At some point in our lives each of arrives at a point where in order to reach our next goal we have to take one giant leap forward. I think it would be fair to say that there are probably multiple times in our lives where we take a giant leap, and when done properly, the result of such a leap is something wonderful.
Education is one of those giant leaps that can have a draconian outcome in our future. Most of us went to college soon after high school and it wasn’t as hard as it might have been had we waited years to do so. Three of our four children are either in school or will soon be in school to reach their goals. In my mind, the older we become the harder it is to hit this reset button and in essence, start over.
Marriage is definitely one of those giant leap events where the outcome of the rest of your life hangs in the balance of this simple question: “Did I marry the right person?” Most of the time the answer to this question is Yes, I absolutely did marry the right person. Sadly, there is an equally difficult leap that comes when the answer to the first question, did I marry the right person, is no, and the only other giant leap is to get divorced. For some couples, especially when children are involved, the giant leap to leave a marriage is then the biggest leap of their life.
Many couples look at having children as a simple extension of marriage. I am a believer that true happiness can come only when you have brought new life into this world. Maybe I should include the adoption of children into this life as being an equally giant leap forward, especially for couples who find it difficult or impossible to conceive.
A couple of months ago my niece married a handsome young man from Oakley. Several weeks into their marriage I saw them at a family event and had to smile at the unquestionable love this couple had for each other. I could see their devotion to each other from a mile away. It was nice to reflect back on my own marriage and the feelings I had for my wife before and after our marriage. When I brought up the idea of having children to my niece she gave me a punch in the arm and said “What’s the hurry?”
Accepting a job or changing jobs is yet another giant leap that we make in our lives. Having done this several times in my life I can attest to the fact that it never gets any easier. Our first giant leap came shortly after we graduated from college. We took a short vacation to Arizona to visit my sister Nancy and during that stay, through the course of miraculous events that I can only attribute to a higher power, we came home with a really good job offer. Imagine the look on our friends and family’s faces when we broke the news to them that we were moving – in ten days. That was a giant leap.
A few years ago my youngest son, John, decided he wanted to become a homeowner. Buying a house is definitely a huge leap but he made it happen. It probably hurt my feelings just a little when he didn’t even ask for my advice. I had no idea if he had made a good deal, but he went though all the hoops to become a homeowner on his own and it was full steam ahead. Life’s giant leap of divorce happened and we were sad to see our son and daughter-in-law call it quits. Our son refinanced his home so he could keep it, again without any of my help or advice.
After completing his time in the military our son John decided he wanted to become an airline pilot. To do so he would have to move his little family to American Fork, Utah, where he could attend the flight program at UVU. Wanting to sell their home fast, John and Ainslee, his bride to be, moved in with a family member and worked to get their house ready to sell. Again, they weren’t interested in what I thought about the idea and they blasted forward without any thought of how scary making this giant leap was going to be.
Imagine my surprise when all their plans worked out perfectly. Their house sold the second day it was on the market, they got a great price out of it and moved to Utah without giving it a thought of how big of an event this was going to be in their lives. I quickly learned that all their peers make decisions the same way – with their foot on the gas pedal and with a take no prisoners attitude.
It seems that what was once a giant leap for me and my generation is little more than a speed bump for kids today. It’s not how I would have done it but it is hard to argue with success.