More Than Enough

Maybe this time comes to everyone, the acute moment when you realize that this life is your life. That you aren't destined for greater things after all. There isn't going to be a rock star stint in your future. There won't be a best selling novel, you aren't going to be Julia Roberts, your business isn't suddenly going to morph into the next Google. You really aren't a great beauty, and what youthful beauty you did have has definitely changed into something different. No one is whistling on the street anymore. Your marriage isn't an epic love story. Your home is usually messy. Your roses have aphids.

Ah, but with this realization also comes a sense of peace. Because when I really look at it, the small things are what I love. I would hate a movie star life. One of my greatest pleasures is a lunch out with a book or a fresh new magazine, unobserved. Quiet and happy. Or a day of shopping, again, anonymous. Imagine having everyone looking at you, watching everything you do. I read once that Jackie Kennedy used to watch people with binoculars just to see them acting normally because whenever she was with people, they were watching her. Big lives bring big pressures, big challenges, not knowing for sure if the people around you are there because of your life, or for truer reasons.

Sitting in my backyard under my gazebo with an iced tea, watching the birds at the feeder. Catching a quiet glimpse of the gorgeous male pheasant that hangs out and shyly eats seed from the ground and the grass that sprouts from it. The squirrels, the voles, the small gopher snake family. The progression of blooms through the year...spring alone brings the paperwhites, sunshiny daffodils, tulip magnolia lushness, camellias, azaleas, popcorn trees clothed in white, my very favorite redbud trees covered in pink blossoms, japanese maple leaves in their unbelievable greenness, yellow forsynthia, rosemary bushes alive with purple, all shades on the lavenders, and gorgeous California poppies. And then May...and roses. That first bloom, so incredibly beautiful I take pictures of the same bushes every year. And their names: Angel Face, Betty Boop, Iceberg, Playboy, Neon Lights. Swoon.

My two much loved dogs curled on the bed with me, snoring. Eleven and thirteen and still here. A gift. My girl in her room, sleeping. Grown so tall and lovely. Watching her in dance class, long strong legs, tangled ponytail, full of being nine. She has her Daddy's build and creativity, my mother's chattiness and love of hugs, her own stubborness and sensitivity. And she has my heart, completely.

Making dinner for my family, listening to KD Lang sing Halleluliah, spring green and cream paisley apron tied around my waist. Teaching Chloe to make guacamole, slicing onions, grating cheese, squeezing a fresh lime. Setting a pretty table and eating together, with gusto. Dessert.

Our beautiful home, filled with green and blue and dark wood. Things I've collected over the years that make me happy. And memories. So many memories. Our wedding in the back yard when the trees were infants, Ron's father visiting before he died, much loved pets returning to the earth beneath the roses. Being in labor in our living room, kneeling to breathe through contractions on our stairs. Bringing Chloe home and walking her through each room showing her where her life would unfold. Introducing her to the dogs and then climbing in bed with her to nurse. So tiny and wanted. Such a perfect fit in my arms.

Books. Ah, my great friends. I devour them, lost in a different life. I have to be very careful of what I read because I immerse and it's difficult to surface. I've read hungrily my whole life. I cannot imagine who I would be without everything I've learned there. Any time I am unsure of something, from parenting to work to marriage to dog training to gardening, I turn to books first. And I always find what I need.

And there is so much more. A full life of small things. These small things are what matter the most to me. What I list in my mind in gratitude each night before I go to sleep. These small things make me smile and feel whole. When I look at my life, they are what matter. The people I love, our home, my animals, books, good food, work I am proud of. And yes, it's enough. It is way more than enough.


  1. Riches beyond measure. So much beauty in this life and absolutely nothing like the ferocity of labor wielding to the utter joy of welcoming a new babe into it. You brought a tear to my eye.

  2. This was beautiful Chandra...a small gift you gave to us :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. You brought tears to my eyes.

    I can't imagine going through life without feeling gratitude for those small, insignificant moments that fill our days.

    If we only noticed 'the big stuff', how bleak our existence would be.

    The beauty and the miracle of a single rose blooming should fill us with awe. Yet, most of us don't even notice.

    How sad.


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