We had the absolute honor of celebrating a friend’s 40th birthday in Las Vegas this past weekend with our husbands. Six couples ventured out of the gray skies of the Rogue Valley and into the sunny skies of Nevada.
One of my favorite things to do in Vegas is to people watch and start conversations with strangers. I always come away intrigued. It seems Vegas can be anyone’s cup of tea. There are foodies, shopaholics, people that live for entertainment, gamblers and an infinite amount of combinations. Some people are there to win it big, while others hope to escape the realities of life. They each come with a story and background that would change your perception of them if you only knew.
My husband and I have grown to enjoy the craps table. When “the house” loses, everyone else wins. So in essence, it’s the table against the house. During one particular night, we were throwing dice with three young people. My initial guess on age was 21, but we later found out they were closer to 27. At first glance you would see three young trust-fund babies. One would probably venture to say, “Wow it must be nice.” But by just taking a few moments and asking a few simple questions, I learned they had worked really hard to be in Vegas. One was in residency as an anesthesiologist and the other had a few failed business attempts and had finally found his calling. They were there celebrating being at the end of the trial. I congratulated them and smiled.
I also couldn’t help but smirk just a little considering the idea that they felt the trial was over. Back in my twenties, I used to feel that way too…. that once a trial was over there would be clear skies and fortune for days/years.
It wasn’t until my early thirties that I learned to enjoy the highs because the lows are inevitably coming. My husband and I often remind ourselves to really bask in the blessings of today because we know not too far down the track a train is coming.
Our trains have always prepared us for the next chapter in life. They have strengthened our bones, our resolve and thickened our skin. A few have even made the colors of our world crisper, cleaner and more vibrant. Through our trials we have learned to cherish the real blessings in life: health, family and friends.
For those of you in the midst of madness or where the skies are so dark you search for a flashlight so you can find your way out: I won’t promise you are going to miss this, but I will promise everything only lasts a season. Hold on to people that can bring in the light, that can lift you up when you have fallen and give you hope.
And to those enjoying the bright blue sky, be the light for those in the darkness.