Before I start, I would just like to share this: to my amazement it appears that people are reading this blog. Wow. I was secretly convinced that I was effectively talking to myself. Now it’s not as if the blog is getting a ton of traffic, but I’m quite surprised to find that anyone is reading it. I don’t know whether it is stretching it to imagine that I might be getting a “regular readership” here, but all the same, I’m going to try to be more consistent with posting my thoughts.
Thank you all so much for reading, it is truly appreciated!
OK, I’m back to considering why I’m writing this blog! I’ve just reread my first attempt to explain why I’m writing this blog, and all the reasons I quoted there still stand, 100%. However, a few further thoughts occurred to me about why I’m writing this blog – that is, I remembered a few further things.
Basically, once again, this is largely for the benefit of anyone out there, who might be wondering whether I could be the one… (I hope this does not sound arrogant. After all, other women get chosen for marriage, so I hope it is not outrageous to suggest that someone could be considering whether to choose me….)
I have a pet theory that modern life has a hugely destabilising effect on marriages and relationships, especially compared with how life might have been possibly 200 years ago. Let me quickly add that I love all the advantages of life as we know it – air travel, scientific breakthroughs, medical care, the internet, mobile phones. It is all a tremendous blessing, and I am so grateful to be alive now. I think I would prefer to be alive now than at any other period of history that has already gone. And also, in many ways, our lives are actually more stable than in many other previous eras, because of improved medical care… However, I believe that many of the opportunities we now cherish also contribute to making relationships more difficult, and I will outline my reasons below. I am writing this blog partly to counteract some of these issues concerning my own marriage.
Firstly, I am going to peek into marriage and talk about how modern life could affect it:
Perhaps it is naïve of me to suggest that modern marriages face any extra stresses compared to marriages of bygone eras. In most ways of course, our lives are a lot less stressful, with labour-saving devices to do everything that our forefathers and foremothers (or their servants) would have toiled endlessly over. However, those labour-saving devices have to be purchased; and to be able to afford the funds to purchase these we have to go to work.
I think people in our days, especially in the West, spend so much time working in external jobs that it cannot but affect their relationships. Perhaps a few hundred years ago, people would have spent even longer working, however they might have been working on their own farms, or they might have been working in smaller, tighter-knit communities, or working from home in cottage industries… In each of these scenarios they would likely have been seeing their spouses, possibly right throughout the day. Admittedly, this could have aggravated any tensions that might have existed between them, but at least they would not have been able to complain of not spending time together.
Let’s contrast this with our modern times. The costs of everyday essential items seem to be rising, and it seems as if we all need to be working harder just to afford a decent standard of living. If you happen to work in the same place as your spouse, then this would still be stressful but at least you would be seeing them. However, this is clearly not the case for most people. Coming from London, with 2 hour commutes (each way) every day to and from work quite unremarkable, I always used to think that the wonder there was not that so many relationships broke down, but rather that any survived at all.
The issue of having time to spend with my spouse is so important for me that it has even helped to decide my choice of career. Looking ahead into the marriage which I hope to have, I want to build the foundations of having enough time to spend with Mr H-W. This is why I am battling to succeed in self-employment, so that I can be my own boss and drop everything when and how I need to. This is why I have made up my mind to be content with a simpler lifestyle, so that I don’t need to spend more time working to be able to buy more things, time which I could otherwise spend in having my hand held… This is partly why I love to make things myself, because the materials invariably cost a fraction of what it would cost to buy the ready-made product, and I love the creative process.
4 Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease!
5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage.