Aspen Princess: A change of events
I love how the summer season goes right from Food & Wine into heady events like Ideas Fest and Summer Words so you can really feel your brain hurt, especially after all that partying. Leave it to Aspenites to push their intellectual fitness as much as their physical fitness. I guess that is the whole point of “mind, body, spirit” after all.
I do have a vague memory of what that was like, of making sure my closet was stocked with the proper assortment of dresses and heels combinations, the kinds of clothes that are dressy but still somehow just casual enough; maybe a stacked heel here, a bit of distressed leather there, a rough, unfinished hem, a fun hat or a funky pair of shades that let people know you are just as comfortable out there on the trail as you are here, hobnobbing with the biggie-bigs in the industry.
I remember attending events at the Aspen Institute, keeping a list of words I didn’t understand so I could look them up later, and maybe eventually figuring out what the hell these people were talking about. I remember running around town to various appointments to make sure I was properly waxed and blonde, squeezing in extra workouts and whatever other elaborate preparations were needed to parade myself around to all those parties. Of course, there also were plenty of platform wedges, because only an Aspen girl knows how to be glamorous in the dirt (and on the cobblestones).
I guess things have changed.
Which brings me to my next point: There’s this girl I know — or woman I guess I should say — who is my age and also has a son and is in a similar line of work. She lives in Aspen and we drive the same car and have the same type of dog and are both married to big, bear-like dudes who are as sweet as they are strong. At least on paper, we have a lot in common.
Having a kid did not slow this person down one iota. As far as I can tell, she has kicked it up a couple notches in terms of never missing an event, maintaining an elite level of fitness (running marathons in the summer, competing in endurance ski races in the winter) and killing it at her job. Her Facebook feed is an endless stream of party pics, work-related travel to enviable locales like New York and London, and cute photos of her kid growing up in some kind of quasi-Disneyland Shangri-La where he gets to cruise around town looking like a popular teenager even though he’s like, 5 years old. This “it girl” is always dressed for every occasion, whether it’s attending the latest trending fitness class or going to yet another party. She recently donned a pair of sandals in the most stunning shade of fuschia that matched her polka-dotted sundress so perfectly I wasn’t sure which item of clothing to be more envious of. She’s one of those people whose weight probably hasn’t budged since she was a teenager and she’s worn her hair the same way forever because she can, because it’s her signature look.
I once asked her how she does it. “Where do you find the energy?” I asked. “Don’t you ever get tired?”
Without missing a beat she said, “Energy in motion stays in motion.”
I think about that a lot, and I’m not sure if she’s right or if that’s just the kind of animal she is. Like how some dog breeds are working dogs and some are lap dogs and it’s just built in, that disposition.
A few weeks ago when my parents were in town my dad was off on a psycho bike ride (after a little touch of cancer last summer, he is back in full force and training for his tenth Triple Bypass ride from Avon to Evergreen in mid-July). Mom, Ryan and I decided to cruise down into Basalt and go check out the new kayak wave. We parked at Confluence Coffee (which we should all stop referring to as Saxy’s, especially since Jeremy has stepped it up big time with his super-coffee nerdiness and is offering a whole different level of our favorite drug) and meandered through town. We walked to the river and watched the boaters. Then we went over to the park and pushed the baby on the swing and played with him on the slide before slowly making our way back to the car, wandering in and out of a few stores with very little purpose or focus.
And it was the perfect day. We didn’t go far and we didn’t do much. There was no primping required, no beautiful shoes or manicured toes.
Since having the babe I’ve given myself permission to slow down and live in the moment. Maybe it’s because I waited for so long to have a child, and because it took so much to make it happen. Maybe it’s because I’m an older parent and I spent an extra decade sowing my wild oats. I guess the point is, it’s not about my life and the stuff I filled it with before. It’s about his life, this beautiful life that I helped to create and now get to watch unfold from it’s very origin to being out there in the world, breathing, laughing, exploring, the pitter-patter of little feet filling my heart with song.
Duh, of course I still worry about missing out, about all the events and the parties and the fun clothes and the beautiful people. Maybe when the babe gets a little older I’ll find the time and energy to get my energy back in motion again. But the end of the day, this time, right now (despite its lack of glamor and cute outfits and any semblance of a social scene) is happening enough for me.
The Princess is excited for her first fly fishing lesson today. Email your love to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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