February 12, 2015: A Second Time Around
It's hard to believe that just a week ago we were celebrating the marriage of Russell and Megan in the balmy sandy beaches of Mexico. A beautiful love story, but whirlwind vacation; all wrapped up into one.
It began with our late night arrival to the Beach Palace Resort in Cancun. Our flight was late and the rehearsal dinner, well under way, by the time our airport transportation delivered us to our vacation destination.
We caught up with family and friends before locating our room with lagoon view. As Garrett and I unpacked our bags and discussed the Michael Jackson impersonator concert being held at the resort bar, I eyed a bottle of red wine and a really big tub in the middle of our room.
I chose to stay in our room over the Michael Jackson show. Although Garrett is more of an 'early-nighter' than me, he reluctantly agreed.
"You know, they will think I am holding you back when this is your idea" was his final input to me.
I still choose the solitude of our room, along with a nice red wine and bubble bath.
How times have changed. Seven years ago, I never would have missed a good party. Everyone at a bar for a show? I would have been right in the middle.
But contrary to Garrett's belief that he would have been blamed for my decision of couple solitude, I didn't receive a single text message questioning our whereabouts. Time has also trained my closest friends. They know better. I am very content and happy hanging with my husband these days. And the best of friends understand and honor my new introvert-extrovert self.
Sitting peacefully on the balcony of our room, I listened to the ocean with my husband while sharing stories of our young-adult lives. Climbing the corporate ladder. High bars for promotions and holding golden boy/girl status. And then laughing collectively at our youthful ideals with 'what were we thinking' moments.
With another glass of wine poured and lounge chairs adjoining over our ocean view, we laughed like kids. There were no thoughts of how the Michael Jackson impersonator fared or what the fun people were doing. As is typical in our daily lives, Garrett and I were in our own little world with the benefit of the Caribbean on this particular day.
As I laughed at a story of Garrett playing 'cruise director' on an early 90's trip to impress the managers and partners of his firm, I felt like a young adult again. Rehashing our youthful years and mistakes as well-seasoned adults makes for laughable moments and fun stories.
I have been accused in recent days of having the heart and spirit of a young girl rather than the 47 year old woman that I am. I will take that as a compliment. Sometimes the second time around loosens you up a bit. I sure don't take myself as seriously as I did ten years ago. I'm really not that big of a deal. At all.
In my heart of hearts, I'm just a small town girl trying to do good and fulfill the purpose in life I was given. If that purpose is to make my husband happy and those around me valued for their own important purpose, I'm good with that.
Part of me pictured Kevin and Winnie from The Wonder Years as Garrett and I shared our stories of youth on our Mexican balcony. Our whispered little secrets of life were shared as though under the moonlight of an old oak tree in my parents backyard.
Pausing on this thought, I wondered if we needed to grow up a bit. Take ourselves more seriously again.
The thought quickly vanished as I realized the second time around in love and marriage is not such a bad thing. What doesn't kill you, does make you stronger. And if you are really lucky, you will find another who is one in the same.
Stronger and smarter from life lessons in mid-life does result in never taking for granted the small pleasures. Like sharing life on a balcony in Mexico. Even if we laugh like kids.