Recently, my parents celebrated a significant milestone…40 years of marriage. My siblings, our spouses, and all our collective children had the opportunity to help them celebrate, complete with dinner out, champagne toasts, and random guesses at 1974 trivia. It was a wonderful evening full of walks down memory lane, and misty-eyed moments (I’m looking at you, Dad).
At one point during dinner, over the mushroom arancini, I inquired of my parents one of my favorite questions to ask during life’s landmark moments.
“If someone would have whispered in your ear 40 years ago, that all this was on the road ahead for you, would you have believed them? Could you have even imagined it?”
I love this question because it takes you back, back to a place before you knew what you know. Back to a different version of yourself. The question doesn’t beg to be answered, it’s more about the feeling that comes with contemplating it.
I’ve asked it of myself many times over the years. Sometimes, I’ve asked it when my husband and I are say, halfway thru a day-long road trip, we’re all stuck in the confined space of the car, and our children are acting extra spicy. I’ll look at my husband, bat my eyelashes, and say, “Could you have imagined ALL THIS?!?”.
Other times, I’ve asked it while celebrating an anniversary, a child’s birthday, or any instant that makes me want to take a mental photo with my heart and remember forever. It’s in those moments of reflection, that I’ve seen the winding path of my life with new perspective.
For all it’s twists and turns, it’s been perfectly suited to make me, me. It’s part of my story, my history. So while I can’t squander my present moments with regrets of the past ones, I also can’t look so far ahead, that I forget where I’ve been. This perspective is what keeps me focused on today.
What if someone whispered in your ear all those years ago? Would you have believed them? Could you have even imagined it? My prayer for you, is that when you take the time to contemplate it, you’ll be amazed at the lessons you’ve learned, the tough moments that ultimately developed your character, and the outright blessings you’ve been given.
Yes, those walks down memory lane often make us misty-eyed, but in the best sort of way.