I think sometimes what single gals long for the most regarding marriage and family is for just the everyday celebration of good times (and mourning of bad times - which is why I previously encouraged making a good set of friends!!)
What are some of your happiest memories as a child? What are the memories you want to create for your one day husband and children? Most likely some of these memories fall into the categories of family traditions, holidays, parents celebrating report cards and scored soccer goals and school plays. (Anyone else in Jackson used to go swensons after recitals for ice cream?? my family did!)
So my suggestion, create traditions and celebrations NOW. Best case scenerio, your single years (and your friends' single years) are more enjoyable and you build memories and establish some fun traditions for your oneday family. Worst case scenerio: if you don't get married, you don't get married -- BUTthat doesn't mean you can't enjoy halloween or Christmas or celebrate a raise with a nice dinner out.
10. Every single 20something gal needs to celebrate life achievements.
One of my favorite quotes on marriage is from a movie I haven't even seen -- Shall we Dance? (hmm, looking that up on Netflix soon) I saw the quote years ago and it says:
"We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."
SO TRUE. We all need that. And as singles, thats often what we miss. We are always encouraged to be good friends for eachother, be there in the rough times...and thats so true. I've spent nights in the hospital with friends and brought meals when sick and mourned breakups, etc. But we also need to celebrate our own accomplishments and those of others. I'm so blessed to have that with my friends. We celebrate birthdays, promotions, raises, new men, etc. My friends showed up for my first half marathon to cheer me on. We also celebrate holidays (which I will talk about later).
So, celebrate your life -- there is plenty that is good. I think the emphasis is on marriage and babies so we go to showers and weddings and make meals. But celebrate your accomplishments too-- with friends or by yourself. Lost 10 pounds? Buy a new skirt! Raise? How about a fancy meal out of a bottle of wine with pals. ALSO, married ladies and mammas, remember how often your single friends celebrate your life and make an effort to celebrate theirs. :) It will mean the world to them, I promise.
11. Every single 20something gal needs some traditions.
What did your family do? Tuesday Taco night? Sunday evening movie? Certain cakes or cocoa recipes at Christmas?? Halloween inspired cookies? Extend some of those traditions to your life -- and feel free to invite others to join!!
Or, make your own traditions. For instance, my friends and I have started the tradition of wine nights every now and then. We have specific holiday parties every year.
Personally, in law school, I let myself have a time of reading for fun before bed or watching a fav tv show. I always decorated pumpkins, even if I did it alone (a tradition my family didn't have!) I have also started celebrating advent (minus the candles although maybe I will start that this year)
Dave and I have started traditions too -- early church and lunch on sundays, five dollar movies, etc.
Start some traditions. Even if they are just for you. Single life often feels chaotic...fewer family obligations, but sometimes consistancy is comforting. Create some in your own life.
12. Every 20something single gal should invest in some holiday decorations.
The tendency is to think: no one will enjoy that wreath but me and my few visitors. I'll buy a tree when I get married. It's like we feel the need to put off the things we enjoy until we are married or have babies! Why not enjoy a tree now? Or buy some pumpkins?
Holidays are not only for Families. They are for singles. They are for friends. They are for extended families. Without a husband and baby, you can still enjoy dressing up and candy on Halloween, fireworks on the 4th, the Savior's birth at Christmas and thankfulness at Thanksgiving.
Decorations encourage us to appreciate the season, to find festive enjoyable moments even when times are tough. I don't care how hard life is and how lonely you are, a Christmas tree full of lights makes you smile. It makes you feel like you have hope and something to celebrate. And it reminds you that you, alone, without anyone else, still can enjoy beautiful decorations....not to mention, decorating often causes us to celebrate the holiday.
Decorating a tree puts me in the Christmas spirit which then forces me to get over my hard times and celebrate my Savior's births. Buying pumpkins and mums makes me thankful and start listing my blessings!
Sure, maybe your one bedroom apartment doesn't need a tree fit for Southern Living magazine. Maybe you won't have as many decorations as you one day will. But even a small tree will help you celebrate and enjoy the holiday!