It's the Journey, Man! or, Welcome to Walley World, now go home

One of my favorite Hollywood comedies is National Lampoon's Vacation. I love it because it is such an accurate caricature of life in the American family and because most of us who have been around a minute can identify with the characters and their misfortunes. There is this epic journey to Walley World, with mishap after hilarious mishap along the way, and when they finally arrive at the place of their dreams...


So, I wrote this on my Facebook page this morning...

Enjoy the journey, because the destination is often disappointing.

With my youngest set to get married in a day less than a week, I want so badly to help the two of them understand this: Marriage is a journey and the journey is what it is all about. The wedding day is, for young women the world over, the culmination of a dream. It is the fairy tale ending to what seems like an epic journey, because, usually, there were missteps, misfires, misgivings, and maybe even the wrong Mr. Right along the way.

Then, the smoke clears and there he is – the dashing prince on a white charger, ready to sweep her off her feet and dash her off to the Magic Kingdom of Marital Bliss.

Magic Kingdom of Marital Bliss next exit

It is not, however, a kingdom. It is not always bliss. Nor is it the culmination of a journey. It's the beginning.

The kingdom palace is usually more of a small wood-framed house or economy apartment, at first. Life is often built on modest income, while the couple strives to rise up through the socio-economic ranks. There is often more month than money.

This is marital bliss.

It is colicky babies screaming in the wee hours, diapers that smell like Hell's city dump, and throw-up on your dress during the Sunday sermon. It's fights over money or sex or both...and fighting with your diet and your own willpower...and sometimes, your will to just get up, get dressed, and go to %&$#ing work.

But it is also surprise dates, county fairs, funnel cakes, vacations, birthdays, anniversaries, cookouts, and crazy cousins at the family reunion. It's cheering your team in the Super Bowl or not answering your phone because your nemesis is calling to rub it in that you lost...again. It's texting a funny Meme of a dubious nature. It's reading your Bible harder when you feel lost. It's calling your Dad for advice, not taking it, and wishing later that you had. It's gut-punch goodbyes and hug-til-you-pass-out reunions. It's weeping at graves and weeping again in the newborn ward. Tears of sorrow. Tears of joy. Years of sewing. Lean years. Then a breakthrough, and suddenly you can breathe again.

It's life, man. Raw. Beautiful. Gut-wrenching. Breath-taking... Powerful!

You cannot exchange it for someone else's, no matter how badly you want to do so at times. But, in the end, if you do it right, you wouldn't trade it for the entire world.

It's the journey!

Put on your traveling shoes and grab your cell phone. Snap lots of selfies and capture moments that capture you. Share them on the Facebook or Instagram or text them to your mom!

Bon Voyage! Godspeed.