There is something I need to tell you and I hope with all my heart you will listen to me this time, as I have told you this very same thing literally dozens of times before and you seem to have forgotten yet again. That pit in your stomach the day before you leave for vacation, specifically one that requires you to take an airplane ride, is not a premonition, it’s anxiety. You have a fear of flying. It’s not ideal or desirable, but it’s there. Don’t you remember? You have such a case of it that your doctor doled out a minute number of those little pills that make your brain just mushy enough that you can’t convince yourself that the plane will fall out of the sky or explode? Every single time you are set to take a flight you feel the exact same way. This bears repeating: EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU ARE SET TO TAKE A FLIGHT YOU FEEL THE EXACT SAME WAY. And yet every single time you are set to take a flight you are certain that the feeling you have in your gut is a bad sign, foretelling tragedies ahead. You really don’t remember that you felt this way last time? Well it’s true. You did. You were wrong. And yet, here I am sitting in front of a computer at 1:44am writing this to you because you were lying in bed (a nice warm comfortable bed that felt something like a non-claustrophobic cocoon might feel) wallowing in that horrible feeling, because it’s different this time…but I was there last time too, and I’m telling you, it’s no different.
Since I am now out of bed, writing this to you, I’m going to share with you a few more things you seem to unremember on a fairly consistent basis. Here goes:
Telling yourself “it will be fine” as you put on sneakers that you know for a fact will give you blisters will not actually make it fine. Yes they are cute and they are exactly what that outfit needs to make you look cuter than you have ever looked in your entire life, but it will not be okay. It will be decidedly un-okay. You will start to feel the pain about an hour or so into the day and, remarkably, you will feel surprised. About an hour after that you will be cursing the shoes, which you really have no right to blame, and by the end of the day you will be wincing with every step you take as your poor little toes turn bright red and layers of skin are sluffed off onto the inside of these f@#$%&* adorable shoes. How cute will you be then, with your hamburger feet?
Also, overfilling the washing machine makes the same thing happen every time. Layering the clothes in the machine rather than wadding them up and tossing them in might make it look as though there is plenty of room, but please allow me to gently remind you, there is not. The knocking noise throughout the entire wash cycle. The annoying beep that happens when the machine is unbalanced. The sloppy mess of marginally-clean clothes you discover inside the washing machine when it’s done the very best it could but the spin cycle just couldn’t quite get enough water out. All of those things will happen, again and again, when you wash too many clothes at once. It’s perhaps the first scientific fact that you have proven. Congratulations! Now let us put that experiment behind and move on to greater things, shall we?
Another thing…the answer to the question, “Should I take the extra three minutes required tonight to prep the coffee pot for to auto brew so it’s ready for me when I wake up in the morning?” is always always always YES. I know you’re tired and you just want to get into bed, but please, for the love of every living being in your path in the morning, get the coffee ready the night before. Try to remember that waking up to the sound of a gurgling coffee pot and the aroma of just-brewing coffee are among the top three things to wake up to. Stumbling out of bed and walking straight to the cupboard to get your favorite mug and filling it with hot coffee before you do anything else at all, other than maybe scratching your bum on the way to the coffee pot, is as close to heaven as you will ever get at 6am on a work day. If you are not able to remember this is the truth, please just at least try to trust me on this. I know of what I speak.
I could go on with this list, but I think you get my point. You have knowledge and wisdom. You deserve to use that knowledge and wisdom every day and you deserve the good things that will come along with doing so. You really will enjoy this vacation. You always do because whether or not you see it every day, you are a joyful person. It’s okay to just say no to cute shoes, you’ll still be cute. It’s okay to split that laundry load into two, you’ve got time. And you are worth the extra time it will take to make sure you know the bliss of fresh coffee waiting for you in morning when you roll out of bed. And if you can’t remember those things remember this: You are damn lucky. You are lucky to have the opportunity to take vacations. You are lucky to have shoes on your feet. You are lucky to be able to wash your clothes in your home with hot water using your favorite soap you bought at the store. And you are certainly lucky to have the ability to have coffee waiting for you each morning. Really, my darling, you are beyond lucky, you are kind of spoiled compared to so many on this planet. So please try to remember that. I believe if you remember how fortunate you are you will also remember to use what you’ve learned so far in this life, and I think that will make life better for you and everyone who encounters you. And remember, that’s what really matters.