Ready means in a suitable state for an activity, action, or situation; fully prepared. The thesaurus gives me synonyms: prepared, completed, willing, about to, available, prompt. Ready is a confusing word. I’ve heard it and been using it a lot lately.
I rode a borrowed road bike last weekend with a friend on the Trail of the Coeur d’ Alenes. We rode the whole thing. All 72 miles + 6 miles back to Wallace on Saturday, and then the 66 miles back to Plummer on Sunday. I doubted my suitable state. I was not fully trained. The longest bike ride I had completed before that trip was a 48 mile ride through the Palouse. But…I was willing, I was available, and I was prompt (always be on time for adventures….then they might ask you to go again.) As the trip wore on, I was less willing to sit on that seat…so “Are you ready?” confused me every time it was asked after a break. We took lots of breaks, ate lots of food, gazed at and swam in lots of river. I did it….therefore I must have been in a suitable state after all.
It drives my son crazy when folks ask him if he is ready for college. He is just a senior. He hasn’t even taken his SAT’s yet. He kinda knows what he wants to study, and has a list of about 6 schools that he has researched applying to. He is enrolled in a full slate of classes for next year, and has already started prepping for some of them as well as getting up for early X-country practices. When I tell him that is all any grown-up really needs to hear, he gets confused. He thinks they want to know his plans, that he has to be fully prepared. I’m glad he’s not quite ready for college yet. I am looking forward to another year with him. He is expanding his repertoire from cookies and cheese cake to simple things like french toast and eggs. I stand to benefit.
I spent most of today getting ready for our upcoming Main Salmon River trip. The boats were not in a suitable state. Jim did some pretty bizarre rigging things, and I had to sort the gear out and figure out what goes where. Started with the wrong oarlocks in the wrong boat….but I think they are completed now. By the time we take off, promptly as we are meeting others, the boats, food, kitchen and personal gear will all be in a suitable state. I hope I am too. This will be my first Salmon trip without Jim. We had a very good, unspoken, division of labor. This time I have to do all the prep myself…though Emerald did volunteer to make desserts…yum. I will be tired, and I know I will have moments of sadness….but I am available, willing, and as prepared as I know how to be. I guess I am ready.
Someone asked me last week if I was ready to date again. I guess that is the most confusing use of the word yet. I think I am in a suitable state for this phase of my life. I have great family and friends, meaningful work, fun things to do for recreation, and I find great joy just in living day-to-day. Yes, I am sad sometimes. So is everyone. Life is bittersweet. I get that. Am I prepared to develop another relationship? Well….I think I did the first one OK, not perfect, but not bad either. Is my grieving completed? Is it ever? I still miss my sister, and she died over 25 years ago. Am I willing to date or about to? Um….yeah, but it takes 2. Am I available? Sure…last time I checked they were still working on melting down my wedding rings, and according to the IRS, I will be sole head of household this year. Prompt….now that one just doesn’t make sense. Am I fully prepared to date again? I still don’t know what that means.
So…am I ready? Ready for what? I do know that one can spend so much time preparing that they miss the adventure that is right in front of their nose. Time to forget the boats for a bit, head over to a friend’s house for a jargarita, and be open to the day and love right here in front of me.