Posted by: silverback | 2015/02/22

remain calm

People like to freak out, At least, that’s my perception. We get so wrapped up in our first-world problems that we so often forget that life is about love and happiness, and that it’s our choice to exist in that space – not at all dependent on external factors. Stuff doesn’t make us happy. Circumstances don’t make us happy. We find happiness, in the form of peace or serenity, or gratitude, simply in staying present. For most of us, there is nothing wrong in this moment. If you’re able to read this, for instance, a) you’re alive, b) you have electricity and internet service c) you have time for luxurious things like surfing said internet. I’d say life is pretty fucking good.

Last night, my soon-to-be fiance and I were heading to the big party. We rode our bikes, because the annual party is called “Bike Love.” There was some nervousness, because she knew I was planning something, and there was some discombobulation, because we were trying to get the three rambunctious boys all set with the terrified babysitter. We rode all the way across town before realizing we’d left all our identification, money, and even the tickets to the party at the house.

“Oh FUCK!”

My thoughts ran crazy for a few minutes. I had set up with the party organizer a very small window in which I could grab the mic and make my grand proposal. I didn’t have tickets to even get in the door, and there was no way I had time to make the round trip back across town to get those tickets. We had no money and no ID. My honey was frantically calling a friend who we thought might be inside to see if we could borrow a vehicle when it occurred to me that it was all going to be alright.

People knew us. We decided to try the door first. A parable in itself.

And to make a short story even shorter, the girl working the door knew us. I explained that I had bought tickets, but then forgot them. But the organizer of the party (name-drop) was expecting me, so could we please just run in and find him? She told us to go talk the the second door-person/hostess, who promptly just gave us wristbands as if we had actually possessed tickets. In less than thirty seconds, our friend showed up and told us she had started a tab and that we should just put our drinks on that.

The rest of the night went without a single hitch. It was perfect, in fact. I had managed to remember the one piece of paper on which I had made a few notes so that I could try to keep my unrehearsed proposal somewhat coherent. And she said “YES,” so it was an unmitigated success as far as anybody was concerned.

In short, there was never a problem to begin with.

Part Two finds me headed the slopes today to snowboard with my son. I had bought some vouchers via a groupon-esque deal, and had printed two of them out to use today. When we arrived at the resort, short on time to begin with, and only after having stopped to rent his boots and board, I realized I had left those tickets in my overnight bag on the floor of my bedroom.


I really can’t afford to buy full price lift tickets, but we’re here, and I’d been promising the trip all week. So we get in line.

(Pay attention, because this is how shit happens for me). As I’m waiting my turn in line, some stupid little college-student bitch (easy – just my internal judge initially sizing up the situation) slips into line ahead of me. “Really?!” I exclaim only to myself, as I sneer at the back of her head. Then she goes to the window with her phone and says “I found the vouchers in my email…”

WHAM! Bolt of lighting. I tell the boy to stand right there, and immediately bolt for my phone, which I’d left in the car. I hustle back up to the window just as I locate the email with the voucher numbers…

In short, there was never a problem to begin with. I needed that little girl to step into line ahead of me (since she’d apparently already been there) to show me the way through my situation.

In Part Two of Part Two, I reached into my jacket pocket a couple hours later to find my phone and check the time, only to find the soft lining of my jacket pocket…and nothing else.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? I’ve lost my phone!

It could almost be anywhere. I tell the boy I’ll meet him at the bottom, but I’ve got to go back and retrace my steps down the last couple runs I did, and look around the one place I fell down, ironically trying to demonstrate to my son how to control his edge so he wouldn’t keep falling down.

The next thirty minutes were a little frantic, as I searched the slope and asked the lift operators and visually scoured under the lift as I rode up…

Then I decided there wasn’t really anything I could do today, and I’d rather enjoy the time on the slopes with my awesome kid than worry about the demanding piece of technology that seems determined to make me work for it. I have insurance on it, but even if I didn’t, and couldn’t get an early upgrade, I had almost decided to just get a “dumb” flip-phone for a few months and take a little vacation from the device. Sounds heavenly.

I enjoyed the rest of the day, and we even caught the very last run on the very last lift of the day. When we finished our run, I asked the ski patrol guy if anybody had turned in a phone and he said no, but that there was a lost and found in the Lodge. I had walked about ten steps toward the lodge when I heard, “Hey! Hey man! Red jacket!”

As I’d walked away from the Ski Patrol towards the Lodge, a teenage boy had come to the same Ski Patrol guy trying to turn in a phone he’d found on the slope.


I thanked the kid profusely, and told him that he was an awesome human being. Then I got a little overwhelmed by all the good shit in the past twenty-four hours, and shook the young man’s hand and again told him just how righteous a dude he was, and then I told his mom the same thing. She knew it already.

Yet again, there was never a problem to begin with.


I firmly believe that things work out EXACTLY as they’re supposed to. If I believe that the only thing I have is this moment, and the only time I can be happy, or at peace, or content, is RIGHT NOW, then all moments leading up to this one have been perfect, and this moment sets the stage for every future moment to be just as perfect.

Sometimes I make bad decisions, sure. But I’d wager most of those bad decisions are based on false information from my past that I’m holding on to, or fears of an imaginary future that hasn’t even happened yet. So as a result of those bad decisions I get to learn a lesson, sometimes more than once.

What’s become crystal clear to me in the past few years is that most of the time, if I just resist the urge to freak out, and instead let the Universe come back around to bring me what I need (or even sometimes the things I merely want), that usually…

there was never a problem to begin with.


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