Things to Do - Take It All In

Painted in Waterlogue

I'm writing this post on Sunday evening, while forecasters warn of impending snow, possibly 8 inches by morning. Businesses have sent emails notifying us of the Monday shut down, while the Arlington school system continues to monitor the situation. Part of me wants to yell, "NO MORE!" But the other part feels that winter seems a silly (and tiresome) thing to complain about. One can only sound like a broken record for so long before feeling the need to move on.

Friday night an old neighbor came to town and, along with another friend, we talked and drank wine until 3 in the morning. At first it seemed sad that we never took the time to have such wonderful conversations before, when we lived within a few houses of each other. Yet it also made the world seem like such a small place, where friends can leave and come back. As much as people complain about facebook, I find comfort in the fact that nobody is ever too far away anymore.

I spent most of Saturday tired and hung over, somewhat amazed that my kids are old enough to fend for themselves on such days - making their own lunches and breakfasts, coming up with craft projects, playing wii - while I camped out on the couch. Then Saturday night a friend and I attended Josh Ritter's acoustic show at the Lincoln Theater. Gregory Isakov opened and it felt surreal to watch two of my favorite artists on the same stage on the same night. The music was so vivid that it seemed like a play or a theater performance, immersive. I came home to our party room full of drunk neighborhood poker players, who all looked glazy-eyed and happy to be there.

Then Sunday I attended a day long National Geographic Workshop on Storytelling Photography, somewhat in awe as I listened to two world-renowned female photographers describe their process and experiences.

So, even with the impending snow, life is full right now and oddly amazing in its ordinariness. I've been thinking about success a lot lately, how such a seemingly simple concept becomes complex by middle age - when you look at your failures, your lost chances, and hold them up against the landscape of the life you've constructed. And, at least for now, the definition seems somewhat obvious - having friends over for dinner and a bottle of wine - good food on the plate, conversations that linger into odd hours, kids staying up way past bedtime. Surely everyone has their own definition, but, for now, I'm comfortable that this is mine.

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