My mental calendar has been taking me back 17 years. There's no good reason, it just is. 17 years ago Valentine's Day fell on Sunday and we were blessed with a President's Day vacation the following day. Greg and I were approaching our 6 month anniversary and still students. If I'm not mixing up my visits, my sister and a friend spent part of the weekend with us and we dropped them off at the airport so they could spend the weekend at home in AZ. We'd learned that Les Miserable would be coming to Salt Lake City and we wanted to see it. Tickets went on sale at 6:00 Monday morning. No sleeping in for us that holiday. Being the "savvy shoppers" we were, we decided to beat the crowds and get up at 5:00 to be at the head of the ticket line at Smiths. Boy, were we outsmarted! We arrived to a sea of people outside the store, some of whom had been there for the better part of the night. I had only heard of that for rock concerts, and never experienced it for myself. Afraid we wouldn't be able to get tickets, we took turns trying to get through to buy tickets over the phone. This was pre- ubiquitous internet and cell phones, so it meant using a pay phone when we could while waiting in line. We were successful, though. By 11:00 we had ended up with 2 sets of tickets- feast or famine, I guess! We eventually sold one set to some friends and I remember having a great time at the show- despite the "morning" sickness that was in full swing (all day) by the time the play actually arrived in town.
I'm not sure why that particular event has been on my mind lately. It really isn't something I've thought much about in the years since. Maybe it's because we're back in UT. Maybe it's the long weekend sparking a memory. It has been interesting to see where life has taken us since then. In some ways we've come full circle. In others, we're miles away down a straight road. Physically, yes, we're back in the same town. We aren't really the same people we were then, though. For one, our little family is now 7, not 2. Schooling is pretty much behind us and our children are edging quite close to that brink themselves. This year I'm planning to sleep in and spend some fun time with my family no where near a Smith's.
I've learned alot about myself and life in general in the last 17 years. Back then, arriving at the point where we'd have children old enough to go to college seemed a world and lifetime away. I somehow hadn't thought about what kind of life existed beyond that point. By then, surely we'd be expert parents, have all the answers, be done "growing up" and be living life on auto pilot. Don't ask me where I got any of those ideas. They seem pretty crazy from here.
Now, I find us approaching that vague point. I've learned alot, but haven't managed the things I'd imagined- no expert parenting, missing a bunch of answers, still have tons of "growing up" to do, and if there's an autopilot button for my life laying around, no one has told me where it is. I do know that we're nowhere near the end of this learning process and we still have more of life before than behind us. At least, I hate to think that my current state is my finished product. There are too many corners that need to be rounded and too much polishing to be done. It makes me wonder what the next 17, 34, and maybe even 68 years will bring and how many of my current preconceived notions will turn out to be as off the mark as my earlier ones. Does the learning slow down or speed up as you get older? As they sing in Les Mis- "At the end of the day, you're another day older..." Hopefully that means you're a little wiser, as well. Only time and experience can really add up to that.