I wrote an email yesterday turning down an all expenses paid trip to a gala on the other side of the country. In San Francisco, no less. Sigh. My name had been randomly selected, and no, it wasn’t spam. It was a response to an entry I forgot I made after following a tweet. Three days, two nights, the W Hotel, a star from Mad Men hosting, a vintage fashion show, dazzling eco-friendly VIP bags for me and my guest. The 30 minutes I spent seriously considering it were the most exhilarating of recent past as it was not going to involve any work on my part. A winner, me, wow!
The hitch was it was for this Sunday. After a week of family arriving, a funeral, opening a store, continuing to run a business, parent my kids and bathe myself (less frequently than maybe I ought to) my reserves are down and my to-do-list hovers too near the can’t-be-done side of the gauge. People are counting on me, the holidays are near—it just wasn’t possible. I held my breath as I hit send, a part of me wishing they’d call back and say, “We can make this work. There is another event in March, can you do that?”
The phone never rang. The email never drew a response. I have allowed myself to wallow just a little bit in the what-ifness of it all. Being in a somewhat weakened state by pining for something that couldn’t be, I caught myself getting pulled into the fray of something from which no good can come. Isn’t that always the way? When you allow yourself to be burdened by someone’s else’s gauge of success or by thinking that any one thing outside of your own spirit can bring you what is lacking, you always end up feeling worse than when you started. It is as fruitless to be bothered with the actions of people who I cannot influence to change and who demonstrate time and again that they won’t change, as it is to lament not being able to drop everything with five days notice to fly cross-country for 72 hours.
It took talking to myself in the way that I would a friend to realize that I have so much. The candles I splurged on at Sterling & Company that make my entire house smell like everything that is good about the holidays. My parents came in the thick of things and made late nights possible, had food waiting and have just generally filled out the edges so that nothing gets missed. Our friends have rallied around us. I am healthy. I have the house I’ve always wanted, the husband I never dreamed of but who feels like a dream-come-true and three little girls who literally make me whole.
So I may not be flying anywhere, but I sure am rooted in the middle of a paradise perfectly suited to me.