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Fear and Sadness and Skiing

Work was less of a success and more of a minute-by-minute juggling act one week last month. Most evenings had busy meetings or demanding commitments. Being an introvert and also fairly new to working again, I was in desperate need for alone time. I get energy from cozy blankets and quiet atmospheres – quite opposite of Patrick, who craves people and busyness. The movie “The Martian”? That will be my heaven. Jesus will be like “Here’s your own planet. Holler when you’re bored.”

At the end of a rough and inconsistent week, I need my cozy uninterrupted space. So when I remembered that our Saturday was planned hour by hour, I was mentally preparing for it. I wanted to be more than a warm body at our commitments. I wanted to be present. For an introverted person with zero alone time during the week, this takes work.

The day started at 645 AM, approximately 2 hours before I see any daylight on a Saturday morning. I ran around like a crazy person while Patrick calmly (or so I thought) ran some last minute errands for our day away. We had to be at Brian and Jess’s to meet everybody at 730 and I was booking it.

A 723 AM text from Patrick read “getting a ticket right now… gonna be a few mins”

He doesn’t even buy lottery tickets. Oh wait…. A speeding ticket. He did bring me coffee to lessen the $124.00 blow. Smart.

We went skiing. Have I ever been skiing? No. Do I have coordination? Definitely not. I fell just after putting my skis on. From there, I fell about 342 times over the next 4 hours. Patrick is much better of a skier than I am, so he was off skiing Mt. Everest while I was nearly getting knocked over by 4 year olds. I wish I were joking, but those kids have mad skills.

By the end of our day, I finally felt confident enough to ride up the lift with Patrick and slowly make our way down the smallest slope available. As we skied to the lift – no, as Patrick skied the lift and I slid to it, I fell while kicking my knee with my ski (please don’t ask me how this happens). I was done. That was it. I was proud of my progress that day, but hot chocolate was calling my name inside the lodge.

I found a cozy seat by the window. I held the styrofoam cup in my hand and watched the lift for Patrick. The snow was falling pretty heavily on the slopes, and it was absolutely beautiful! And I realized in that quiet moment how incredibly lucky we were to be there. Sincerely, getting to go out and try something new was something I constantly told Patrick we needed to do.

That night, we rushed home to throw on outfits for Max’s birthday party. He turned six and requested a costume dance party to celebrate. We went as Fear and Sadness from Inside Out, how very chipper for a child’s birthday party. We arrived late, of course, and approached the door praying we weren’t the only adults dressed up. We weren’t. And I had the opportunity to sit in the middle of a loud living room with lots of laughter and love and thank God for my life. Guys, I was almost crying at a six year old’s birthday party. Don’t judge me. Twenty-nine months ago we moved to this small town, and it’s people like the Darby clan who have welcomed us into their lives and treated us like family. Our journey would be vastly different without these people.

Had we told our gracious hosts that we could no longer go, that it had been an incredibly stressful week, we would have missed out. Had we told Ryan and Kate that we needed a down day to recover from craziness, we would have regretted it. Sometimes contentment lies in moments we take for granted. Sometimes contentment lies in adventures we fail to follow. That February day was a reminder to me of why I even started this blog: to acknowledge this life that I am blessed to live.

Ashley Cooper

I strive to find joy in each ordinary day.

  • Jenni Hughes

    You are so cute girl! I’m new to this blog thing. What do I do so I get an update when u post s new one?

    March 9, 2016 at 2:35 pm Reply
  • Vickie Conrad

    Ashley, I’ve read all of your posts. I love your writing and resonate with so many of your life experiences. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us and reminding us to find joy in each ordinary day. We miss you and Cooper in Marion but thankful you are being loved and well cared for in Wisconsin. Keep writing.

    March 9, 2016 at 9:01 pm Reply

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