Sometimes my brain jumps around a lot. Here is where my jumping bean of a brain has brought me today on this quiet New Year’s Day morning. Think of it as a small collection of disconnected short story-thoughts. (Happy New Year’s, btw!)
“You’re so slim!”
The last day of 2015 for me featured a co-worker exclaiming, “How do you stay so slim?!” The me of the late 1980’s would’ve been so pleased.
Here’s the thing. While it’s true that I am reasonably fit/strong (I figure this must be true because I can keep up okay in aerobics classes) I am not, nor have I ever been, what could be referred to as “so slim“. Only my mother actually thinks this is the case. (She is delusional with motherly love.)
So how did I draw such a comment? Easy! I pigged out and made sure everyone knew it.
Yep. Whenever I eat an embarrassing amount of anything, I draw attention to it with loud announcements such as, “Wow! I just ate seven doughnuts! SEVEN!”
And, because I suppose I don’t necessarily look like I frequently consume seven doughnuts in one sitting, this can elicit this reaction: “WHAT?! How do you stay so slim?!”
See? It’s comparative!
So there you go. Just hunker down in front of people… eat more than it looks like you probably regularly eat… ensure everyone knows about the volume of food you’ve just consumed (this is key!)… then sit back and let the compliments roll on in.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.
And yet, even so… I’m realizing that last year I did make a positive and important change in my life!
I’m not sure when it happened exactly… but at some point I began having weekly breakfasts with my mom. It’s been one of the richest gifts I could’ve ever given myself. She makes a huge pot of coffee, which we consume together over toast or sometimes scones or pancakes. And I get to hear what her week’s been like, about her life, her friends, her health, and even her wardrobe. Sometimes she shares thoughts with me that I never knew she had, and insights into my own self. And, I get the chance to hear about her experiences as a child, then a teenager, then as a young single in the city before she met and married my dad. Stories that only emerge when she’s allowed to simply sit and reflect and share.
And now this year, I find my thoughts turning to my nieces and nephews. These tiny wonders make me feel like the Grinch when his heart grew three sizes. They are resilient, loving, smart, adventurous, curious. So this year, I’m going to see if maybe I can get to know them better as individuals. It’s not a resolution… but more like an awareness, you know?
Before and After
This is a different kind of before-and-after:
These are two of my favourite photographs of myself.
I’m 14 on the left, and 37 on the right.
On the left, a spur-of-the-moment frumpy photo taken by my mother. On the right, a purely self-indulgent post-hair-dying selfie.
I love this contrast. I think the real me is both and neither and exists somewhere in the space between the split seconds of reality these photos capture.
And well… to be honest, I’m loving the aging process. Bring on 2016!
Happy New Year!