What If This Is As Good As It Gets?

 I used this image of a pie because some days, the smell and taste of pie and a hot cup of coffee is as good as it gets.

I used this image of a pie because some days, the smell and taste of pie and a hot cup of coffee is as good as it gets.

Sounds morose even misanthropic, right? Especially coming from someone whose middle name is Pollyanna (it’s really Dean but stay with me). I had an epiphany this week and I honestly could be enlightened now, remains to be seen, but it does feel that significant.

I have come to the striking realization that maybe this is all there is.

I may never win the prize, write the best-selling book, go viral, have an overflowing bank account, have a bathroom full of new towels. This may be it, destiny’s fulfillment.

Acceptance is next. Which, I’ve decided, is not resignation. Resignation is giving up, it reeks of stagnation but acceptance is a receiving of what is being offered and saying, This is enough and I am okay.

What if I’ve already had the most fun I’ll ever have? What if I’ve already seen the most beautiful thing I’ll ever see? What if right now, I’m the most successful I’ll ever be? This is a radical idea for me because I am a perpetual, future-focused, borderline magical-thinking optimist. What if all of these things are true and I still wake up and live my life everyday? This idea knocked the wind out of me this week. I think this is acceptance.

The question for me now is this: Can I still move through life and stay sober? Can I still create knowing that my best work may have already happened, that I may not get anymore validation beyond what I have today?

Maybe this doesn’t sound like an epiphany to you, but this is what this striking realization has done for me; it feels like a big sigh of relief. It sort of takes the pressure off of everything. It makes me lead with curiosity instead of expectations because expectations do NOTHING but let me down. And I don’t mean after you’ve had the gift of hindsight, can reflect and say, In the moment that sucked but now I can see it was the best thing that could have ever happened. No, expectations and reality never meet each other at the same place and even if reality does exceed your expectations, the fulfillment from that lasts about 60 seconds before the brain is off to seek more. But if I come in from the vantage that THIS moment is as good as it will ever get, I can be led by curiosity, curiosity carries with it hope and then I can truly enjoy the ride.

I was hoping I would get to keep hope. I can stay hopeful but accept this moment for what it is. Evolution is inevitable but it may not be “better” and I have to be okay with that. I’ve realized that I have hinged everything on, Things will be so much better when { fill in the blank }, or if { fill in the blank }. But what if it isn’t? I can set goals but I can’t expect that in reaching them I will actually emerge a better person, that it will bring me more validation or success, because it may not. I can no longer let my peace, my joy even, depend on that moment. I can choose my peace now, my joy in this moment and then again tomorrow. So I am now on repeat, out loud even, What if this moment is as good as it gets? And I look around and see that yes, I am okay right here.

This may then be a weird time to pitch a program. If you are like me, then you’re probably thinking, If I see another program pitch, I may vomit. The last time I was talking about the Mid-Life Solution, I wanted it to be the best thing I ever made. But I put in on such a high shelf, I couldn’t reach it. I know what I don’t want my program to be. I don’t want it to be another space where women are just validating the shit out of each other, and even though validation is appropriate WHEN it’s meaningful, I wouldn’t expect anyone to devote precious energy to only receive fluff. I also don’t want it to be another offering that promises you will emerge a better version of yourself because this version we have, it’s the best one we’ve got right now. The questions I do want to explore are these: How can we squeeze the most out of this moment? Then the next? How can we make do with what we have, right now, exactly where we are? I don’t know if this exploration will change anyone’s life but I have this insight to share, so why not share it with a few who may want it. If this sounds interesting to you, I will be sharing details soon.

So look around you right now. What if, at this very moment, what you see is as good as it gets? When I was pumping my gas this morning, I asked myself the question. I had the credit card that I share with my husband, so I got to fill up the tank all the way to full. The sun was coming up and there were a flock of black grackles above my head, their songs were in time with the breath of the trees, as the limbs expanded and contracted, I thought, This may be as good as it gets, and I am okay with that.

I hope there is some beauty, perhaps a speck of joy in your current moment because this is likely the very best it will ever be. Now breathe in, do you feel that? That is the peace of acceptance.