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In the front seat.

In the mornings, I drive Peyton.

Driving Miss Peyton. If only she wore little white gloves, a demure hat, and offered witticisms from the back seat. That would truly complete the picture. I might have to invest in an old car.

A 1949 Hudson Commodore, please. As we were. In the mornings, I drive Peyton to school, summer camp, or whatever is on the calendar.

She piles into the car, dumping her backpack down and hits the AUX button on the stereo.

Bluetooth connectivity engaged and the inner world of Peyton's musical tastes pulses through the speakers from her phone. The volume and singalong are moderated by mood. Luckily for me, even in gloomy spirits she will still sing.

Across town we go, hitting the high notes (Peyton) and bobbing heads (me). I am almost always moved to tears by either the tone of her voice or a clever lyric. My brain takes in what it knows to be a gift and savors the moment

Because soon we will pull up to a curb.

She will open the door, snag her backpack, and slam the door off to her day. But what she doesn't know is that a part of her remains through my speakers. I slowly move forward holding tight to her bluetooth heartbeat until the crackle arrives announcing that we are no longer paired.

Sometimes I can even get a block away before the disconnection, but regardless, the effect is the same every time. An analog pairing: yearning for her childhood to remain intact and pride in the independent thinker she has become. Our lives are pulled in many directions by our families, friends, and careers. --our individual wants and needs are often erased by the whim of mood and circumstance. No need to be a parent to be affected by these whims. We've all felt it intently as friendships shift, jobs diminish in purpose, bodies adapt to age, and we are left wondering whose dream are we trying to realize? As my life continues to evolve and slivers of clarity settle in, I've realized this. If there is a goal to this life thing, it's to replace busy-ness with fullness and to make that fullness our own.

What lights us up---and lights us up so fully that if others don't join us, we don't care? If they do join us, well good on them because they will likely enjoy it (I mean really, in my case, there may be bikes, singing, or dancing involved). People are very good at taking advantage of others’ time and discarding it just as easily. No malicious intent, it’s just how we’re wired. So if we give ourselves the gift of our own time and thoughtfulness, I think we stand a better chance of contentment and less disappointment. I like to make lists of things I like so that I can smile more and seek out experiences that make my heart soar (riding bikes through sprinklers). I like to make lists of things I don't like so that I can smile at how ridiculous I can be (and avoid certain things like skinny fries and white pants--don't judge. It's illogical. I'm aware) I like to take myself on dates. I'm very romantical. I was exchanging messages with a super friend this morning about these shifts in life and perspective (Note: my friends wear superhero capes when I visualize them. They are so majestic), which is why I'm sharing here. Maybe, just maybe you're experiencing these things too, dear reader. Maybe, just maybe you're trying to make sense of things, too. If so, maybe just maybe we can pair up for just a sec and you can hear the crackle of my heartbeat rooting you on.


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