On September 1, 2012 my husband & I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. As we came close to approaching the date it seemed like every obstacle was thrown our way ... to say that the 2 weeks before September 1st weren't difficult would be a lie. It seems like when there is reason to celebrate, life will try to throw every curveball at you. As we were going through this time I was reminded of how many people never make it to year 16. So what makes us any different? Why is it that some make it while others do not? There may be many reasons, but I was reminded of a few over our anniversary weekend.
On our special day we had the opportunity & the privilage to have dinner with a few close friends. We celebrated eachother, laughed, told stories & just enjoyed eachothers company. It was one of those situations where you experience people breathing life into each other. These 3 couples are individuals that have been there for Ray & I ... they have supported us, loved us & asked us tough questions at times, but I think one of the greatest gifts they have given us is that they are really there for our marriage. They aren't there to take my side or to take Ray's side ... they aren't against one or the other, but they are FOR us as a couple ... So often in life we end up surrounding ourselves with people that make us feel good. If someone tells us something we don't like, we are often so quick to think they are unsupportive & we turn our backs & cut off the relationship. I'd like to think that at this stage of my life I care less about my feelings being hurt by the truth & rather have people in my life that will chose to be honest with me. Life is too short to have to be right ... life is too short to only have people in our lives that tell us what we want to hear. A text in the Bible come to mind that says a wise man has many counselors.
The following day Ray had a surprise for me. In my life I tend to be the type of person whose head is in a million places at once. I always have a list of things going in my mind of things to do or schedules to meet. I am often, well lets be honest, always worried or stressed about one thing or another ... about what has happened or about what I think could happen. Living my life in this way ends up stealing the joy out of many little moments that I could have had each day. So back to my suprise ... have you ever been suprised with something that you are also afraid of? ...My surprise was the opportunity to go bungee jumping. Now, it's something that has crossed my mind to do ... but to actually do it? I don't know that I thought I ever would. I had no idea of what was about to take place as I woke up that morning! I had no idea of it while I ate my breakfast or even as the family got in the car & started driving. As we drove I eventually figured out the general area that we must be heading ... & a few ideas crossed my mind ... remember I always have stuff going through my mind! ... I thought that maybe we were going zip lining ... or maybe to Whistler for the day. As we got closer I started to see the sign;s that said "Whistler Bungee." It crossed my mind when I saw it, but I quickly pushed it out. We passed the exit & I breathed a sigh of relief ... unitl Ray looks at me & says ... "You'll know where we are going now." as he pulls a u-turn. Instantly I am questioning & not believing the fact that this is what he has planned for us ... Oh wait! Did I say "US?" ... I meant me!
We pulled in just as someone was jumping ... I was excited & a bit nervous ... but still calm! Infact I was beginging to be concerned that I was too calm & wondered why I wasn't more nervous? ... We got up to the top as we saw several others jump ... screaming all the way down. I was given opportunity to not do it ... but really I am not usually one to back down from a perceived challenge! So, we go to pay the fee & the girl says "ok, you'll be number 13!" ... really? Now I am not superstitous ... but 13 really?
I got harnessed up & stood & waited with the kids & Ray, while more people jumped. They kids couldn't believe I was going to do this & I think Ray even questioned a time or two if I would actually take the leap.
It was fianlly my turn ... I took the step out on the ledge ... Still surprisingly calm. Then the guys tells me to put my toes to the edge. Ok, now my heart beat quickend & I felt me hands squeeze tighter to the rails. The next thing I knew I was being given this instruction & that, told to look over to the camera & smile, look at my family & waive & then told to jump out & belly flop! Belly Flop? Really??? ... The count down began & I jumped ... without hesitation ... the free fall ... I screamed ... I can't lie! It was scary & exciting & freeing all wrapped up into a few seconds!
So what does this have to do with my Anniversary? ... well I learned a few things ... I learned that in that space of time ... I was not worried about yesterday's pain or tomorrow's perceived challanges. I wasn't concerned about what to make for dinner, or the fact that my house needed to be cleaned, what bill needed to be paid or even about what the furture holds with my MS & my health. All I was doing was being present in the current moment & expereincing the NOW! It was a refreshing place to be & a reminder to me how important it is to spend more time in that place. It is important to me, my health, my marriage, my children, my friendships ... because not living in that place impacts every relationship I have, including my relationship with myself.
As I reflect on our anniversary weekend I am greatful for those couples in our lives that speak into us & breath into us ... & I am reminded at how important it is for JUST BE & allow myself the gift of experiencing the now. I believe that if more people did this & had these kinds of relationships more marriages would succeed & more families would be held together with God's help.
I am blessed to have these people in my life & to have had the reminder of how important experiencing NOW is. I am grateful!