May Your Tank Never Filleth Over
I have three besties in Colorado: Barb, Caroline and Katie. I met these women when I was pregnant with my first child, and they quickly became my Colorado family. Our lives, families and hearts are forever intertwined — these ladies are my village counselors! Friends forever can sound cliché, but Caroline is a true “FF.” I’m driving to her annual holiday party today. This year, I’m skipping out on neighborhood progressive dinners, office holiday parties and church plays.
This year, I need my Colorado family.
I had been driving for about 5 hours, and as soon as I got into Denver, my gas light lit up. Let me state that a gas light turning on for me is the equivalent of a natural disaster. I immediately enter panic mode, sweating, shaking and imagining what fatal doom awaits me in a very short time. This time, I took one extra deep breath and thought, “What would Caroline do?”
Caroline never fills up her gas tank in a timely manner. She watches that light come on and drives with it as long as she can. I don’t think she ever really knows when that point will come, but normally she makes it. More importantly, Caroline has run out of gas her fair share of times, and you know what? She is still alive to tell the tale! Believe it or not, apparently you can pick up the phone and make a call or simply ask for help from the kindness of a stranger. Caroline always gets gas. Caroline always gets back on the road.
She’s funny and knows how much it freaks me out, so she texts me pictures of her automated dash showing, “0 miles to empty.” I can always imagine her grinning from ear to ear with her insanely happy, beautiful girls playing in the back seat. Nobody’s worried in Caroline’s car. Nobody’s panicked when one thing is going wrong, and nobody’s freaking out because life isn’t perfect at that exact second.
So, one of my goals this year is to let my gas light go on as often as possible. I realize I’ve been running on empty in other parts of my life for a while anyway. Sometimes, I think the most beautiful moments will come from this uncertain and panicky time. And whether I make it to the pump or not, I’m going to relish the fact that I can still live a really happy life, and I can still have really beautifully happy kids, and I can still have a smile from here to there even when things aren’t perfect. Thanks Caroline.
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