I Had It All Together

I had it all together yesterday. I woke up early. I ate breakfast. I drank an entire cup of coffee. I wore clothes that weren’t pajamas. I put on makeup so I didn’t look like the living dead. OK, fine; I had to throw the hair into a bad braid because who has time to do hair after all the above? But still, I had it all together yesterday.

I had it all together yesterday because I had a Place to Be; an Appointment volunteering at the local high school which made me feel magnanimous. I was both dressed and volunteering which qualify me for at least a few hours of super hero status, yes? Yes. I’m glad we agree on the criteria. 

So I had it all together yesterday. I volunteered at a school, and then I had a break, and then — wait for it — I volunteered again

Now, I realize there are parents in this world who volunteer regularly, in all the schools, all the time. They are not super heroes. They are magical, mythical creatures of light and love, imbued with benevolence and grace. They are better than super heroes, is what I’m saying. Still, being a Sometime Super is nothing to sneeze at, and I was super, if only for a day.

I had it all together yesterday. I walked with confident strides and shoulders back and smiled at All the People, as one does when one has it All Together. And so, to celebrate, I took myself to the Fancy Restaurant in town for lunch. Just Me, who had it all together, ordering the Cheapest Thing on the menu so I could sit and soak in the atmosphere, look at the giant, expensive Christmas decorations, and enjoy being pristine a few more minutes before going home where there are rice crispies ground into the couch and our giantest decoration is the tumbleweed of dog hair and spilled sprinkles roaming from room to room.

I had it all together yesterday until I laid my napkin in my lap and thus glanced down at my Super Self… which is when I realized I had my sweater on backwards and also inside out… which is when I hightailed it to the ladies’ room to fix the sweater… which is when I saw the Giant Spot on my pants… which is when I remembered my son “blessing” them with a handful of cupcake frosting… which is when I remembered I’d meant to wash these jeans but had relegated them to the recesses of my mind where all the non-urgent things go. You know, all the non-urgent things that don’t have to do with stopping someone’s bleeding or telling the legions to TURN DOWN THE TV VOLUME OR I’M TURNING IT OFF or running to the store for emergency toilet paper because no one ever puts that on the shopping list.

I had it all together yesterday until my clothes were on backwards and inside out and decorated with a spot that looked like feces but smelled like chocolate frosting. And until, while standing at the Fancy Sink in the Fancy Restroom of the Fancy Restaurant, using their Fancy Cloth Hand Towels to try to scrub the icing from my pants, I glanced in the Fancy Mirror to see that my hair had fallen out of its braid — or rather, half of it had while the other half struggled valiantly but futilely to stay coiffed. Really, by the time I noticed that, I just felt the hair was trying to fit in with its peers. The sweater and the pants had jumped off the cliff, so, by God, the hair was going to jump, too, and damn the consequences. 

But I had it all together yesterday, and even though I didn’t — not really — it felt good while it lasted.





P.S. We are officially in Christmas Christmas season now, as opposed to Halloween Christmas or Thanksgiving Christmas. This is FULL CHRISTMAS, friends. Thus we begin our Christmas Christmas posts on this blog.

P.P.S. Christmas Christmas posts on this blog are the regular mish-mash of posts that wreak havoc and have no overarching theme other than the usual magic and mess and bizarre, beautiful bits about being both human and divine. 

P.P.P.S. I have things Planned — thoughts on faith, thoughts on politics, easy peasy recipes to share, an Escapist Book Club book for December, a Gorgeous Piece on Authenticity and Grace and Mental Health by my friend Eleanor who is Wise and Beautiful and Amazing, and more. When I listen to my fears, I’m afraid I’m going to give you whiplash, diving as I do from the mundane to the meaningful in rapid succession. When I listen to Love, which drives out fear, I realize this jumble of shallow and deep is simply Real Life, and Real Life is worth sharing. 


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14 responses to “I Had It All Together”

  1. Love you Beth. I quote “magic in the mess” to everybody I meet.

    Also the last paragraph of this post made me laugh out loud. Way to end. “Really, by the time I noticed that, I just felt the hair was trying to fit in with its peers. The sweater and the pants had jumped off the cliff, so, by God, the hair was going to jump, too, and damn the consequences.” Love your comic ability. You inspire me. Going to be laughing all day! 😉 xxxx

  2. I thought of this today…. I’ve lost weight this semester and was feeling good in my new black jeans as I taught in front of my two classes. I taught two classes, and I’d been writing on the board and moving around and turning my back to them to do so. After the second class, I ran to the bathroom–where I saw that on my butt I had a nice large white mark that you couldn’t miss. Sigh. Truly glad I’d read this post, because instead of berating myself, I laughed and thought, “I had it together–lol.”

  3. Thanks Beth, for reminding us yet again that having it all together is an illusion. I don’t think I’ve felt all together more than once or twice in my long-ish life, and even those times involved a nagging feeling of less than. You, my dear virtual friend, are the arbiter of Grace.

    *TP at our house is the Costco scheduler. When we are down to the bottom row of that 27 roll pack, it’s time to make that trip.

  4. You are a Super Super hero in my book, getting out of the mud and to a fancy restaurant !! All by yourself!! See, I promised you a present, and it is still not in an envelope. It lies “ready” to go to where it belongs (and you might want to wash it too), but it is not on its way yet. No heroic feats here yet. Just trying to wave, but stuck in the mud, not ready for any type of restaurant right now. And no volunteering here either. Not even the yearly baking for the christmas-thingamathing at my daughter’s school. You are brave (just like me), and strong (just like me), and doing all the things (just like me) and stuck in the mud (just like me) and diving (am trying) and waving (me too, frantically). Thank you.
    (I got dressed to brave the cold yesterday and then my sweet man told me I could go get myself a present from him in a shop where a friend works and by the time I got there, and tried all the clothes she thought would be a good fit, I realized I was wearing the smelly shoes and the top that I put over the warmer tank top made it stick out and showed it at the top as well and she made me try on all the clothes and I felt, well, very badly dressed for the occasion – and tired – and not worth the new fancy sweater which I am keeping for Xmas so as to have at least a festive looking sweater) Sorry. You didn’t need to know all this. But there you have it.
    Hugs and waving from deep down.

  5. You rock every single day with Kindness and Grace and Compassion and Empathy. Even if you don’t have all of th em at all times, y ou seek them and embrace them when you’re able. And that my friend, makes you a hero Every Day in my book. <3

  6. Due to one too many toilet paper emergencies at our house, toilet paper is now purchased on each trip to the grocery store. Every. Single. Time. I don’t even put it on the list anymore – it’s merely a given (just like the Peanut M&Ms I always grab in the check out line).

    • Amazon auto-order is good (you can set to be shipped automatically every month, twice a month, etc.)- I started doing this for TP after I had to SOS text a neighbor to come grab a roll. That was a great night *face palm*

  7. You BOTH/AND! Both got the volunteering Rocking AND get to be a super hero!
    The visual from this post had me laughing and feeling like we’re long lost twins. May the odds be ever in your favor girl!

  8. Volunteering trumps inside out clothes and suspicious stains and uncooperative hairdos any day of the week. You still rock, you still can claim Super Hero, and anyway, have you SEEN those jeans that are so ripped most of the body shows underneath them that the people buy ALREADY RIPPED? You are miles above them, inside out, stains and all. Stay mighty.

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