I was one of those mothers this morning...pushed the snooze alarm 10 or 15 times too many and dragging myself out of bed far too late to accomplish any kind of decent morning routine. My exhaustion this week is not entirely to blame on lack of sleep. The temperatures dipping down to the -20's and the foot and a half of snow and morning darkness have all conspired to make me want to stay in bed, covers over my head and ignore the nagging, nagging, constant nagging of responsibility that says I need to get my kids to school and myself to work. I roused the boys who are as resistant as I to the morning cheerfulness that I'm sure other families enjoy in their lovely households. Easton's first response in the morning is usually something akin to "I hate my life" or "Go awaaaaaaay, this is mean" or the traditional "school is sucking my life away". Regardless, lights on and into Aidan's room where I send Charlie in ahead of me every morning. She sniffs his exposed feet that poke out the end of his blankets while his head is completely covered by the blankets. I turn on his light and tell him it's time to get up and then get out before the growling begins.
In the time between breakfast eaten and lunches packed, I run out to warm up the car and scrape windows in boots and pyjamas and I realize I will have to take the boys to school so they're not late (ahem...again) and then come home and get myself ready. So, pale faced and dishevelled, bed head and pyjama pants with boots, I am a cover girl for style and fashion ... half jokingly praying that this is not the morning that I get in an accident because explaining how I put this outfit together may be the least of my worries on my way to the hospital or psychiatric ward.
Driving back home, car now somewhat warm, I think back to last night's festivities. It was a book club turned dance party in which we test drove our hostess' new sound system with the Black Eyed Peas and the three over 70's in our book club, proceeded to school the 40's of us how to party. They danced and danced, jumped and gyrated and hardly skipped a beat. If I grow into my 40's with as much energy as these ladies have at 60+10 or so...I'm going to be pretty proud of myself. While I'm running kids to school in my pyjamas and boots, these ladies are up and playing seniors tennis competitively. They are amazing! They bring such vibrancy to our discussions and as the wine flows and ladies talk, I find myself so honoured to be part of such a group. More than just a book club, these ladies have become the marker for many of the characteristics I want to develop in myself. I realize that once again, I am so very fortunate to be surrounded by women that really exemplify beauty and life. Over the years, in the loneliest days of moving to and from places, there have been really hollow times where most of my energies were spent on looking back with longing and grieving what I'd lost.
This morning, the thoughts I've had looking back still included longing for continued friendships and depth of relationships despite distance but grief has been replaced by gratitude and looking ahead.
These thoughts and gratitude have brought me to a place where I realize I have some astounding connections with such a huge variety of women (and men...but I'm talking Girl Power here to some extent) that I was wondering if we could leverage some of those relationships into something that once again is vibrant and active. And if those relationships leveraged other relationships...well, the idea is that once we engage, and start rolling...what could stand in our way?
So. Friends. Facebook contacts and front porch dwellers. Book club members past and present. Youth group girls grown into women and raising their own kids and making their own way. Women that walked a few years ahead of me but took the time to walk slowly and clear a path and leave good directions along the way for me to follow. High school friends. Bridesmaids. Fellow backpackers and cousins twice removed by marriage. Pastors wives. Hockey moms. Artists and writers. And anyone else that may at one time found themselves with me sharing coffee, water or farther back, Rockaberry Coolers. On buses, on planes, on chairlifts and trains...in school rooms, hospital rooms, college or high school class rooms, in my living room or on Skype...however we've found ourselves in some way connected and kept it together, however loosely....this is for you.
An invitation is coming.
To dream big. While we're awake and alive. And to take that invitation into this coming year and make a difference in the lives of others. Most of all, it will enhance your own. In ways you probably never dreamed yet. But you will.
Your invitation will arrive in the coming weeks. Stay tuned. Crank the tunes. Dance while you wait.
Anticipate and then participate.