I was away from work and writing for the past several days to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.
My parents were able to celebrate in their own home with all three of their children and all of their grandchildren. Having everyone together is a rarity for our family. I suspect that’s the same for many families. And having everyone together and healthy for a 50th wedding anniversary was a blessing.
Initially, we had plans to travel somewhere to celebrate the occasion, but work obligations and travel schedules made that impossible.
What transpired, however, was better than we envisioned.
We simply ate dinner together as we did for years when we were all under the same roof. And later, while the grandkids watched a movie together, the adults played a ridiculous game of “cornhole” in the yard and laughed ourselves silly. The next day, we gathered everyone for a day at a local amusement park.
We didn’t take a cruise around the world, and there was no lavish vacation (though there is nothing wrong with either of those things). What we did do, for a time, is stop.
We stopped worrying about making our experience perfect. We stopped trying to make it “more.” We stopped being concerned about who was doing what.
Instead, we just let it happen. Activities for the kids, a meal picked up from a local caterer so nobody had to cook, the hastily purchased cornhole game from the local Target, shared stories of my parents’ courtship and wedding, and the visit to the amusement park all came together with relative ease.
That has me thinking this week about all of the time we spend trying to make the perfect experience, rather than allowing our life experiences to be perfect as they are. By stopping our need to control what we feel, we allow life to give us great gifts of feeling.
And that was the greatest gift we could give my parents: just being with them and allowing them to fully be with all of us. In return, life gave all of us a great gift of feeling: love.