Divorce seems to be trending within my cohort these days. I have recently witnessed the ending of several long term marriages of my friends. Thanks to Facebook, I have observed some of these same friends getting the chance to remarry and start their lives over again. Their excitement is contagious and I have enjoyed being privy to the details of their fresh starts. But when I read their Facebook posts, I can’t help but feel a little jealous. I find myself longing for the thrill that comes with falling in love and the sense of possibility that accompanies seeking the perfect soulmate. Through social media, I watch as my friends plan beautiful weddings and prepare for exotic honeymoons and I feel a yearning to do the same. I started to worry about why I was so fascinated with the lives of these newly divorced and soon to be remarried friends. I came to the conclusion that just like them, I want to experience the excitement of a new beginning.
I have to admit that I want a do-over.
The problem is I am still madly in love with my husband and head over heels for my family of five. What then could this fascination with a do-over mean for my own relationship? I dug deep and came to the realization that I really do want to do it all over again starting from the very first date….. but with the same man. I wouldn’t change the outcome but I would love to relive the steps leading up to what I have today. Only this time I would live with more awareness and appreciation. I don’t really want a new beginning but I’d like to begin again with my husband.
I would love to go back and share that deep dish pizza on our blind date again. This time, I wouldn’t worry about if he thought I was eating too much. Instead, I would spend the time reveling in those first shy glances amid questions aimed at getting to know each other. I would go back and recapture the feeling of electricity when holding hands for the first time and this time I would know that while this electricity is fleeting it morphs into something much deeper. I want to go on that scavenger hunt for my engagement ring again and this time after he has asked me to marry him, I would stop crying long enough to actually say yes.
If I got a chance to marry my husband again, I would spend less time worrying about the perfect dress, color coordinated decorations, and song playlist for the band and more time on crafting our wedding vows. I would make sure to tell him that I knew I was making the best decision of my life. Because this time I would know that we were going to become best friends, spend 21 happy years together and become the parents of three wonderful children. I would also know that the years go by way too fast. At the altar, I would propose that we try to live in the “here and now” instead of being in a hurry to experience what’s coming next. If I had a chance to do it over again, I would pay more attention to the little joys in life and savor every moment.
I know that there are no real do-overs not even when you start over with a new husband. What is in the past stays with you as experience and helps mold who you are in the present. The best you can do is relive those memories and make an effort to appreciate the joy each day brings. My wish for a do-over has reminded me of what a good life I have had.
Wanting to do it all over again without changing a thing means that I have been truly blessed.