Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Just Eat the Damn Cake

Not quite cake- but eating some of Mama Iris's 13 flavors of homemade ice cream (a 4th of July tradition) because eating it is way more fun than "having" it.

I left the house for this morning's bike ride with two different tires on my bike. I wasn't trying to be cool. I didn't need two different tires. I had no reason other than the fact that I got up later than I'd planned, didn't change the tires as fast as I thought I could and only got one done before I needed to leave for the ride or skip it. Despite the fact that Big E thought it would be funny to try to convince me it would screw up my bike to ride with two different tires, I chose to ride.

For some reason, as I rode off frustrated with myself for not just getting up earlier, I thought of the phrase, "You can't have your cake and eat it too."  At first I thought it maybe applied to the situation since, technically, I didn't get my tires changed AND get my ride in. But then I decided that was stupid because the only reason I didn't get both done was because I chose to sleep in. If I hadn't, I could've had both. So really, I chose not to have my cake and it eat too.

So of course, right there on the spot, I decided that phrase is really stupid. (Big E can attest to my rant on the subject later in the day.)  But really, when you think about it, it's pretty dumb for two reasons.

First, in the literal sense, why would anyone even choose between having the cake and eating it? We would all eat the damn cake!!! If there was cake, even if you were allergic to it, you wouldn't let it just sit there. You would eat it if you could or throw it away so it wouldn't get moldy. No one (except maybe a hoarder) would just "have" the cake, no matter how pretty it was.

Second, in the sense in which the phrase was meant to be interpreted- you can't have two incompatible things- it is still kind of ridiculous. Yes, I get it, there are some things that are just impossible. You can't be Australia and Canada at the same time. However, that said, the phrase is used much more liberally than that, often for things that aren't necessarily impossible. In fact, the comparable phrase in Russia is, "You cannot sit on two chairs," which technically, is actually possible. You could just put the chairs side by side and put one ass cheek on each. It might not be comfortable, but it would be done.

This is what leads me to where I'm actually going with this. (Yes I often, but not always, have a point.) This whole comfortable thing is what gets in our way. We like to have everything and still be comfortable. When we see two things we really want and it would be a shit-ton of work to have them both, we just say, "Well, I can't have my cake and eat it too." It becomes our excuse for not putting in the work to get what we really want, and when we see someone else who is putting their head down and working their butt off we say to them, "You know, you can't have your cake and eat it too," because it makes us feel better about not going after what we really wanted.  And before you know it, everybody's comfortable eating cake and not doing a whole hell of a lot else.

So the next time someone tells you can't have your cake and eat it too, ignore them. Find a way. Give something up. Get uncomfortable. Work harder. Ask people for help. Sit on two chairs at once if you have to. But don't give up just because it doesn't seem easy.

After all, where there's a will there's a way.

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