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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Live and learn

I got married a few weeks ago. I had been married before, but I refuse to call it RE-marriage. Re-marriage implies that I, again, married the person I married 31 years ago. This is not the case. There is no "re" anything. This is a fresh start, a new life, and a bright beginning. Although my "new" husband and I have been a couple for the last 6 years, I consider it a beginning. It is a beginning for us and a beginning of a new chapter in both of our lives- as a married couple.

I have surprised myself with how new it feels, in spite of the feelings of familiarity and comfort. This new chapter has been a great lesson for me in the miracle of renewal, and a testament to the power of love, forgiveness, and understanding.

This time of year is very sentimental. Graduations, weddings, retirements, vacations, and family reunions happen more often. All of these milestone events remind of us of the power of the bonds of love, our connections to family, friends and loved ones. As time passes, we reflect on these bonding occasions and how meaningful and strong the memories can be, even years after the event. These are truly precious opportunities to reflect and connect.

These occasions bind us to our family and friends and as we get older, these bonds and relationships take on even more meaning and value because we realize that life truly is short. There is no guarantee of tomorrow for any of us. Watching our loved ones marry or graduate or retire is our way of sharing those emotionally charge moments-together- and forging memories in our shared history. They are much more than  familial obligations. They are part and parcel of what makes up "FAMILY" and the loving friendships in our lives.

Over the past few years, my core beliefs on many things have been shaken to the core. I have gained valuable insights about myself, my views, and previously flawed ideas. It has been humbling and, at times, a bit depressing to think of the time I have wasted on erroneous notions and false beliefs. Well, live and learn, as they say. And I have done both. I am eternally thankful for the lessons and the insights I have gained. It has been a painful and difficult journey- a journey which continues. I am a work in progress, but I am no longer ashamed of that fact. A very wise woman told me, as I despaired at not having "figured it all out yet", that in her experience, once you do finally figure it all out, you die.

I am grateful to all the people who have been teachers and mentors in my life- both personally and professionally. There have been difficult and dark moments filled with pain, sorrow, loss and doubt. I suspect they know who they are and since I am not accepting an Academy Award, I won't name them. I will say that the places I have been and the people I have known have shaped my views and outlook, but the people I have loved, and who have loved me, are the greatest teachers I have ever known.

I have been blessed beyond measure with love and support in my life. I doubt I have always been deserving of it. But that's the funny thing about love- you don't always get what you deserve. Love isn't a reward for good behavior or intelligence. That's what makes it so miraculous and mysterious. That is what makes it so precious.

If I have learned one thing that is worth sharing, it is this- Don't waste time or assume that you will always have the ones you love with you. Every opportunity to share special moments, special occasions or just a regular day with the ones you love is a precious gift. Don't squander it or assume that you can do it "another time". The people who mean the most to us are the ones we often take for granted. Cherish every day and make the time you have together count. Savor and soak up every glorious day, and make those memories with the ones you love.

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