You Can’t Eat Virtual Cake

Yesterday was large. Every day is large. The balls to the wall busy that is currently my self imposed cross to bear is getting a bit tedious.

Life is getting real, and my notoriously fragile mental health is weighing in the balance, so I’ve identified some priorities (family, marriage, friends, passions, work… in that order) and let go of some things (trying to please everyone, people who don’t “get” or appreciate me, and this term’s papers for my masters degree)

One of the most important things is a commitment to seeing people more, and putting my screens down and closing my laptop so I can be fully present. The second part of this commitment is to see at least three people (who I do not work with) I Love every single week. I exceeded my goals this week.

First there was an early morning catch up with my old BNI chapter president JP. He’s a straight talking teddy bear with a brain the size of a planet. The rest of that day was spent with my GM James who is one of my closest friends, by virtue of the amount of time we spend together, and also by virtue of the fact we share a very similar energy and are incredibly passionate about justice, sustainability and spinning a good yarn. I work with James though, so that doesn’t count.

I guess seeing Rebekah (who has been my friend since our undergraduate degree) to receive my birthday present also doesn’t count… But it ought to because my pressies were very cool. Especially the sunglasses!

The next day was equally packed full and there is one story in particular I need to expand upon.

My friend Steph is also my optician. She’s a stunningly attractive, beautifully vulnerable, incredibly adventurous woman who I took an immediate shine to.

I left one pair of her yummy glasses at the Quest hotel in Nelson, and another in a Sheraton in Vancouver. So I needed to make good on my promise to visit so she could rush through getting me a new set before I fly out to Iceland on Saturday.

I am so glad I did. The fact is, we’ve both been feeling a bit fucking over it and snowed under. Life has gotten on top of us and it’s sometimes hard to breath. So we had a huge healing hug, and a good woman to woman cry.

After make-up was restored we headed to her local café for a cuppa.

Everyone. Knew. Her. It was like walking into Central Perk as one of the FRIENDS crew in the 1990’s. The barista got my order wrong, so the very attractive owner/manager popped over to our table to explain.

“I have bad news,” He said looking at me with deep brown eyes, his perfectly quaffed salt and pepper hair shining in the afternoon light. I put my hand on his had with feigned fear and urgency as it lay on the table. “You can tell me. I can take it.” I said with mock mellow drama playing obviously across my face. “We used real milk not soy milk for your Chai, and also the last of the spicy syrup… so now we only have sweet left.” He mirrored my mellow drama like a fucking ROCK STAR! “Oh, I think I can handle a bit more sweetness in my life anyway.” I said and he carried on back behind the counter.

As we waited for my drink to be remade, Steph told me a story.

“This is Margaret’s table.” She said about the corner table for two facing the glass wall that looked out onto the street. “She comes here every day for breakfast. Everyone knows her, and she’s always full of sweetness and joy. She was a dancer, and she still does cartwheels in her yard.” Steph continued. “She’s 92.”

“Holy shit!” was an appropriate response as far as I was concerned.

Steph continued with details about Margaret. How much her second husband adored her, how resilient and full of joy she was after a busy and sometimes difficult life journey.

I looked at my beautiful friend and thought how lucky the world is to have her in it. Wanting to know and care about people as she does, well, it is impossible not to Love that. I felt very lucky in that moment to know this woman.

That moment, the café owner popped over. He gave us a slice of plum pie.

“What is that for?” I inquired. “For being so nice about our stuff up.” He responded.

So we ate our pie. We talked about life. We talked about a friend she knows who had walked by outside the window who was deeply in Love with another of her friends, but had three nasty divorces and had closed his heart. The two star-crossed lovers were and remain passionate about one another, and they cannot be together and cannot stay away from each other either. I. Love. That kind of shit… Tragic romance makes me proper fucking giddy and melty and swoony and stuff.

I left Steph after another long and nourishing cuddle and headed to pick up the film crew and head home to my beautiful children.

I danced around the house with the kids for a bit. Ordered pizza and watched a terrible Disney style movie starring the Rock because Adam gets to pick the movies we watch if he’s good. He’s been pretty fucking good.

Then I handed my children over to the Actress and the Viking and headed into town to meet my friends Max and Shawn at a Karaoke bar.

We had great chats, I sang landslide, and I got a marriage proposal from a nice man named Steven who is a master builder. I told him I couldn’t marry him as I am currently quite firmly married to my husband Phteven, but we could be Facebook friends. Further conversation shed light on Phteve’s financial situation, and the builder changed his mind and said he’d rather marry him instead. If I had a dollar for every time that happened!

The crowd grew, I saw Oliver the left-wing stand up comic whom I adore and his girlfriend, and some tall statuesque Adonis-like millennial with a wry smile and a deliciously arid sense of humour. My face began to hurt from smiling as the night wore on but we opted to leave at around 10:15.

So here’s the moral.

Get off your fucking devices and BE with the people you Love sometimes. Have a coffee and a slice of plum pie, and if it is appropriate to, have a good, cleansing cry.

There is no virtual cake. You have to be there to taste it.

Thank you for reading.

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