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One at a Time

2019 January 6

We just returned from a New Year’s trip to the mountains. It is a ritual I like to do every year. A few days after the holiday haze to pause, take in nature and hopefully breathe a little easier as a family before we take on another new year.

This year’s trip was an important one. The kids opted out of lessons and we opted in for a little extra patience and decided to ski and snowboard together as a family the whole time. My daughter skis like me and my husband snowboards with our son so we took a 1-on-1 approach to teaching them and guiding them down the mountainside and off the chairlift, one run at a time. We coached them from behind, tried to stay patient when they weren’t listening to our coaching, tried not to gasp too audibly when they were headed for near disaster, reminded them – over and over – to ease into the mountain’s relief, to focus on control and speed, to take it one turn at a time.

During our trip, we ventured up to Emerald Bay, a scenic vista high above Lake Tahoe. We’ve never been to the area and the views were breathtaking on this crisp, clear day; one of the first of the year, filled with promise and optimism. Tourists were everywhere, snapping selfies with the view in the background, yelling at their kids to avoid the steep cliffside that spilled out below us, honking at each other over parking lot squabbles. We had our dog with us and she wasn’t allowed on the main vista or walking trails so I cut off to the side with her to try to take in the scene on my own, away from the crowds. I saw a man, sitting quietly on a bench, taking in a perfect angle on the lake and the mountains that surrounded it, accompanied by no one. I thought about asking him if I could share the bench with him but decided against it. He was so lost in thought, in his private view on the world, that it felt wrong to intrude. So we found a rock a few yards behind him and sat there, watching him watching the world from there. Just me and my dog. Taking it all in, one quiet moment at a time.

A few days after Christmas, one of our good friends lost her husband to a tragic accident. The news came in via text message. A text message I will probably never erase. The phone call that followed was heart-wrenching. Tears on both ends. Wails of sadness from her, words of desperation tumbling out, one after the other, seemingly unstoppable. We spent last New Year’s with them and my husband and I sat by the fire in our little mountain condo a few nights ago and reminisced on those good times. Dug up the pictures and video from last year’s trip. All of us drunkenly singing along to “Sweet Caroline” on the dance floor of our friend’s wedding. All of us after a boozy, Bloody Mary-filled New Year’s eve brunch, smiling in the desert sun. Him and our young son in a photo, Kai grinning goofily for the camera, our friend grinning goofily at him. We talked about him and them and everything else in between with happy tears in our eyes. When I ended my call with her that day, I told her she didn’t have to think. She didn’t have to make any decisions at all on the future. She didn’t have to talk anymore. She just had to take it one breath at a time.

Today, we are back home. Tomorrow, the kids go back to school. The rituals begin again and real life sets back into its easy schedule. I’ve decided to write more. I’ve resolved to menu plan again. I’ve written lists of intentions and business goals and things I want to do to make this new year better than the last one. We’re always looking to make each one better, even when they don’t turn out that way. When one day can change everything, particularly the best made plans. So my one real vow is to take it one moment at a time. The happy ones, the sad ones, the exciting ones and the mundane. The successful ones and the failures. All we have to do is take it all in, one moment at a time. One view, one turn, one goal, one memory. And most importantly, one breath. Just take it all in, one at a time.

Happy new year to you and yours. You will be seeing more of me around here this year. I hope to see more of you, too. x

2 Responses
  1. Erin permalink
    January 9, 2019

    Happy New Year! Very sorry to hear your friends tragic news……I agree wholeheartedly – one moment at a time! Look forward to more of your posts in 2019.

    • WWGD permalink*
      January 10, 2019

      Thanks, Erin. Appreciate the kind words and wishing you a happy start to 2019. x

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