My wife* and I like to take long-ish walks around sunset in the summer. Sunset walks have the advantage of beautiful skies, the occasional firefly and a cricket orchestra. The temperatures also dip in to double digits, which is probably the real reason, even if that explanation lacks in poetry and romance.
Last night, our discussion (and we always talk on these walks) wandered off into the distant future. We talked about where we'd started when we first got together, where we were now in terms of employment and finances, and where we'd like to be down the road. We talked about getting a second car (#NecessaryEvil), about long-term job plans, 401K's, savings, and eventually home ownership. The word "retirement" even came up at some point.
It's a little strange to be talking about what your plans are for when you're eighty years old, even when you're talking to the person you expect to turn eighty with. It turns out that we were very much on the same page as far as how we viewed the road map. We're both adults, but we're not really the sort of adult you'd trust with Serious Adult Things. We're kind of making it up as we go.
The thing that struck me about this oddly practical conversation was how utterly confident I was in our ability to make our plans work. That may sound like a very small thing, but I don't have a stellar history in the planning department. I've always been more of a "vague notion of where I'm heading but hey things change so let's not get too attached to this particular outcome" kind of guy. But last night? It all felt gloriously solid.
* Technically speaking, she isn't my wife quite yet, but she's getting there. The line of demarcation isn't nearly as clearly-defined as it once was and, in some contexts, we are married and in others, we're not. Rather than continue to refer to her as "beautiful girlfriend" (although she is both of these things), henceforth, I'll just call her my wife. I like the sound of that better anyway.