Sugar Plum Fairies
I was going to write about money and economic insecurity today, because I visited my friend Fiona who legit lives on almost nothing and is going to be having even less coming in soon because the grant she’s had for a few years is not being renewed. So she’s scared.
I was talking to her about strategies for closing the income/outflow gap, the whole spend less/make more dynamic, when it occurred to me that at least for that moment, her troubles were not financial so much as emotional.
She did not feel safe. She did not feel okay, right then and there, in her home, which she was not in imminent danger of losing, eating her blueberry bun, which she could afford. But she wasn’t enjoying her cozy home or her tasty blueberry bun.
Because she was future-tripping, which we all do, at least I do. And it can really ruin a perfectly nice life.
And so I’m not gonna talk about money. Or weight loss, which generally results from eating less calories and/or exercising more, which we all know. For me, for example, it would take only approximately 7 hours on the stationary bike to burn off a blueberry bun. So I eat eggs. For Fiona, who seems to be able to eat anything and stay thin, it’s different.
Anyway, the point is, being present to what’s happening right now, and appreciating what’s happening right now, is way more pleasant, sometimes even fun, than worrying, future-tripping, and real-time editing/constructively criticizing what’s happening right now.
I caught myself doing that at the Nutcracker yesterday with Mike and Ax. We wound up at this local dance company’s performance, which also included the students from the local ballet studio. It was not Lincoln Center.
And the whole time I’m watching I’m thinking, “This is not Lincoln Center. This is not Lincoln Center. This is not Lincoln Center.” And the dancers were good, some of them quite good. And the costumes were fun, the music was well-played. But I’m sitting there, beside my beloved husband and beautiful child, who both seem to be unaware of the sub-optimality of everything, thinking, “This is so not transcendent. At Lincoln Center the dancers float, they don’t touch the stage. At Lincoln Center the dancers move as one dancer, like magic.”
And then the Sugar Plum Fairies came out, in their white fluffy tutus and white tiaras. There were a hundred of them, all the little girls from this school, some of them maybe four or five years old, plus the pros who really sold it.
And I felt a tear well up for these sweet little sparkly fairies, and all the Lincoln Center fairies who probably suffer all kinds of injuries and eating disorders and missing-out-on-life disorders to become so transcendent. So much better than very good. And I cried for myself too, because I am not Lincoln Center anything either, just a mom/wife/friend in black leggings most of the time.
And I looked over at Ax, open-mouthed, transfixed, as the (not-so-abundant) fake white snow fell upon the shiny white fairies, and I thought, “I am willing to enjoy this production as it is, sweet, human, local. It is not Lincoln Center. It’s something else. It’s okay.”
I’m gonna keep going.