A former beau once said that I have what I wanted in life… I was infuriated with that statement. Wanted???? Did he think I wanted to raise my daughter basically on my own, that I wanted to work 15 – 18 a day for years to get ahead in my career. Did he think I wanted a child with asthma? Or that I wanted a dead-end relationship with him… on and on I went. Well, you’re always happy he retorted. HAPPY, I said…. I’m happy because I choose to be happy. Life is full of choices, and I’ve not always made the best ones but I always made the best of them.
By no means has my life been terrible, it just wasn’t always what I would have preferred it to be. But who’s life is????
Life is full of riches when you surround yourself with the people you love. Each relationship is a gift if you celebrate and cherish it. I have many gifts. I learned early on to value life – not to take it for granted, nor to take the people in your life for granted. Some pass through it briefly, while others are in it for years but each relationship adds something – making you who you are today.
I value my friendships, many of which have endured the test of time.
I recently married Jene after taking a couple of months, mulling it over before proposing, then I took 2 months to give him my answer. I wanted to know why he did an about face – he never felt the need for the institution of marriage. So why the change of heart. we were in a committed relationship already, marriage wasn’t something I thought about either. He told me he wanted the world to know that he was with the love of his life and that he wanted to spend an eternity with me by his side, building upon the dreams we started. He is my BFF as the jargon of my granddaughters would put it. Love is not reserved for the young alone. And life can lead you down a different path at any point in your life if you choose to change it.
Change can be scary, it moves you out of your comfort zone but it can make it a little more exciting. I weigh my choices and believe in myself. What I do know about change is that if you look at it as a learning experience it usually is a win/win situation. At least it has been for me. Learning and growing is something that shouldn’t stop after a certain age, it’s what keeps you young or young at heart.
Finding the perfect guy/gal is easier when you don’t expect him/her to meet 100% of your needs. My family and friends provide the missing pieces. Jene understands how important my friendships are and he loves to witness the dynamics that I have with the people in my life. He sees the different nuances bubble up to the surface when I am with my daughter, granddaughters, sisters or my dear, dear girlfriends. All these different entities add up to the sum of all that I am. What I am is someone who has always tried to live life to the fullest, to enjoy the heck out of everything. Different sides of him unfold when he is with friends from his past too. Like jigsaw pieces being added to show the whole picture puzzle. Our paths had crossed over 30 years ago and I had some insider information on him which at first made me think that I can’t go out with him. But I did with the encouragement of my girlfriends and daughter. My friend Grace knew him and said well at least you know he’s not an axe murderer. Never thinking that our dating would lead to anything, interest in each other developed into love and respect. So you never know how things will turn out in the beginning, slowly we entered into a relationship with open hearts and open minds… the rest is history.
Saturday, my friend Pat and I are heading off to Barcelona for 9 days. Last year she flew me out to Hong Kong where she had been working for months and we headed off to Australia and New Zealand for 2 weeks. Australia had always been a place she wanted to go because as a child it seemed the farthest place from Jersey City and the life she had known. I must have been awfully nice to her in a previous life because she has bestowed these wonderful destinations on me. I am her travel mate of choice (second only to Richard Gere or her children). I’ve known Pat for nearly 40 years. Our lives weaved in and out of each others but we always knew that no matter what, our friendship would endure the test of time.
Jene will be missed when I’m off in Spain and I’m sure it bothers him a tad that I am once again off to a place he wants to see with me but he has been fairly gracious about it, not making me feel guilty. But then again when an opportunity arose for him to flit off to Panama to meet a friend and to photograph the diablos rojas, he jumped at it. When he gathers up enough free time, he will write a story about the changing times in a 3rd world country. Something that has been on the back burners for a while. Panama was the destination of our first travels together. It was a dream of his that I made a reality. The first of a few Mary & Jene’s Great Adventures. We learned a lot about each other on that vacation and on the plane home talked about planning our next trip. Italy, Paris, Japan, Cambodia and a cross country pre-wedding rail trip followed. What’s next? Getting the 1970 xR7 convertible road ready. (aka our money pit) It’s up on the lift getting a new univeral, transmission was good, emergency brake line replaced – it will go to the body shop to replace the 3rd set of hood hinges and for final touch ups on some oopses not noticed on the paint job. Then it’s “eat our dust”
It’s not the destination, but the journey that counts because the place we all end up is dead. So enjoy the open roads of life – appreciate all that lies along the way. “Love what you do and do what you love”! (Chris Walker)
If you want to follow our Barcelona, I will be adding posts to my “Flights Of Fancy” blog at: http://streganonna.wordpress.com/
La vita bella!