Prompt for December 10: Anniversary: Tell us about an anniversary you marked in 2011; maybe one you noted for the first time.
Never let the other fellow set the agenda – James Baker
The sky was glorious the morning of my 18th wedding anniversary. I was racing through Munich Airport far ahead of my plane-mates when I decided I had to stop and take the picture below. Then about 10 meters later, I turned the corner and ran into a huge mob all waiting to clear German customs. I had an hour to make my next flight and this was not good.
I sent a quick text to my bride who was just going to bed 5,000 miles away. She called me back to wish me happy anniversary even though the calendar had yet to turned in her time zone.
Relationships have a lot of puts and takes. Long-term relationships have lots and lots of puts and takes. This was only the second time in marriage that I had to be away on my anniversary. The first time was about a fifteen years ago. I was able to be home for the morning but had to jump on the last plane to Baltimore/Washington Airport in the early afternoon. That was the same year I had to fly out on Mother’s day and then on a different trip, fly home on Fathers day.
I made my 7:55am flight and landed in Berlin an hour later. A cab took on a beautiful Sunday morning ride to my hotel where I showered, threw on a white turtleneck and a pair of gray slacks and made my 10am pre-show briefing with 15 minutes to spare. Lunch followed at noon, followed by a change into a suit for a 2pm customer event. A nap ensued and then early dinner with colleagues. I know that I spoke to Laura at least once during the day and before I went to bed. Successful days in business beget horrid anniversary celebrations.
Normally, I have much more control over my travel. Unfortunately this trip was planned around a conference that only happens every two years and it started on my anniversary. I had always planned to leave Sunday afternoon and land on Monday, but as the event drew near the agenda overflowed and it became obvious I needed to be there on Sunday to be effective on Monday.
Before I left for this trip, I felt horrible about being gone on our anniversary. I bought flowers and we promised that we would celebrate after I got back. We never really did. I was gone for nearly two weeks and we had a cruise to prepare after when I got back. The cruise was one of those things we really wanted to do early in our marriage.
After 6,570 days of marriage, that one anniversary day represented only 0.015% of our married life together. Being together on that day would have been nice, but it wasn’t essential. The small puts and takes become easier as the years go by, especially when the days together are filled with fun and laughter.