’ll be working with Vincent and on my own to develop a sort of charter for myself and for our marriage with concrete objectives for our new family. So far, I have a tangle of disorganized ideas centering around a few central themes, which I’m distilling. For instance, under the heading of “nurturing marriage” I might set a goal for us to have a cup of tea together every evening and talk about our days and our struggles or successes. It’s important to me to have something that I can look to in the coming years to remind me of all the goals and dreams that I have now in the starry-eyed phase of life before I get too tired and too busy and caught up in the routine.
Become financially competent
Currently, I’m heavily dependent on my parents financially. I live with them, drive a car that they own, and am on their insurance. It doesn’t make any sense to lease an apartment or get my own insurance (at an exorbitant price) for that short duration, but I’m doing what I can to become a responsible adult financially. I’m in the process of shopping for a car so that my younger sister can have our family’s third vehicle. I’m learning about how to do taxes and invest money so that I can contribute to managing Vincent and my finances once we merge some of our savings accounts. Even down to the little things like developing efficient and frugal grocery shopping habits, I’m learning those mundane “adulting” tasks so that I’ll be ready once I’m no longer under Mom and Dad’s roof but sitting at a kitchen table with my 21-year-old husband attempting to detangle financial information.
Get back in shape
This is not some kind of “slimming down for the gown” goal. I don’t have the idea that since there will be thousands of pictures taken at my wedding or I’ll be at the center of attention, I want to be as skinny as possible. I do however hear that the first year of marriage is a big challenge to health as all your normal habits are disrupted, and this will especially be true for me since I’ll be moving (potentially even out of state or overseas) and transitioning to military life. With all that in mind, I want to be as healthy as possible to face the challenges ahead! Additionally, since I’ll be in school and most likely working during the first couple of years of my marriage, I know I’m going to be very busy, so this period before I take on the responsibilities of a home and a family of my own is the time to invest in my health a little extra!
Plan how the house will be taken care of
Since earliest childhood, I’ve been tasked with helping take care of the family home. My parents did a great job of teaching all of us kids skills like cooking and cleaning and maintaining the yard, so we’re pretty competent overall. But as I start to think about taking care of my own house in the very near future, I realize that there are some definite gaps in my knowledge! I’ve also realized, due to some recent conflict with my sister over certain duties, that there needs to be an agreement amongst all parties living in a house about what the expectations are for housework and cleanliness and so forth and who will be doing what. Vincent and I have discussed our views on this subject a good bit, and we agree on all general principles. Once it gets closer to time though (say two or three months before the wedding), I intend to have us hammering out the particulars, or getting pretty close to it, down to who does the dishes when and who cleans the bathrooms to who weeds the flower beds (assuming we have flower beds, which I hope we do!).
Although that’s certainly not an exhaustive list of my goals between now and my marriage (an obvious missing biggie would be that most thrilling and daunting prospect of planning a wedding!), it highlights the things that it’s important for me to accomplish prior to getting married in an effort to get things started on the right foot. Before too long, I’d like to post a collected couple’s engagement bucket list/goals list for Vincent and myself, which I’m sure will be very different! As always, I’d love to hear your feedback, contact me if you have any questions, and subscribe for updates.
**Image courtesy of stockfreeimages.com and Dreamstime.