Realization can be my worst enemy. It causes all kind of pain in my life like guilt and shame. I mean, you know how you can't possibly believe your life could get any worse, and then it does, so you start to justify your despair, right? And there you are, all despairing? And blogging about it? And causing people annoyance, including yourself? But then suddenly, things happen that twist your despair around and you feel complete and unfettered joy! Happiness! Enlightenment! You then wonder how you could be given such wondrous joy!
But then you realize...you know...realize? That all along you've been in line for the most amazing gifts ever? That God was completely aware of you the entire time? But you were too blind to see it? Thus the realization?
And thus the guilt?
And the shame?
Anyway, I'm feeling realization right now, dear reader. But instead of letting the guilt and shame wash over me, I'm going to freak out with joy instead. Freak. Out.
You would like to know what is causing me so much joy that I must use the word "freak"?
You'll never guess.
Go on, try.
Nope. That's not it.
Okay, this isn't working. I'll just tell you:
I am going....
YES! I'm going to England! I'm going to London. Oh, my gosh, I have to say it again. I'm going to London! To England! To London!
I'm still in shock, but the flight confirmation is right there in my inbox. It's happening! I have two of my three babysitters already lined up (we're farming out the kids to different friends houses) and we just decided to do this two days ago!
Must calm down. Must breathe a little bit.
Wanna hear why I get to go to London?
So here's the story:
Brandon has to be in Europe for three weeks in January (yes, 3 weeks out of the month. Wowzahs!). Not only will he be gone for a long time, he will be missing our Ten Year Anniversary.
Yeah. I know.
For most of his trip, he will be in London. But for about 9 days, he'll be traveling all over Europe visiting different clients/offices. However, he'll be in London during our anniversary. And he'll have a Sat/Sun to sight-see. Best part? He had enough air miles saved up that BOOM! I can fly over to London, stay for a week, and hopefully it will only cost us whatever it will cost me to see museums and Jane Austen's house. Yes! So, we booked the tickets. And I'm going. To London.
Did I mention I'm going to England?
The irony to this story, though, is in the fact that we are actually going to be in London for our Ten Year Anniversary. Not only have I been begging Brandon to take me to England for...about...10 years...but all last year I kept saying: Hey, honey! Let's go to England for our 10 year anniversary. Whaddya say?
Brandon: No way.
Me: Why not?
Brandon: I want sun. We're going to Mexico or on a cruise.
Me: (Pout, pout)
Brandon: Deal with it, baby.
Me: (Threatening bodily harm.)
Okay, kidding about the "deal with it, baby" and "bodily harm" because I actually inflicted some. Which makes me think the "deal with it baby" might have happened. Huh.
Anyway, so you see the irony? Do ya? Brandon spent 7 days there in November and totally did a 180 on me. Get this: He actually likes England.
And there was much rejoicing!
But wait! It gets better: We found tickets to Wicked in London for only 15 pounds each.
It gets better: I met a woman today (the MIL of a sister in our ward) who is living near London and not only did she offer to be a contact for me over there, she offered to drive me around in her car and be my personal tour guide while Brandon is working during the day!
It gets better: All of our babysitters are watching our kids for free.
It gets better: This is my dream. It's actually gonna come true!
So, there you have it. Cheryl has now realized how incredibly blessed and lucky she is, and even though there's some guilt and shame for being so despair-like, she's mostly feeling gratitude. Gratitude for an incredible opportunity; gratitude for Brandon's job; gratitude to the Lord for allowing her some happiness while she fights the depression and searches for long-term answers. So much gratitude.
I'm going to England!
So, dear reader, have you ever been to London? If so, give me great advice on what you think I should see. If you live there, contact me! Oh, and if you could go anywhere in the world first, where would you go? (Because, by golly! This is only the first place I want to see. I'm planning on seeing the world one day, you know!)