Last night our friends Mandy and Jody brought some of their friends over to our house for dinner.

Our six plus their one plus their five equalled twelve kids.

Fortunately they didn’t decide to overthrow us – despite their larger numbers.

This family and their lovely little blonde offspring are on a 50 State Challenge.

They are traveling across the country on a grand adventure for three months – taking on wild family adventures in each state.

I mean – their six-year-old kayaks by herself.  And has been for years!

Years!

Shoot – the only thing my six-year-old has been doing for years is sucking his own thumb.

It was a great evening of hanging out by the campfire, eating Mandy’s delicious burgers and watching our kids chat and make new friends.

We just met them – but they are the type of people that you feel comfortable with instantaneously.

As we chatted and then as I perused their family’s website later that evening, I found myself growing a little envious.

The adventures.

The travels.

The camping.

The marching to the beat of a different drummer.

And the next thing you know,

Kevin and I are talking in the bathroom.

I’m folding laundry.

He’s taking a shower.

It’s the stage of some of our best (and worst) conversations.

I announce to my husband,

in a flurry of fast words and halting hand gestures,

I think we’ve squandered so much time.  They’re younger than us.  And they’re doing such amazing things.  And they are secure financially.  Why has it taken us so long to travel so short a distance?  How can my life be at this stage and yet have less direction than I had hoped?  I mean, is it too late to do better?  What story are we in?  I’m buying a tent next weekend.  And the weekend after that we’re taking the kids camping.

It’s hard not to want what (from here) looks undoubtedly cooler, riskier, bigger.

And I feel it, in some recesses of my mind, some quote, some pocket proverb, about the hazards of comparing.

Hmmm.

Was it saying comparing is dangerous?

Or straight-up sinful?

Was that in the Bible or just words from a clever teacher behind a podium?

I don’t remember.

But I’m pretty sure it’s lazy to want someone else’s dream.

To copy someone else’s path.

The trickiest truths have always been the simple ones.

I am not called to live someone else’s life – no matter how exciting or adventurous or appealing.

I am not judged by the standards of others.

I only have one path to walk.

And it is mine alone.

It has been winding and straight.

But I guess I had better see where it leads, since I’ve made it this far already.