Yes, this is delayed, because, my Chicklets, this is the thing…
April went off the rails.
It started off awesome. I had a trip planned where I got to see people I love in three different places, in three different states and celebrate my birthday with sun and fun and shopping and good food and good people.
Then, outside deciding to add yet another streaming service to my retinue, thus subscribing to Disney+ and breaking down to watch The Mandalorian, and meeting “Baby Yoda” (yes, I know he’s not Yoda as a baby, it’s just that when I call him by his real name, either it’s a spoiler for some, or they don’t know what I’m talking about), things took a turn.
I will interrupt myself to point out that I met Baby Yoda and became obsessed by him (I am currently planning to get his ALA “Read” poster framed in a gold frame for my office and I have a sticker of him on my car, and I don’t put stickers on my car—mm-hmm, that kind of obsession).
And really, seriously just falling in love with everything Mandalorian (including Mando, the titular character—I’m so enthralled by Pedro Pascal, I might watch Narcos and that normally is not my type of show).
In other words, I digress…
See, something intensely emotional happened. And then something very stressful happened.
And suddenly, I found my schedule had exploded, my to-do list was insane, I was behind on absolutely everything, and all the good work I’d done the last six months in practicing mindfulness, incorporating yoga and movement into my every day—these “non-negotiables” I’d set up that were leading me on a path of peace and, yes, happiness—were blown to smithereens.
I started to wake up, haul myself to my desk, and in my pajamas, start work right away. Then stop work when I was braindead, eat crappy food and sit in front of the TV.
I tell you, in the past four weeks, I probably put on an extra ten pounds, and that’s on top of the weight I’d already gained due to my inactivity during COVID.
I was in despair, for a lot of reasons, including facing my Adventures Blog, in which I share all my happiness and discoveries with my Chicklets.
What did I have to say about April that was funny or interesting or inspirational? I’d learned about the TV show Younger and caught up on years of it while eating Doritos?
Then three things hit me. All of them lessons I’d learned along my recent journey. Lessons that I was not being mindful of.
The first, I’m me. There is no one else to be. And it would be terribly inauthentic to skip or hide the parts that I might not want others to see.
I get stressed out. I allow myself to become overworked. And life goes a bit shit.
I don’t have it all together all the time. I’m not perfect, I can never be perfect, I don’t even want to be perfect, so why hide the fact that I’m not?
The second, time is transient. As always and ever, my to-do list gets done. The deadlines are met. The stories are published. I may get in a hole I have to dig myself out of, but it is far from the end if the world that I don’t meditate and journal through it.
I am again meditating daily. Journaling, also daily. Reading (not only my own stuff), daily.
That happened—where life turned a bit shit, and now…it isn’t.
I was fretting about it and kicking myself in the ass that I’d taken a step off The Path, which threw me even further off The Path, and then things, my Chicklets, got dark.
But doing that was the same as ignoring the fact I have a cold. If I carry on and keep pushing myself, I’ll run myself ragged and the cold will last days and days. If I understand that this cold will not last forever and take care of myself, the cold will be gone much more quickly and then I can get on with life.
I took care of myself. I took care of business. And life is no longer a bit shit. As ever and always, time turns, and now life is pretty damned rad.
The last thing I’d learned is best explained by telling a story.
You see, I was out with friends around my birthday. We were at dinner. We all got the menu. And at the tippy top of the menu was a drink that cost $137.
Yes, a single drink that cost $137.
My first thought was, life is short, it’s my birthday week, I’m with friends, I should splurge on this drink because I will likely never do that again and why the fuck not?
My second, poor-girl-mentality thought was, no way in fuck am I spending that amount of money on a beverage.
Fortunately, at this point, one of my friends said, “I think we need to get this drink and share it.”
Everyone at the table (save her hubby, who doesn’t imbibe) was in.
Needless to say, it wasn’t a drink, it was an experience. The manager of the restaurant showed up (and I was so dazzled by what he was carrying in his hands, I don’t know if this is true, but I think he had a bodyguard with him, I kid you not). And on his tray, along with four glasses of a few sips of Veuve Clicquot, was an exquisite Baccarat bottle of Louis the XIII cognac and four stemmed cognac glasses.
Obviously, we looked this shit up and a single bottle of Rémy Martin Louis XIII cognac costs $25,000. The empty Baccarat bottle itself goes for $2,500.
In other words, just the damned bottle was everything.
It hit me at the time, this was more than a drink.
This was an experience. This was an event.
This was something I’d never forget in my entire life.
I do not like brandy. And the first sip of this cognac solidified this opinion.
Then it slid down my throat.
And that taste, that moment, will forever be branded on my flesh.
It tasted like money. It tasted like warmth. It tasted like the end of a beautiful day spent with friends. It tasted like fifty-three years of life and hard work that took me to a place I could afford to spend $35 on a few sips of alcohol.
It tasted like achievement.
It tasted like friendship.
It tasted like happiness.
So, in the thick of overwhelming stress where I was retreating to my pattern of beating myself up for not being on top of it all every second of every day, I was reminded of that moment…
Sitting with friends, tasting that cognac and knowing that when times get tough, this, too, will pass.
I will have another Cognac Moment.
And life will be good.