Time flies when you're having fun. Time flies when you're not having fun too. In some ways it seems like it was only yesterday when six people stepped onto a beach in North Carolina for a wedding ceremony, my wedding ceremony. Me and her, two friends who lived near that beach and the minister and his wife. A few seagulls, sanderlings and tourists were also nearby as the then-happy couple recited their vows, which were partly written by the groom.
That sunny Tuesday began with a celebratory brunch, followed by a ten minute ride to the minister's beachfront home. Minutes before walking across the dunes we all saw dolphins swimming a few hundred feet off the beach and someone noted that was a sign of good luck. Guess you can't always believe good omens.
Seventeen years ago that couple pledged to endure inevitable struggles using words reflecting the volatile nature of the ocean rather than the traditional ‘for richer, poorer, in sickness and’ blah blah blah. Nice pledge but who could have predicted a category five hurricane with F5 tornadoes mixed in?
It seems like only yesterday but it wasn't. It was seventeen years that should have had way more ups than downs, way more joy than sorrow, way more love than hate. Seventeen years of ‘should have’s. Seventeen years that began with good intentions and ended with unfixable disconnect.
I try to look at disappointments in life as learning opportunities but it is very difficult for me to not feel like I threw away at least ten of the last seventeen years. Missed opportunities more than any learning opportunities.
My current life, my new life, is moving along nicely and I have much more happiness than sadness. My little slump today is a natural part of my fascination with anniversaries and the importance I place on them. But I’ll be my normal self tomorrow. Like the line from Gone With the Wind says … “After all, tomorrow is another day.”