Slices of Life: Don't hold back (anniversary thoughts -- part two)
"Don’t wait. Don’t wait. Don’t wait," writes Jill Pertler.
“Tell them you love them over and over again. Tell them too much, and never too little, for the time we have is short, but the love we have is endless.” — Dane Thomas
This week would have (should have) been my 35th wedding anniversary.
I guess it is my 35th wedding anniversary. I’m still married, albeit without a husband. A widow (deep heavy sigh). He died shortly after our 33rd anniversary. But still, I remember, and I celebrate. No, I just remember.
We’d planned to do something “big” on this anniversary. We never felt like we had the chance before. Fifteen, 20, even 25 — we let them all pass us by.
We were always too young, or too poor, or too busy raising kids to spend the time or money for anything for just the two of us. It seemed too extravagant.
We took lots of family vacations, but they were planned around our four kids.
We always spent time together, but it typically involved practices, games or performances (of the childhood variety). We spent many weekends away from home in hotels — for tournaments and supervising kids in the pool.
They were good years — building a family, raising children. We were happy to put special times for just the two of us on hold because we had all of our future for us as a couple. We married young. We were young. There’d be plenty of time.
Or so we thought.
We thought we’d do something big this year. He’d always promised to take me to Europe. But it could have been so many things: a long weekend in Las Vegas, a trip to a secluded cabin in the mountains, the beach. Anything - something. It didn’t matter what. It would be a rare splurge on just the two of us.
Instead, now, it’s just me. And I have some advice.
Don’t wait. Don’t wait. Don’t wait.
There are always logical reasons to wait. To put off the things you really want to do with your spouse because don’t have enough money or time or whatever you think you need to do all the things you want to do. Please take note of my circumstance.
You never know when your own later may no longer exist. Take the trip. Go on the vacation. Fish for salmon in Alaska. Cruise the Mediterranean. Hula in Hawaii. Surf in South Africa. Volunteer to build a school or a church. Go on safari. Visit a nude beach. Buy that hobby farm. Plan an extravagant night out on the town. Buy her the diamond. Get him those golf clubs. Do it now.
My husband and I passed by anniversary number 30 and thought we had to wait until number 35 to celebrate something grand because 35 was the next big number.
Take it from me: numbers don’t matter. Life matters. Now matters.
Celebrate now. Celebrate this year, next year and the year after. Heck, celebrate more often than that. Celebrate always. Every day. Unabashedly.
Because, at then end of it all, not too many of us regret all the good and joyous things we did in life. We don’t regret the happy memories or songs we sang together.
What we might regret, and often regret, are the spectacular things we didn’t do. Even the mundane things we didn’t get a chance to do. Those that we thought we’d get to — some day — but didn’t because time ran out.
My best advice? You never know when time will run out. So do it now. Experience to the fullest. Enjoy. Love. Create a memory worth keeping. Let your husband (or wife) take you to Europe.
Make it spectacular.
Let me know how it goes. I’m rooting for you.
Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.