That's the amount of time I have been married to Dennis now. I was about three months shy of 18 when we got married. On Sunday it will be 36 years for us. Go ahead. Add 18 to 36 and you will get 54, which is how old I will be in August.
It's strange to think about being married twice as long as I wasn't married. Boy, did that 17 year old girl know what she was getting into? Of course not. And, that's a good thing. Would any of us take a step if we knew everything that would unfold on the path? No. We wouldn't want any of the hard times, the pain or the disappointments that would be revealed. One thing I have learned in my life, though, is that some of the best lessons are learned in hard times, some of the greatest peace breaks forth from pain and that the disappointments refine our expectations and our committments to others.
I am glad that I can look back on our life together and see all of those different things. They have shaped who we are. If we started going back trying to twist and turn away from the rough parts of the road, who knows where we would be today? Probably not here. I like where we are, who we are and what all of that means to us. Do we ever say "what if"? All. The. Time. And then, just as quickly, we remember something that might be different if that had changed or not happened. The trade off never seems to measure up to the finished product, warts and all.
I guess where I am going with this is to remember that EVERYTHING that happens to us really does make us who we were meant to be. Don't live regretting what you didn't or couldn't do. Marvel in the wonder that we got to be a part of it at all.