It’s no secret that I think I’m married to an astonishing woman.
One of the things that makes me most proud is the way that Lyn strives to extend her boundaries. She sets goals, opens herself up to new possibilities, and never accepts the idea that, just because she’s a mother and a woman and a housewife, she should confine herself to the roles that others expect of her. Over the last month, I’ve seen this quality in abundance.
RUN, MOTHER, RUN
On Mother’s Day, rather than take the breakfast-in-bed and foot rub option, Lyn decided she wanted to enter the Mother’s Day Classic, a 3 ½ kilometre run around Lake Monger that involved working out for weeks beforehand, getting up at the crack of aaagh, and sweating her ass off whilst spotty 15 year olds jogged past her with their rock and roll and their new permissiveness and their long hair and… where was I?
I’ve waffled on, every now and again, about my attempts at weight loss. Lyn’s been just as dedicated in her own efforts, as I have in mine, and she viewed this as a great way to gauge her progress: run for as long as she could, walk for a while, then run again; and so on around the track. That was the plan, anyway. Apart from doing something to benefit a worthy cause (Breast cancer research) and feeling good about her solidarity with other women, she’d have a real-world benchmark for her fitness efforts.
So, given that it was Mother’s Day, and what she wants, she gets, we all piled into the Battmobile and headed off to watch her (Well, the kids headed off to play on the bouncy castle and get their faces painted, and run around on the grass, and play on the bouncy castle again. I watched.) We taped her iPod earphones in, pinned her competitor’s number plate to her back, and waved as the starter got the runners under way and she disappeared around the first bend.
I am not a number! I am a free... oh, wait...
21-odd minutes later, she was back, having run the entire way and finished in the top 30 for her grouping: elated, exhausted, and slightly disbelieving of the magnitude of her effort. This, from a self-confessed non-sporty type, who considered it her moral duty to wag every sports carnival her school ever held. She didn't just push a boundary, she burst through and kept on running. Literally.
Victory isn't just about coming first.
Long ago, when the world was young and Dinosaur Junior roamed the Earth, I graduated university with a postgraduate diploma that I intend to turn into an MA any day now.
At the same time, Lyn was about to give birth to Cassie, the first of three children she would have with her first husband. For reasons to tedious to go into here, she was never able to complete a course of tertiary study, and it’s been a need that has gnawed away at her over the years.
Last year, you will recall, she made good on it, and graduated with a Certificate of Relaxation Massage from the Australian Institute. And last month, we glammed up and attended her graduation ceremony.
The meal was brilliant, the entertainment was hilarious in the way that only people you know happily making complete knob-ends of themselves can be; and Lyn looked stunning beyond words. And when she was presented her graduation portfolio, it was the culmination of something long-held and deeply important, and I was both proud and humbled to be there to see it.
Over the last few years, Lyn has slowly been trying to establish herself as a writer. She’s sold a dozen or so short stories, and edited for a couple of magazines, and developed a growing reputation within the Australian SF community. However, she’s come to a point where selling one or two stories a year isn’t going to develop her career in any significant way. At the start of the year, when we sat down to work out our goals for 2007, she set herself a target of 12 submissions. That would represent a significant increase in productivity, and hopefully, she might see a better return than in previous years.
As of the end of May, 5/12ths of the way through the year, she’s reached 13 submissions, and sold 4 stories. Both numbers exceed my own efforts, and given that being prolific is part of my charm, I think she’s finally set for a period where her bibliography matches her astounding talent.
People constantly underestimate Lyn: she’s small, and gently spoken, and long years of religious belief have given her a forgiving and well-wishing nature. But she has greater strength and potential than she knows, and I am constantly amazed at just what she can achieve when given the opportunity to do so. For most of her adult life, my darling wife has struggled to create a sense of self because the social institutions of which she was a part demanded that she stifle her potential in order to fit their notions of what she should be. She is a woman of unlimited potential.
And I am the proudest of husbands.
The woman I love