Thursday, May 29, 2008
A few irises~
I complimented a fellow teacher, a young, slim beautiful girl, on her blouse.
She gave me one of those "oh this old thing" comments and said she'd worn it because all her other tops were . . . and here she made some hand gestures around her belly.
I didn't understand at first. I thought maybe she was pregnant, or else feeling nauseous. But no.
She told me she was getting so fat. Told me! Not that I'm FAT fat, but compared to her I'm a mature tree and she's a sapling. I've got some rings on my trunk.
She left and Dave, another colleague, walked by. "She thinks she's fat!" I said shaking my head, although many of my friends felt that way when we were her age. We see pictures of our younger selves and ask, "Why did I think I was fat then? I looked good."
Dave and I got talking about our perceptions of ourselves and how much energy we waste obsessing over minor issues, energy that could be better spent in more productive ways.
"We should just be happy we're healthy," he said.
"Yeah, and not in Burma," I added. Extra padding around the middle pales in comparison to the hardships faced there.
Then he said, "Monday, I was out in the yard when the wind whipped up. My irises were bending and about to snap, so I hustled to stake 'em up tight. And then I thought of all the people in the Midwest whose homes were devastated by the tornadoes. I thought, here I am worrying about a few irises when they've lost everything."
"Iris syndrome," I said. "I'll remember your story next time I start worrying about nothing."
So much of what I worry about amounts to "a few irises."
Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey!~Barbara Hoffman