Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

I know a woman as smart as she is gorgeous. She’s raised a few kids, had a great career that continues today, is incredibly sharp, funny … and tall, slim and commanding at the age of 50. Words can’t describe her. Here as I type I know I’m committing a grave injustice. Enough gushing though.

Long story short, last year at a bar somewhere in rural Pennsylvania she reflected back and told me and a friend that the best times in her life have been when she was “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” Foreigners, and newbies to this expression, please click here to learn where this came from and what it means, at least according to this Website. In short, the best years were those when she and her husband were raising small children, juggling schedules and two budding careers – being earthy crunchy, breastfeeding children on rocking chairs at some kind of in-house daycare where mommies bonded and stayed friends for life – trying to make ends meet. Love. Earthiness. Stress. Making it happen. Blah blah blah. Did I paint the romantic picture I have in my head? I know. Words = Injustice.

A coworker took me to lunch on Friday. At the Ritz Carlton Boston. The gesture, priceless. His company, marvelous. The future, bright. The lunch, not outrageously priced for a South Ender but not cheap. He shared a story with a similar bent. Some of the best times of his life (and surely he has many many more lives to live), were living in an amazing city with little money but a rich social life. Exploring, existing, managing. Romantic dammit!!

We all know money can’t buy you love. And money can’t buy happiness. But it can make life easier. Paying someone to clean your house, watch your kids for a few hours, do your grocery shopping, etc. – these are transactions that make at least two persons’ lives better, the person paid to provide these services, and the recipient who now has more time on their hands to do something else, even if it’s just to RELAX!! Money can buy a fantastic vacation, a night out, and other things that memories are made of. But come on now. Does money make the best memories? In my experience, no.

I looked back on my weekend. It was pretty busy. My favorite parts (there were two) are:

  • Friday night I walked home from a restaurant in Back Bay with Liron. It was fairly late but not so late as to be unsafe or irresponsible. We just had dinner with Sasha’s parents. Sasha was at school. Yup. On a Friday night, doing some simulation exercises that carried through to Saturday afternoon. Liron and I were just two ladies strolling through the city on a lovely night.
  • Saturday afternoon I walked away from the Boston Public Library with Liron and her grandmother, my mother-in-law, after meeting Anne Dewdney and “THE LLAMA” from the “Llama Llama” book series for the most amazing Boston Book Festival. No joke. “The Llama” came to the library! Walking home on another lovely day feeling like we just did something really wholesome and enriching and fun. That was another great pleasure.

The little things, you know?

Life is crazy right now. Busier than ever. Sasha is immersed in a graduate program that assigns so much material he could give up sleep forever. I’m working full-time and Liron is at her big girl school. At the age of three she even has homework!! (Which she loves). It is a nonstop time. We’re on auto-pilot. And while we’re not exactly robbing Peter to pay Paul, I still think that I may too look back at this whirlwind of a time as one of the best periods of my life.

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