This weekend, Craig and I stopped by a man’s house to deliver a grill. His garage was packed with stuff - an old music stand he was refinishing for his great-grand niece. Ice skates that no longer fit. A cabinet full of trinkets that came from his dad’s garage. I ran my fingers down dusty wood, stepped over projects, and wondered where it all came from.
On my way out, there was a small square table. The top was dusty, and it was buried under other pieces of wood. The chairs were scattered, but were equally as beautiful.
“That’s a cool table,” I said.
“It’s from my great-grandpa,” he said. “It’s for sale. Comes with six leaves.”
“SIX leaves,” I mused. He pointed to a tattered cardboard box with the leaves inside. “That’s a big table.”
“Lots of good times at that table,” he said, smiling.
“You need it!” Craig exclaimed. “It’s perfect for your house!”
I shook my head and laughed at them both. “Yea. Right. It’s just me and my son,” I explained. “We do NOT need that large of a table.”
And wouldn’t you know it, I’ve been thinking about that damn table ever since.
Craig made us breakfast this morning. I snuggled under a fleece blanket and listened to the rain hit the living room window. Our conversation, quiet. Both of us still waking up. He brought me a plate, and sat down next to me.
“The thing is,” he said, staring at the wall in front of him, fork poised over his omelet. “The thing is that you … you are just trying to bring everyone else with you. And people don’t understand that. They don’t understand that you’re not trying to step on them to get to the top - you’re DRAGGING them with you to the top.”
And he sunk his fork into his potatoes.
And wouldn’t you know it, I’ve been thinking about wagons ever since.
My friend Kevin - “You’ve come a long way from your days of shying away from publicity and recognition. Bravo. Proud of you.” And my heart stuttered for a second or two. He’s right (as usual).
Bestie Betsy emails me every single morning. “We’re doing it,” she calls to me. “We’re dreaming and talking and praying and it’s happening. Can you see it?” She asks me every morning.
Can you see it?
We’re getting there.
We’re walking towards more and dragging each other along.
BFF Suzy messaged me yesterday and the timing could. not. have. been. more. perfect. Remember what Brene Brown says, the message read. And a graphic that spelled it out for me -
If you’re not also in the arena getting your ass kicked, then I’m not interested in your opinion.
And wouldn’t you know it? I’ve been wondering about who else is in the arena with me ever since.
Craig and I sat at a bar on Saturday night, my hand lightly resting on his leg, and his crooked grin falling on my tense shoulders.
“When I have a succession of crappy days, I envision a scale,” I said, my hands gesturing. “I just feel like that means I haven’t done enough good for other people. Haven’t done enough good to balance, and that’s why the crappy keeps coming.”
“Most people don’t think like you do,” he said. “I don’t think like you do,” he laughed.
Earnestly, I leaned into him. “I’m not joking,” I said. “I’m 100% serious. There’s a sign on my desk that says, ‘be a go-giver as well as a go-getter,’ and that’s what I try to do every dang day.”
He rubbed my leg. “I know that, but not everyone else does.”
And wouldn’t you know it? He’s right.
The thing about Keith’s table? Stuck in the garage after years of use?
It’d be big enough for all of us. We could pull our chairs up together and eat green bean casserole that someone made from their great aunt’s recipe. We could pull our chairs up all together and pray - heads bowed, hands clenched together. We could pull our chairs up all together and tell stories from back in the day - our laughter falling out of our mouths together.
We could pull our chairs up.
And we wouldn’t need a wagon because we’d all be there.
And we wouldn’t need an arena because we’d all be there.
At a table that’s long enough for all of our success, all of our dreams, all of our ideas and values and heart whispers.
This week has been crazy. A little article I wrote on my phone, while sitting on the couch listening to Bubble Guppies got picked up by a few different outlets, and with that has come some unsavory feelings from several different people.
And Bestie Betsy. “I guess this is how you know you’re making it?”
And BFF Suzy. “This is probably going to come with the success territory.”
And The Boyfriend. “The haters just mean you’ve made it.”
And inspiration from my friend Lauri this morning. “If you’re unhappy - that’s on you.”
I guess what I’m trying to say today is that I’ve got shit* to do.
And if you’re coming with me, c’mon.
And if you’re unsure, then get in the damn wagon because I’ve been going to the Jesus Gym and I will freaking carry you with me if I have to.
And if you’re just here to be mean?
Get out of the way.
* DEFINITELY not sorry for swearing this time, mom.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences. And if you need an awesome virtual assistant, who is full of personality and really good jokes? Email me. I'm your girl.
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He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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