A cold Saturday afternoon and I snuggled beneath my dancing bears blanket to watch a Jennifer Aniston movie I’d never heard of, Rumor Has It. I confess – I’m a sucker for chick flicks, especially with hot actors like Aniston and Kevin Costner. (There were so many more – it’s actually not a bad movie.)

And of course, like any suburban sap, I teared up at the end when the gorgeous tanned protagonist has her a-ha! moment and realizes that while she was chasing dreams and yearning to find herself, she knew who she was all along.

So many of us do that. Right here in this blog I’ve waxed and whined in poetic fashion about the laments of my roots, the failings of family. There are many. But in doing so, what have I created? Nothing but a bitchfest.

And so where we are left at mid-life or possibly later is with the supreme and sincere knowledge that all these external factors – the people who create bumps in the road, those who pass judgment on us and our choices, and those who stand in our way as the obstacles they intend to become – none of that matters.

The stronger I am, the less I *need* anyone to approve. I can live this life in sublime love with myself and my children and my sweet man and that is enough. Saturdays in sunlight (oh, how I miss the warm weather!), strolling through the farmer’s market, and evenings with the windows open and fireflies flashing their moments past the windowscreen.

The softest cup of Cline cashmere, and the deer that hop over my fence into my yard just to track along the snow. My 8-year-old boy has asked to see the fairy doors in Ann Arbor and yes, he wants those hours with me in adventurous seeking, and I gobble them up like a starving child.

I just read Thomas Lynch’s The Undertaking, and in those pages I found so many tidbits of wisdom, like “the meaning of our lives, and the memories of them, belong to the living…”

Yes – those of us who truly learn how to be present, we are the lucky ones who truly LIVE in the moments we are given. And that is where the meaning is. Not in the yearning to travel more or the wishing-we’d-done-things-differently. Or the I-must-have-answers-NOW.

“We remember because we want to be remembered,” Lynch writes. And it is true for why else would we linger in the already-happeneds and bite our nails in anticipation of the what-comes-next?

So here’s the upshot on a late Saturday in winter. Forty-nine states are blanketed in snow and California has launched a major advertising campaign to lure people to the west coast.

All around me, there are people with issues sprouting out of their skin like spores, and I just don’t care enough to get embroiled in their mishegoss. Day in and day out, I am amazed by the lengths to which people will go to mask their discomfort by dumping on others, including me.

But I have come so far that I no longer care. I do good work, I love deeply and well, and I am a success in my meager life. Every single day, I thank the good lord above for the gems in my midst and I cherish these moments, like little gifts in Tiffany blue, so that I am acutely aware of my living-breathing existence.

To everyone who professes askance at the steps I take and the choices I make, my mouth turns up in compassion and my brow wrinkles. That’s just too bad, I whisper to the wind. And though what they may need most is a hug, it’s no longer my job to break their fall.

Bone up, people. We are the masters of our own destinies, we are the creators of our moments. Take ownership. Live well.

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