Can life duplicated? Ever have a special moment and you think when this event happens again it will be the same?
A few years ago, we had a great girl’s night at Disneyland. It was the perfect evening and was a great way to send two friends off on their next adventure. The next year we repeated the girl’s night during the Food and Wine Festival. For the first half of the evening, I spent the majority of my energy trying to replicate the perfect evening we had the year before.
I tried to replicate where we went and the things we did. But I was with different people. Instead of going with seasoned Disneyland fans, I was with mostly people who hadn’t been to the park in a while. It also was different conversation. A different time in my life. And even though the event happened at the same park at the same time of year the experience was different. And not a bad different. Once I let go of my desire to replicate the past girl’s night. I actually found myself enjoying the time away with friends.
The following year we had a girl’s day at Disneyland and it was so much fun. To be present in the day, not expecting this experience to be the same. But knowing that it would still be fun. It truly was the perfect day. And it was so different from the first two times.
When I came home from Afghanistan, Thanksgiving was only a few weeks away. I met my parents where my husband was stationed for a Thanksgiving celebration. It was the first time I had ever made Thanksgiving dinner. And it was a small celebration just my parents, husband and I. But it was the perfect way to celebrate me being home from a deployment. A deployment that had been hard on all of us in different ways.
A few years later my parents came back and not knowing how special it was to my dad that I had made Thanksgiving dinner. I planned to celebrate with friends. It was a great celebration, but the whole time my dad had wished it had been the same way it was just a few short years earlier.
So, this year my parents and sister are coming to us to celebrate Thanksgiving. And I’m looking forward to celebrating as just a family. My mom and sister plan to help with the dinner preparation. And I’m sure life will be different this time. We will be celebrating with my two boys now and life is different.
To think back to the Thanksgiving in Ohio after returning home from Afghanistan I realize that simple is so important. We celebrated together in a quiet place. Thankful that the year behind us was over with hope for the future.
I guess what I learned from my experience at Disneyland will be the same thing I use to celebrate this year’s Thanksgiving. Life is different than it was in 2010. I am a mom. I am no longer in the military. And I still live far away from family. So, I am going to focus on this year. Focus on what happens right in front of me instead of dreaming of the past. And hopefully Thanksgiving dinner turns out yummy instead of disaster but either way.
I’m going to remember that this is a special time meant to enjoy family and the time we have together.