In my most vivid, jealous imagination, you're all having a wonderful time.
I spent another weekend on roller skates, racing from town to town, from concert to concert to rehearsal and home again in time to eat dinner, feed the cats, do the dishes and collapse.
You've spent the weekend doing all sorts of activities. You baked cookies, decorated your homes, and did some holiday shopping. You stopped for a fancy cup of coffee and indulged in a scone or perhaps an over-sized muffin. You went to movies, you played games with your family, you read books, you knit and crocheted, and you dressed your dogs in winter coats before you breezed outside for a mid-afternoon walk. Sometimes, though, you forego all activities and you lounge around all day in your pajamas, shunning the world with a wink and a smile, knowing full well you'll be back tomorrow.
In my most vivid, jealous imagination, you all live wonderful lives.
I'm a little too blunt and a little too impatient. My irreverence often strays into the danger-red-zone, and I'm just as apt to look at those in need with skepticism first and compassion second.
You're witty without being crass. You're good looking, yet approachable. You're friendly to a fault but still manage a zinger or two, at exactly the right time. You're funny, occasionally irreverent, but at the heart of it all, you have a heart and a soul which are genuine and sincere. Your life and your priorities follow a similar arc, and you never hesitate to help someone who seems to have become lost along the way.
In my most vivid, jealous imagination, you all are highly talented, creative people.
I do lots of stuff, but not as well as my perfection would prefer. For me, practice comes from necessity first and love of craft second. Patience is an overly-tired toddler who often leaves before intermission.
You sing. You dance. You act. You play instruments. You paint. You sew. You knit. You spin. You craft. You create. You appreciate the arts. You are athletic. You run. You swim. You play baseball, football and basketball. You have the patience to practice disciplined activities like Yoga and martial arts. You set long-term goals and see them through, enjoying the journey and the rigors of practice along the way.
In my most vivid, jealous imagination, you all are strong.
I often feel anything but strong. I am a compulsive worrier, and have made a sport of simultaneously looking back and beating myself up over messes I've made while looking forward and fretting about impending disasters, whether they are real or not.
You persevere amid hardships. You get knocked down and you get right back up again. You don't let life get you down. You don't let circumstances get the better of you. Your strength of spirit lifts you, carries you and sustains you during the darkest of times. And when the storm ends and the sun appears once more, yours is the first voice to be heard, laughing, singing and celebrating once more.
In my most vivid, jealous imagination, you all think I'm crazy.
You wonder why I conjure up perfect people leading idyllic lives, and then compare myself to this impossible standard. You think nobody is this happy. Nobody is this perfect. No life is this wonderful.
And you'd be wrong.
My reality is that I know every single person listed above. And although nobody is all of these things at any one given time, these traits, singular and in combination, describe real people I know -- family, friends, coworkers, colleagues and even strangers. You all are a wonderful, amazing, astonishing group people. You do things an infinite number of things to enrich your lives and nourish your soul, which, in turn, enriches and nourishes mine. You are friendly, funny, creative and strong. And when the storm ends and yours is the first voice to be heard, I'm not jealous at all. I'm thankful for all of you and what you bring to the world. I'm grateful for the inspiration and the encouragement.
And in my most vivid imagination, I am hopeful to be even a fraction of that in return.