List item number 10 and the 21st Top 30 challenge completed, ‘Go to an AFL game’, saw us sunning ourselves at the Sydney Cricket ground today.
And I’ve gotta tell ya – I feel more Aussie already.
What a year!
I may well say this every year, but this time it’s definitely true – the past year has been the biggest, the most life-changing of any of my 29 years on the planet so far (if you exclude being born).
The year kicked off well as I became an aunty for the very first time to the cutest little munchkin that ever lived. The down times included spending far too much on hospital car parking… but I’d do it all again just to hear that “It’s not cancer!” news one more time. A highlight was of course saying “Yes!” to the man of my dreams, as well as celebrating a number of beautiful weddings and exciting engagements (taking notes all the time). I embarrassed myself on national television, kept the family business afloat while my parents lived it up in Europe, and ticked off 13 challenges from my ‘Top 30 Countdown‘ list!
I was sitting on my computer at home one night alongside my office buddy (Andy) when I started the whole list idea.
Andy moved in with me in February of this year and since then we’ve been living and working together every day. We both work from home so we see each other practically 24/7. When we tell people that we live and work together, they usually respond with a kind of mild shock as to how we could possibly stand to be together every moment of every day. Don’t we get sick of each other? Don’t we drive each other up the wall?
In fact, we both love working together. Indeed that’s how we first met – at work. It was well over 5 years ago now and it was at a “print and mail house” North of Sydney. Picture, if you will, the office from ‘The Office’. Or, better yet, the box factory from the Simpsons. It wasn’t exactly heaven on Earth, so I was certainly surprised when I met an angel there… (awwww stop!)
We were friends from the first and it was surprising (at least to me) how quickly we went from barely knowing each other to being best of friends. I suppose you could say we were “kindred spirits” or even “soul mates” because we were drawn together by a disturbingly similar sense of humour and general outlook on life. Eventually that transformed into love. He won me over with his selfless, hilarious, caring and otherwise winning personality. I won him over with my ridiculous cartoons.
We’ve been together for more than 4 years now, and I still wake up to find myself more in love with him each day.
As in those early workmate days, we still use online chat rather than face-to-face to communicate. It sounds ridiculous when he’s sitting right next to me, but it’s much easier than shaking him to get him to take off his headphones (which are, perhaps, the secret to our happy work/life balance?) Anyway, on that night as my 29th birthday approached, I messaged Andy to explain what I was doing and ask what challenge he would like to add to the list. In the shadow of the ticking biological clock that inspired the list, I was very plesantly surprised when he replied “Get engaged to me”.
We had been talking about getting married for a while (I did most of the talking of course!) but I knew with our financial circumstances it would be a while before we’d be able to do it.
Some people might say that Andy took away the surprise by adding that item to the list, but let me tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth! When he dropped down on one knee on the balcony of our hotel in Cairns last Saturday night I was truly surprised! Moreso when he pulled out a beautiful ring! (His mother’s). I call him the “Proposal Ninja” because I never saw it coming in spite of what some would consider the very obvious clues!
Sadly, I have absolutely no recollection of what he said to me. All I remember is me crying and saying “Yes” about a hundred times (just in case he didn’t get the message). I assume he asked me to marry him somewhere in there?!
So, that is item number 1 ticked off the list, and I couldn’t possibly be happier. Bring on the wedding and the rest of my lucky, lucky life!
The online poll results closed as follows:
Do you think Andy’s “Top 30 List” item technically counts as a proposal?
Please hit us with all your advice for a long and happy life and marriage!