Give me 25 more

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It has been 25 years. As I type the words, I think about how that feels — the passage of 25 years.

On one hand, it feels like my life has always been this way and it’s hard to remember how it was before this day 25 years ago. However, it also feels like it couldn’t possibly have been more than 20 years.

Time is funny that way isn’t it, especially when you connect it to a specific event. How, at the same time, it can seem like it happened long ago and also feel like it took place just yesterday is interesting. Maybe it has something to do with the experience itself.

For example, if it is a pleasant thing, the hours, days and even years seem to pass quickly. If you are in the middle of an experience that is less than pleasing, time drags by almost in slow motion.

And, if the pleasant experience goes on long enough, it is harder and harder to recall life before and the days melt into each other more quickly. I guess the same thing is true if you live in a state of constant unpleasantness. You struggle to recall when life wasn’t hard and wonder if it will ever be better.

I’ve lived both situations. I prefer the pleasant one, and that is how I’ve lived for 25 years. Oh, don’t misunderstand, not every second was bliss and joy. There were mountains and valleys, highs and lows. But there were many more mountains, more highs than lows and that is why I look over the years with such a sense of appreciation.

I came to this place, this happiness, along a twisting, often-bumpy road. It wasn’t exactly by design and seems, looking back, almost by accident. Where I thought my life was going and where it ended up was not in my imagination.

Of course, is that not how most things in life work? We think one direction is where we are headed and a curve takes us somewhere we didn‘t think about at all.

I suppose that is what keeps it interesting, the not knowing for sure how the story goes. And, my story, like everyone’s I think, is not what I thought it would be when I was a child imagining my life.

You know how that dream goes. You grow up, fall in love, get married and live happily ever after — the end. Well, a lot of stuff I never considered comes between growing up and happily ever after.

For some of us, the fall in love, get married and live happily part takes more than one try. It did for me. And, if you are lucky and blessed, you get the dream, or at least a new version of that childhood imagining. I did.

That is where I find myself, living a version of my childhood dream of marriage that is far better than a dream. It’s better because I share it with a person who is my best friend, as well as my husband. That friendship is an ingredient in happily ever after is not something that the romantic movies and books tell you is important, but it is probably the key ingredient.

It’s been 25 years since I stood in front of a mantle in my in-laws’ living room and promised to love, honor and cherish until death do us part. How quickly the years passed, but now I hardly remember what my life was like before that day.

All I know is that as I travel the road ahead of me, I’d like many more years of sharing the journey with the man who is my husband, my guide, my teacher and my friend.