Tonight I have been thinking of women I know and like. Some are fighting cancer, several are going through a life-changing heartbreak, and one recovering from major, major surgery. And each is hardly complaining, although each could be shouting from the rooftops how she did not sign up for, deserve, or envision this happening to her.
And I am at a loss of how to help. Partly because I am not good at helping people. Partly because my focus has been on my own fears. And then I thought that maybe I don’t need to worry about the things that aren’t happening. About the wounds that don’t really matter when all is said, and all is mostly done. There are conversations I will never have outside my own head. There are wrongs that will never be made right. There are goals that will be left untouched.
What if I wake up tomorrow and my first thought is not the three major projects I am late delivering? What if I don’t step on a scale or look in a mirror? What if blueberry muffin crumbs remain on my floor all day? What if I don’t go to the gym, and I don’t feel awful about myself all day for it? What if I do own too many shoes?
There are moments when our world is reduced in a heartbeat to the basics. And then there are lifetimes in which we can choose to reduce our world to the very basics. What if I don’t win a prize–what if I never know what the prizes are? What if I don’t wait to be happy and unashamed?
So what if my best friendships are forged through tears and laughter and wine? What if I take a nap? Could happiness really be as simple as this moment?
And a quiet calm, the absence of guilt or pressure started to gel in me. And I thought, still, what if, dreaming, I am on a train to no known town, only to discover, eventually, at the end of the line, that I never existed? Oh no. What if I hadn’t watched that Twilight Zone marathon New Year’s Day?
What if every thought I have today could make me smile?