Bitch’in Life

Saving Face

Have you ever heard the expression, “There are no accidents?”

Was it ever said by someone who actually had an accident? Because putting the onus of finding the deep meaning in a freak turn of events on someone who’s just hurt themselves pretty badly is kinda cruel.

Being heavily into self-flagellation, though, I can’t help but push myself to try to crack the cosmic code of what happened to me last Tuesday.

The short of it was while leaving an ATM, I tripped. Since both of my hands were otherwise occupado — holding my bitch’s leash (right) and fumbling in my pocket to make sure I’d put my bank card deep enough in there so I wouldn’t lose it (left) —  no body parts save my left eye, cheek, and lip were available to absorb the blow.

Insert face-saving quip here: “You shoulda seen the other guy!”

Or, more accurately, “I look like Joan Rivers post-op.”

The irony here is that earlier that morning I’d begun to write this week’s blog post, and the theme was all about how I was making a concerted effort to slow down, be more present, and generally stop feeling so overwhelmed. In fact, you might enjoy some of what I wrote, now that you know what happened next (face plant, etc.):

(The name of this post is/was “Make Space for the Holidaze“:)

The countdown is on. It began the second you took a bite of turkey on Thanksgiving, and will build, and build, and build… until that frenzied, ball-dropping, New Year’s eve climax.

This year, in addition to the normal insanity, we have the added benefit of end of the world panic (thank you Mayans, you merry pranksters, you!). Apocalypse doesn’t seem likely, although cataclysmic occurrences like Hurricane Sandy, renewed violence in the Middle East, and LiLo as LaLiz does seem to point a finger in the doomsday direction.

Me, I don’t need a black hole to swallow me up to get the memo that things are a bit overwhelmingly crazy. It’s just the little things that let me know it’s time to adjust. And by little things, I mean stuff like cutting my thumb while chopping onions so it bleeds half a night, breaking glassware left and right, and an endless stream of missing keys, checkbooks, and sunglasses — the things that most represent the on-the-go lifestyle.

And then, there was the Universe speaking, sending me a woo-woo kind of sign. Thanksgiving night after dinner, I had to run home to get something we’d forgotten, and on my way back I was cut-off by a minivan. In the suburbs, that’s not so unusual. But what was strange is that a stray thought had at that very moment popped into my head: stuck Chi. (Or, as I prefer to spell it when playing Words with Friends, Qi.) And the license plate on the minivan? Free Chi.

As a rule, I like to ignore signs and continue to run headlong into burning bushes. But this time, I figured snubbing this virtual Feng Shui was bad karma, and it wouldn’t hurt to get a grip on my chi. (And yes, I’m aware that sounds both overly New Age-y and slightly dirty, but work with me here….)

The goal is to slow things down, clear things out, and generally act in a way that is counter-intuitive to December. Wanna join me? Then try these bitch’in tricks to clear your Chi (or Qi — try to put the Q on a triple letter if you can!)

Notice how I left off just as I was about to give y’all a big ol’ list of how I’m making space. I would’ve finished it too, but the kids were rumbling and grumbling for breakfast and needed help getting off to school. I had to write a check for something, which reminded me that I hadn’t written a check for something else, which led me to realize that I’d completely missed a car payment. Then on to ten minutes on hold at 7:12 a.m., pleading with the service rep to forgive the $22.95 late fee while throwing lunches in bags, and then my mad-dash run out the door to get to the bank to make sure there was enough fundage in there to cover the about-to-be-debited car payment. All this while walking the dog as quickly as possible so I wouldn’t be too late to my Intensati class.

(Intensati, by the way, is a kick ass workout where you repeat affirmations about being open to all good things, loving yourself, and being mindful that what you put out is what you get back. Yes, my astute bitches, the irony is endless.)

The truth is, I have been trying to bring myself back to earth lately. Earlier in November was my son’s Bar Mitzvah — a total emotional high, accompanied by a big party a year in the making. I was very conscious that there might be some post-event let down, so the Monday morning after I took several  self-improvement steps to help me open up to wonderful new things to come. I began food logging to keep healthy eating on track during the holidays, I accepted Deepak Chopra’s 21-day Meditation Challenge, and recommitted to 5x a week sweaty workouts. No downtime for this warrior — I was determined to get back to “normal.”

And then the Universe stuck an invisible banana peel in my tracks and bitch-slapped my face, hard.

Later that day as I lay in bed icing my swollen mug, I had no choice but to zone out to TV. I  flipped the box on and was happy to see my favorite cooking show, Chopped. For those of you who don’t know it, four chefs get a basket full of crazy ingredients and in a very short amount of time have to come up with amazing dishes. I always like to pick my winner early on, and in this episode, I settled on the guy who had it going on. He was cool, confident (but not cocky), and had an amazingly inventive plan for the ostrich, oatmeal biscuit, and graffiti eggplant his appetizer basket held. I couldn’t wait to see how much better his concoction would be than all the others.

And then, a first for Chopped. In the last minute when everyone was plating their food, my favorite chef cut his finger. Badly. While the others gave him furtive, sort of pitying glances, he bled out all over his cutting board. Nobody stopped to help him, and for a minute, he looked like he was just going to stick his finger in his mouth and continue on as if nothing had happened.

But then, he didn’t. He walked away from his station and from a likely $10,000 win, which would’ve been seed money for his own restaurant. He shocked the judges, and maybe even himself, when he made that split second call to take care of himself.

I don’t always get the signs, and I’m not so sure I believe that there are no such things as accidents, but this time, I finally got the message. We put in so much time and effort in to prepare, so why don’t we do equal time on the other end while we repair?

So if you see a battered and bruised babe eating bon-bons and watching the boob tube, just leave her be — she’s just learned a very valuable lesson: Sometimes the only face we need to save is our own.


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