In the midst of a frenzied few weeks, when breathing into a paper bag is my stress reliever, I have tried really hard to FOCUS…(the caps are me, telling myself to focus right now at this very moment because even in writing about focus, I seem to lose it). Anyway, there are many lifetime events swirling around me right now: death, new driver, graduation, major home projects, none of which has sent me over the edge. I tell myself that I’m handling them like a trooper. Except not really. So what threw me over the edge? Taking out my warm weather clothing, only to realize that while my psyche may have withstood the longest winter EVER, my body has not. Nothing fits. Stomping around like a 14-year-old didn’t make me feel any better, especially since I only felt winded. Finally getting back to the gym this week only validated what poor shape I’m in. And while body consciousness is usually irrelevant in my day-to-day musings, today it is LOOMING AT ME LIKE OBNOXIOUS WORDS ALL CAPS. Do you know how hard it is to suck in your stomach when you’re doing planks, or how disconcerting it is when your boobs bump into your gut rendering it almost impossible to complete a crunch? I tell myself, that this too will pass, that my butt will be back where it’s supposed to be in no time at all. I will face all these major changes in life with a body that is as tight as my spirit. Right?
While my momentary body consciousness may be the expression of the challenges I’ve faced as of late, I think the root of my anxiety lies in the fact that while I am fine with life moving forward, I am not always fine with how well or effectively I’ve lived thus far. Note, that this statement comes from that guilt ridden, Irish Catholic school girl inside me who will never be satisfied with how well I’ve done anything until I’ve earned a feast day. But as life will have it, something extraordinary happened. While Steve and I were bickering about which depressingly expensive pool liner we were going to purchase to replace the one that lived 3 years beyond its life span, the young man behind the counter asked me my name…(to which Steve used this momentary distraction to vacate, to make his tee-time) when I told him, he smiled and said, “You were my teacher at Holy Angels” It was lovely to catch up, but even more so that he actually remembered some things that I said in class that stuck with him. A simple moment, but remarkable given the funk I was in. It was nice to know that I did make an impact on a life. Sometimes it’s just nice to know. We should all be better at letting others know how they’ve impacted our lives. I know I will.