Friday was The Chad’s last day and our team’s last day as Our Team before we are off to spread The Gospel according to The Chad in new departments. The Chad has a sweet boat, the weather was a crisp 89 degrees (I know, right!) and the water was like glass and so we all took the afternoon off to enjoy the sun, enjoy each other’s company, listen to good loud music, and wake board.
To set the stage here, I have never been wake boarding. In fact, I have never been on a boat that was even pulling someone wake boarding behind it. I have never been snowboarding. The sum total of my experience on a skateboard was for a few brief months as an 11 year old, carrying my skateboard up the hill to the Fairbanks house and sitting down on it to ride back to our driveway, dragging my feet the entire way. (And hill is an really overstatement, it was probably more of a mild incline. But I digress. The point is: wake boarding.)
I wasn’t planning to wake board. I didn’t know how to wake board. The lake water was smelly and green and well, lake-y. My hair was all blown out straight. My make-up was done. We had dinner plans with Janaan and Ed at 6. I didn’t have a bathing suit. There wasn’t a lot of time and there were a lot of people that knew how to enjoy the boat more than I did, and they should enjoy the boat, I mean, I was having fun just hanging out…the list goes on.
Hmmmmmmm. But it looked really FUN you know. REALLY FUN. And there was a bit of peer pressure to at least TRY. And there was a bigger part of me that wanted to hang, you know, because, I really like these people, and they are fun and cool and I want them to think that I am fun and cool, and you know how that goes.
So I did it. I had the wake board strapped on and I jumped in. Or rather, I sat down and heaved myself off of the back of the boat, running skirt, lace camisole, padded bra and all. I mean, that is basically a swimming suit, right? (Oh let’s be honest, I looked ridiculous but there was no other option so I ran with it.)
And the team was SO LOVELY. SO SO LOVELY. Did I mention that in addition to being cool and fun they are all smart and caring and helpful and LOVELY. They circled around and around, each time I didn’t get up they would pass by with an extremely helpful tip about what to try next and lots of encouragement.
And then it happened.
I got up.
YES! I.GOT.UP!!! And I stayed up! I was up and I was staying up! HOLY $%^!
And of course, the team, being the lovely people that they are had me go for one more run. And I GOT UP AGAIN!
It probably sounds crazy, but getting up on that wake board was honestly one of the coolest things I have ever done in my life. Maybe it’s because I didn’t in a million years think I could do it. Maybe it’s because it capped off one of those rare days where everything falls perfectly into place – right people, right music, right weather, right everything.
In that moment, I felt pure, unadulterated JOY.
The joy was so powerful that I can’t really describe it. And I decided a few things in those brief seconds that I was vertical on the water: I need to move my cheese more. I need to explore more. I need to try new things. I need to be a bit more daring. I need to care less what other people might think. I need to make sure I always make time for moments like this because they don’t just happen, you have to make them happen.
Most importantly, I want more moments like this with Alek. We need to make more time to just BE together. We need more pure, unadulterated JOY. And don’t get me wrong, we always have fun and we have had some incredibly, indescribably beautiful moments together. But the last two years have been incredibly, indescribably exhausting. I think we’re tired. I know I am. So I have a new resolve: to take some time to fill up our JOY bank.
Thank you to The Chad and to my lovely lovely team for being so great every day and for helping me create one of the coolest experiences of my life. And for the JOY. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the JOY.