A day off of work with childcare provided is just about every mother’s dream come true. The list of things to do with a day’s worth of time and energy, and no interruptions from your offspring is quite lengthy and exciting. However, on this particular day, I had a major to-do list item that I had put off too long!
There had been a recall, warranty issue, and an overdue oil change on a used minivan. Initially I saw this as a forced but enjoyable coffee date with my journal at a local shop. Thanks shuttle service! Suddenly I’m wasting my day away and sipping a latte to kill time.
I guess 7 years is a big deal for replacements in vehicles. A stapled stack of papers was slid across the counter, listing recommendations for replacements. As I paged through the stack and green and red identifiers, the circled prices jumped out and had my heart racing. Our budget made it easy to say no for once, and I prioritized the most necessary items.
7 years is kind of a big deal in other topics as well. Did you know that 7 year olds have egocentric blinders that start to fall away? You may be a mother of toddlers and think age 7 will never come. As a mother of twin toddlers, I have been told it does indeed exist. There are 7 year olds all along this process of expanding their scope, to include feelings of others and expressing empathy. It is a necessary milestone at this age, and they need guidance to activate their empathy so it does not lay dormant. It needs some TLC along the journey, much like car maintenance.
Then there’s the famous 7 year itch. It is a psychological term referring to the decrease in happiness as one nears and hits a 7 year time frame in a marriage or relationship. It can also be used relating to a job or a house. The phrase was first used in the play “The Seven Year Itch,” and gained popularity from the film adaptation starring Marilyn Monroe.
Marriages need maintenance too. We don’t always prioritize its regular maintenance, and we limp along. But for how long? Since 1922 the median duration of a marriage is between 6.5 and 7.5 years. Apparently, seven years is a boiling point. You either divorce or adapt and sometimes the “or” is not an option. However, I know that marriages don’t end in a day. Much like a car, wear and tear take a toll. Rust sets in, dents happen, and motors fail.
Seven is also significant in the Bible. It signifies a divine completion. After 6 days of creation, God rested. It became the Sabbath and a day to keep holy. A complete cleanse for a leper was to wash 7 seven times in the river. God also ordered Joshua to march 7 days around the city of Jericho. Finally, we are to forgive any wrongdoer seventy “times seven.” While these Biblical examples have significance at seven, but the resting, victory, cleansing, and forgiving is after seven.
Bottom line, 7 is no joke. It will come whether or not you do regular maintenance and celebrations. The goal is never 7 years and stop. Not with cars, children, or marriages. The goal is to get to 7 and beyond.