Sometimes I go to crazytown. IN MY OWN MIND. Yep, even though it’s all beautiful snow falling on (not) cedars over here.
First of all, I ran aground just trying to write you this missive. See, I couldn’t log in to my shiny new email program. Don’t worry, though, I only spent, oh, 20 minutes or so trying to log in before I admitted failure and sent the distress signal up to Erin, my tech goddess. I texted her the scary screens I was getting that said things like “Forbidden” and “Failed” and “You are a terrible loser”— over and over— and finally she wrote back, “You have singlehandedly broken ConvertKit.” Congratulations to meeeee!
Shortly after that, I got an email saying– oh heavens to betsy– that Hamilton tickets had just gone on sale in Portland. Eeeeek!!! I could hardly breathe as I raced over to the site and tried to buy one. (No, I don’t live in Portland any more. I know. But it’s not as far as New York!!! Listen, we all have dreams, and mine is to see Hamilton.) Then I went down the rabbit hole of a performance art piece previously known as trying to buy tickets, even though it turns out that that is not a thing that is humanly possible, it was a horrible tantalizing mirage of ticket sales, and the internet gods were just messing with me, holding out the possibility of tickets and then snatching them away CRUELLY. I can only assume that they all sold out so quickly that the website couldn’t even handle the inrush of orders and instead it was left doing its best imitation of repeating “nothing can go wrong; nothing can go wrong;” so I kept clicking the buttons that APPEARED to have available seats even though clearly they are SHAM seats and this endeavor also ended in failure message after failure message. (Are we sensing a theme here folks?)
No Hamilton tickets. That’s okay, right? They’ll come to Calgary? In like a decade or so? Maybe Hamilton on ice?
I felt SO SAD about this. Like, I might have even brushed away a tear. Or twelve.
Don’t judge me, reader; I just want to see this show SO BADLY.
But of course I also felt GUILTY. Because lest we forget, there are women and girls out there who have to carry water ON THEIR HEADS three hours each way and I just saw photos of them at the Real Life Conference we were at last week, images of such stunning power and grit by the incredible Lynn Johnson that they took my breath away. Compared to what they go through, my little musical theater disappointment is just ludicrous.
So one part of my brain is going, I am JUST SO SAD about Hamilton, and the other half is saying, I am such a spoiled privileged selfish COW, and then, in the midst of all that, we had a bona fide icing disaster.
My husband has been in the kitchen all morning making a princess sparkle pants ponytail glitter star cake for our four-year-old’s birthday party later. And while I was having all my conflicting feelings, I could hear his increasingly agitated commentary from the kitchen. It sounded a little bit like this.
“Oh no, it’s all—
What the hell, what is even—
Aaaaagggh! It’s disintegrating!!!”
I ran in to help.
If *I* am called in to help with a cooking disaster, you know it must be pretty terrible.
And indeed, the cake had proceeded to disintegrate before my husband’s horrified eyes.
Now I am not an expert at icing cakes. (He is.)
But I AM an expert at salvaging life from the very jaws of kitchen disasters. I have had a LOT of practice at that. He doesn’t have much practice at that at all, because his kitchen projects turn out correctly basically all of the time, which is super annoying but I manage to love him anyway.
So I started spackling with the icing and he covered his eyes at what I was doing to his creation and the whole thing was ridiculous and fraught and so very sticky, and life was clearly fucked seven ways to Sunday and we were all doomed, DOOOOMED, and then suddenly— FINALLY— I remembered something I had said to one of my private clients just this week.
I told her to please have some FUCKING COMPASSION on herself.
This statement tapped me on the shoulder while I was wielding the spatula with much panic.
Except that in that sticky buttercream moment it was clear I didn’t deserve compassion, nah, I needed a humanitarian wake-up-call and better icing skills.
Except of course, as you have already guessed, wise reader, when we think we least deserve compassion is when we most need it.
So I did.
I gave compassion to myself, right there in the midst of my terrible privileged first-world problems— just some fucking compassion. And it made me laugh.
And then I remembered something important.
Compassion doesn’t let us off the hook.
It lets us be human.
And we are all infinitely more useful when we are human, when we treat our tender ridiculous selves like the tender awkward humanlings that we are.
When I can’t give myself compassion, even when I’m being ridiculous, I’m really not much good to anyone.
So here is my word to you today, dearhreart—
please have some FUCKING COMPASSION on yourself.
Even if you’re pretty sure you don’t deserve it.
And I will too.
P.S. The cake turned out great– pics on Instagram, and the even better stuff is in Instagram stories!