I was at my local Target the other day buying tampons and toothpaste, which somehow totaled $98.12, when the perky sales associate asked what I wanted for Christmas this year.

Hmmm?  At first I thought this girl was sus (her question took me off guard), but I heard the smile underneath her disposable mask in her voice.

“Nothing, really.  Time with my friends and family is enough” was my reply. But the unfiltered sarcastic and possibly melodramatic voice in my head told another story.

How About A New Life

“I’ll take a new life.  Do you know which aisle has shiny new lives?”

Good thing I minded my words that time.

I got home, parked my minivan in the garage, and sat for a few minutes dreaming of what my life might look like if I had the chance to open my eyes on Christmas morning to a new reality.

Would I be living in the same house? 

Would I be married?  Single?

Would I have children?

What would I be doing, wearing or thinking?

A Different Life

My mind drifted to somewhere tropical, possibly Costa Rica.  It was very cliche.  Dorky single woman sitting poolside drooling over the hot resort staff while asking for one of those pineapple thingy drinks.  I was there alone peacefully reading a book, occasionally shifting my gaze to enjoy the view.

Pretty lame, right?  I’m sure you could come up with a wilder dream, but my thoughts didn’t stay there very long.

My mind began to conjure something far less conceivable.  I could go to Costa Rica if I tried hard enough, but what was less tangible?

A Clean House

I imagined a house, my house.  And it was clean!  It was better than Saturday morning I-can’t-take-it-anymore-clean or maid service clean.  It was more Joanna Gaines meets Martha’s Vineyard with a dash of Home Edit status.  

Every square inch of my home was in order.  All of the unfinished projects complete, fresh paint, clean baseboards, an organized garage.  The air was a mixture of fresh flowers and baked goods.  

There were no shoes on the floor, boogers on the wall, or toothpaste smeared all over the bathroom sink.  One would never detect that kids lived there because no kids actually lived there.  

A Wake-up Call

My kids!

It was time for me to stop daydreaming and go back inside where I was immediately greeted by my youngest child asking for screen time.  

“Not right now, sweetheart,” I told him with a sigh.

Unbothered by my response, he wrapped his six year old arms around my lower half giving me the most wonderful hug.

I drank in the pure love poured upon me by my sweet boy and felt a tinge of guilt for having imagined a life without him.

Then I remembered a quote I’d recently heard.

“Happiness isn’t getting what you want, it’s wanting what you got.” 

-Garth Brooks

Well, I’ll be!  The country boy was right and so was my filtered response to the Target cashier.  

What I really want for Christmas and every day after is exactly what I already have.

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Tara is a small town California girl from the Central Valley. She met her best friend turned husband shortly after high school. They met at a Hot Topic, while she was "shopping" at the mall. He was the cute emo kid from Simi Valley that her heart couldn't resist. Nearly twenty years later, they have 3 children ages 13, 8, and 6. Tara is a Licensed Cosmetologist, Certified Personal Trainer, Health Coach, and SAHHM (stay at home homeschooling mom). She attributes her appreciation for witnessing beauty and transformation to leading her to wear many hats. Whether it's changing a hairstyle, one's physique, increasing knowledge or changing one's point of view, she's passionate about helping others become their personal best. When she's not leading a workout or teaching her kids, you'll find her at a local mexican restaurant (because tacos are life), visiting a museum, hiking, or listening to live music. Tara is proud to be a contributor for the Ventura County Mom Collective. "I hope to encourage more women to honor their bodies and use their personal gifts, so that collectively, we can make a greater impact in this world."

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