A few nights ago, went to bed terribly upset. When I woke up (late) the next morning, I was curled up with two fistfuls of tissues and a ferocious tweak in my neck.
Friday, I had an appointment to get my hair cut with my fabulous stylist, Lauren, who recently joined a new salon with multiple locations. I’m sure you see where this is going … when I booked the appointment, the guy on the phone told me the wrong salon. When I called Lauren to let her know I was running late, neither of us realized how late I would be. Because I was headed to West Village, while Lauren was in the salon at the Shops at Legacy, which is located at Legacy and the Tollroad. Guess where I work? Legacy and 121! If those two intersections sound really close to one another, that’s BECAUSE THEY ARE.
Not only did I not get my new hair, but I burned through about twenty bucks worth of gas and worked the neck tweak into a seriously huge knot in my shoulder. My plan to get new hair, have dinner at Eatzi’s, and go to my friend Robb’s party was totally shot. I was sweaty and disgusting and hurting. I came home, did some yoga, had some wine, and went to bed early.
When I woke up Saturday morning, I was in so much pain that I couldn’t even pinpoint the source of it. In order to get out of bed, I had to remember how the physical therapist taught my mom how to get out of bed after her back surgery. Once I managed to get out of bed, I took a hot shower with my shower massager set on “beat me up.” I created an elaborate pillow support system and iced everything from head to back.
To entertain and distract myself while in makeshift traction, I collected some tea, my iPhone, my MacBook Pro, a bowl of grits, my Kindle, and a copy of Eat Pray Love, because the movie was on HBO. I will watch that movie every single time it’s on. Julia Roberts may be America’s sweetheart, but I think this is her most endearing role ever. Anyway, I read another passage in the book that struck me in a whole new way this weekend:
I also keep remembering a simple idea my friend Darcey told me once — that all the sorrow and trouble of this world is caused by unhappy people. Not only in the big global Hitler-‘n-Stalin picture, but also on the smallest personal level. Even in my own life, I can see exactly where my episodes of unhappiness have brought suffering or distress or (at the very least) inconvenience to those around me. The search for contentment is, therefore, not merely a self-preserving and self-benefitting act, but also a generous gift to the world. Clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way. You cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself, but also to anyone else.
Have you ever had people in your life whose serious commitment to their own discontent eventually caused you to realize that every time you spend time with them, you walk away hurt, or at best, distressed? I know people who always try to cram life into their own rules or expectations (or, in some cases, bizarre detachment with reality), and they are constantly at odds with contentment. Those people are generating sorrow and trouble in the world. More specifically, my world. This isn’t a new revelation that my malcontent friends exist, or even why they affect me negatively, but it is one explanation about how that works. That passage allowed me to identify and realize why I feel dread when dealing with some of the people in my life.
Some of the best people I know, myself included, make poor choices out of naivety, fear, ignorance, and stubbornness. I consider the misery that follows those actions an emotional “stupid tax,” borrowing from Dave Ramsey. But surrendering to the emotional stupid tax, accepting that everything happens for a reason, and trying to understand what I need to learn in these situations helps me face my insecurities and anxiety about not being perfect and having a perfect life.
Today is Sunday, and I iced again this morning before heading to my sister’s for Father’s Day. My brother-in-law’s parents are visiting, and my parents were invited, so we had three dads under one roof! My brother-in-law grilled burgers, my sister made ice cream, and my mom made some kind of crazy-delicious chocolate cake with strawberries and whipped cream. I had the arduous task of emptying the bag of salad into the bowl, tossing, and adding toppings. Oh, I also brought two bags of chips. I’m pretty awesome that way. After lunch, we enjoyed the pool, properly sunscreened, of course. Before I left, my brother-in-law gave me a dozen of the eggs he just collected from the chicken coop.
On my drive home, I decided to make quiche to use up the dozen eggs before they went bad. I used this quiche recipe with some modifications: I used turkey instead of ham, almond milk instead of cream, and a little bit of cheddar jack in addition to swiss cheese because I didn’t buy enough swiss for two quiches. I cooked one quiche for dinner anticipating I’d take most to the office tomorrow, but it was so darn good I ate three slices. It’s too good to share! I prepped a second one and put it in the freezer. BAM! That’s how you use a half-dozen farm fresh eggs.
I just watched the season premier of Drop Dead Diva, which was awesome! And I watched Finding Sarah, an inspiring example of an amazing woman who would benefit from the lessons I have described in this blog. My sincere wish is that this amazing public figure work through her distress to become an even more inspirational and positive force in the world.
P.S. My adorable niece Katie mentioned today that she read my blog. I teased her: did I need to mention her in it. So, hi, precious Katie Cat! I’m so blessed to have you in my life, and honored to have you read my blog. You’re my favorite reader.