pretty well figured out

A close family friend said to me the other day:

“Seems like you’ve got things pretty well figured out.”

And I peered up in sincere astonishment and asked: “Me? Hardly.”

And she smiled back at me, in one of those moments that sometimes occur when there is a span of more than twenty years between two people. She looked at me, more direct this time, and responded: “Yes. You. Seems like you’ve got it.”

And although we drifted off into chardonnay and a divine sunset and salmon dinner, her deceivingly simple statement stuck with me.

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Like a smooth dark beach pebble in the palm of my hand,

I turned it over. Again. And again. And wondered – what does it mean to “have it all figured out”? And why would she think I, of all people, had earned that status?

Because at age 29, I should be better than this. I should have a really lucrative, fulfilling, fabulous career with a clear path for the future. I should have achieved certain goals. I should have set newer, better ones. I should have made an impact on the world. At age 29, I should be skinnier, with better muscle definition and a great wardrobe. I should have more money in my bank account. I should have a cleaner house. A better-kept yard. I should know how to cook the veggies I grow. I should be better-read.

I should be a better friend, a better cook, a better manager of time. I should have learned not to drink too much gin or tequila or champagne or whatever. I should have learned not to embellish stories or stay up too late. I should have quit my habit of hitting the snooze button.

At this point in my life, I should FEEL like I have it all figured out… 

                                                  right?

Wrong.

Because when I stop,

dead in my tracks,

and actually            THINK                        about what matters,

I know that I do have at least a few things figured out.

That dream I wrote about so many years ago:

the sun on the hardwood floors,
the wagging tail and wet nose,

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the hot coffee in my warm hands,
the tall-dark-and-handsome who occupies my bed, helps cook meals, listens to my stories, holds me when I cry,

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the garden full of veggies,

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the morning bike rides and evening runs,
the feeling of pride after a day in the classroom,
the studio space for creating – the space that is all mine – with the turquoise floor and exposed brick walls,

IMG_0160 the front steps to sit on and listen to the cicadas,
the back steps to sit on and watch the doves,
the family of sparrows that sing on my gutters.

These things. They are mine. They are my reality. Which means…

My someday has arrived. Maybe I do have it figured out. At least a part of it.

But guess what?

This “getting it all figured out” thing? This “someday”?

It does not happen – it can not happen – without the right people.

The people who show up for my Super Moon Disco Dance Party. The ones who take us rafting down the UpperColorado River.

The godmother who invites me to a much-needed weekend on the beach.

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The folks who invite us to their 2013 Gnome Party and make us homemade fried green tomatoes and from-scratch strawberry shortcake (which all happens to be especially delicious, in part because the host happens to be the head chef at a VERY delicious farm-to-table restaurant group in the ‘Rado).


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My cousins and uncles who revel in the silence of Mosquito Pass.

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My totally awesome parents.

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My totally awesome friends.

My parents’ totally awesome friends, who invite us to Grand County for a weekend of dogs, waterskiing, baggo, and sumptuous scenery.

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The folks who are on other coasts (East and West and even other continents) who cheer me on, who believe in my dreams, who reassure me that I am on the right path. The ones who make our existence plump, full, hilarious, indulgent, brimming over with delicious lusciousness.

The people like you, reading this (yes, you!) are the ones who show me how to live.

You show me what it means to enjoy every molecule. 

Because life ain’t gonna wait. 

YOU have taught me that “having it figured out” means being with the right people. With the right priorities. Like:

Laughter
Kindness
Empathy
Patience
Good food
Good wine
Togetherness
Marveling at the sky

So thank you. To all of you. For helping me

“get it all figured out.” 🙂

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