Theme: Goldilocks & the Three Bears
Our editor gave us the challenge to write a post inspired by the children’s story of Goldilocks. You know, the dumb broad who breaks into a bear’s house and destroys and steals their stuff – but in a cute way? When I tell my niece Ruby this story, she is drawn to Goldi’s choices. Like Ruby, that’s the part of the story we all remember. There were always two extreme choices and one choice that was “just right.” Aww, the privilege.
As a person who is widely considered to be an adult, though I regularly feel like an imposter, I envy the simple life of Goldilocks. Granted, some choices were pretty clean cut:
Mmm, porridge sounds great. Should I eat the burning-lava-hot bowl, the toilet-water-cold bowl, or the correct temperature bowl?
And she sure did make a lot of wrong choices:
How I love walking in the woods. Should I continue walking, pick flowers and skip along the trail – OR go into that house where three bears live including a young cub and a mother bear?
But girlfriend had it good. I try to confide in friends and family about how the decisions in my life seem to be ever-more complicated. These confessions are often met with “Just make a choice already, Meg” or “It’s called compromise” or “Sorry, what were you saying?” I try to explain how hard the big choices are, and often even the little ones.
Little choices like when I’m at the new fancy coffee shop a block from my house. I know they make a mean latte, but I’m trying to be healthy so I consider just getting the black coffee. Why can’t there be a “just right” option? Oh! There is: iced black coffee and a doughnut. Boom.*
Big choices like when I have twelve months out of the year to do whatever I like. I typically have three main options of how to spend my time: with my partner, with my friends and family, or with my passion-projects. There is plenty of overlap between the three, but many times I find I am missing out on special moments with friends to be at the theater. Or, I’m turning down an interesting project because I have weekend plans with my buddies. More often than not, my husband bears the brunt of my being “busy.”
Busy. It feels pejorative to me. There have been too many occasions when I was about to say no to something and my friend or colleague finishes my sentence with “I know, I know. You’re too busy.”
Yes, I am, but I’m working on it, ok? Adulting is hard work, and I am now grasping that “to adult” properly, one must have the appropriate amount of empty calendar days for spontaneous friend outings, impromptu staged-readings, and surprise quiet nights with your husband where you watch a Buster Keaton movie and sip tea. (OK – or you watch Zoolander and eat Ben & Jerry’s.) And I know these choices will be kicked up a notch when mortgages, babies, and real-people jobs come into our lives.
I should enjoy this hectic year I’ve made for myself because in the near future I may not have the choice.
*I did not get the doughnut. I got the black coffee and wept into the cup until the coffee-to-tears ratio was 1:1. Because I’m an adult.