Today Julie and I are celebrating five years of marriage. It’s been a wonderful five years. Here are five things I’ve learned along the way.
Sometimes if I don’t catch myself, I still think it’s 2007-or 1997!! Five years have gone by like the blink of an eye. Encapsulated, though, in that whoosh of time are shared moments that will last forever—trips, conversations, quiet moments, meals, laughter, tears, successes, failures—the things that make us, us.
And because you can’t get special moments in time back, I’ve learned to prioritize being present for those I love. I don’t regret being at a single birthday party or wedding or special event with family and friends. I do regret missing some, though. Be present for the important moments in life, big and small. Once you miss them, you can never get them back.
You Never Grow Up
Sometime in my mid-twenties, I thought I finally realized that you never grow up. But today I realize that I’m still waiting for it to happen. There is no switch to flip that magically gives you the confidence, wisdom, authority and purpose of adulthood.
If I ever appear to have any of those things, I’m just pretending!
Even after five years of marriage I often feel like I’m just practicing “adulting” in preparation for the day when I finally grow up.
So don’t take yourself so seriously. If you never really grow up, then you never have to lose the light-hearted enthusiasm of childhood. Right? You don’t, do you!?!?
Live In The Moment
If you want to do it, do it now. If you want to see it, plan to go this year. Don’t neglect to plan for the future, but live life in the present. That “someday” you’re waiting for will always be a few years off in the future.
As the saying goes, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” So go skiing next year. Plan that trip to Europe. Swim with the dolphins. Eat at the fancy restaurant. Go to the concert. See the play. Climb to the top and take in the view. Stop to see the big ball of twine. Whatever. Knowing how way leads on to way, you may never have the chance again. So do it now.
Enjoy Simple Pleasures
You don’t have to go to Paris to enjoy a glass of wine in the long shadows of evening. You can do that on your back porch.
You don’t have to shell out big money to go to the concert and dance the night away. You can dance to the Temptations in your living room tonight.
You don’t have to buy a plane ticket to go on a grand adventure. Lose yourself in a great book. Or create adventures in your own neighborhood. Explore a new park, head to the lake or just take an evening stroll through town.
Or, best of all, take time to dream as a family. Imagine what life could be like one year, five years or ten years from now—where you might be and what you might accomplish. Explore far-flung possibilities. Place no limits on the creativity of your ambitions. See where you end up. Thirty minutes spent in that kind of conversation is far better than any episode of the Big Bang Theory.
There are moments and seasons of life that require great intensity. But you can’t sprint all the way through life, so pace yourself.
I know a lot of people, young and old, who are racing through life right now, pedal to the metal. You can only attack life that way for so long before you crash. So slow down. Breathe. Relax. Rest up. Check your oil, fill your tank and rotate your tires so you’ll be ready to win the next race.
After five years of marriage, I’ve learned that there are few things life can throw at me that I can’t handle together with Julie—things that I could never imagine doing or facing alone.
On our fifth wedding anniversary, Julie is all the proof I need that God loves me and wants me to be happy. I lead a very charmed life.
See you Sunday.