This morning I woke up remembering that I hadn’t bought any special viewing glasses for 2017’s biggest natural event: The Total Solar Eclipse. Being from Oregon, all of my friends and family have been freaking out about it for months, most taking the day off of work to not miss the entire experience, many of them traveling to remote locations for ideal viewing conditions. They all bought their glasses weeks (months?!) ago. I am in Texas (have been for six years), and until basically yesterday I didn’t even realize we’d be able to see it here, nor did I hear a single peep about it. Out of sight, out of mind. I hadn’t forgotten, but it certainly didn’t feel like a priority. I woke up in a slight panic because I knew the eclipse was a pretty big deal, yet I had failed to plan for it. I felt ashamed, like I was a fake Oregonian, as I googled where to find viewing glasses in Austin, and printed out a pinhole projector template.
I also had to take my friend to the airport. He was flying to Peru from Austin this morning and was on edge about every last detail. I absolutely could not be late. I set out to run my solar eclipse errands before scooping him. Not only did I have extra time to check three stores for the elusive glasses (no luck!), I also got coffee, bought my friend some last minute travel necessities he had forgotten + a gift, and found out my best friend here in Austin had solar viewing glasses from an event during SXSW she attended last year. I was even early and able to help him with last minute packing, and we got to the airport 5 minutes before he wanted to be there. I then had time to pick up my boyfriend, meet our friends who had the magic glasses, and enjoy the entirety of our Texan solar eclipse (we could only see 65% of it) from the comfort of a reclining chair poolside.
The point of this little story, I guess, is that everything goes so much more smoothly sober. I do seem to always procrastinate to a degree (just something I have to accept!), but all morning I was calm and collected, and didn’t worry too much about what would happen. And most of all, I wasn’t beating myself up that I hadn’t gotten glasses earlier, or telling myself I was a failure because I got drunk instead of buying the silly things. Or worse, showing up late to pick up my friend because I had slept in or was hungover.
Each day in sobriety, I am pretty amazed by how much easier day to day things are, and how much more I appreciate the small stuff. I sat in the sun surrounded by some of my absolute favorite people, gazing at the sun and laughing, talking about how incredible the cosmos actually are and how amazing it is to be alive.
And I can say with confidence, that not only am I alive, but I am awake and present for every moment of it now. That is a pretty damn good feeling.