recently I've lived through a couple necessary stretching conversations. some imaginary, some real. let me explain.
in the early summer i decided my jeans didn't fit anymore. because they didn't. i decided this was because i have a) gained weight because b) I am almost 42. so, since b) is not something to be fought, i graciously allowed myself to just go out and buy bigger jeans.
i bought the first ones that gave me the slightest memory of high school jeans - jeans you just slipped into and they fit all over your jean parts and when you did them up you had a feeling of "ahhhhh" (as opposed to "AHHHHHH!!!"). high school jeans do not exist for me anymore it seems, at least not on my budget, so i bought "impressions of high school".
i brought them home and looked in the mirror
and had a talk with myself.
"Janet, you are almost 42, but you are not this size. it's time to start exercising"
"Janet! pull yourself together. just do that Jillian Michael's 30 day shred DVD that's in the family room. take those jeans back."
now, as you may well know if you have read some of my recent blog posts, i hate exercise. specifically of the cardiovascular variety. but i have just finished day 20 of the "30 day shred" (which has taken me at least two months to accomplish so i'm calling this my 100 day shred), and my old jeans are feeling better. and my upper arms are wobbling a little less when i point at something (this is why it's not polite to point).
a close friend who read my post on exercise found out i was "shredding" and remarked "i thought you didn't believe in exercise". i read over my previous post and can see where she got that impression, but let me be clear: i'm not saying that exercise isn't important, healthy, wise, or necessary - i'm just saying that i hate it.
it seems i just hated those jeans even more.
i was considering buying some shorts. i don't normally wear shorts - i'm assuming you've read the above paragraphs and I therefore do not need to explain why. one day while considering shorts, i found i was having a conversation with my 80 year old self:
80: do you remember your legs at 20?
41: yes. they were beautiful. i wore shorts all the time.
80: that's how i feel when i think of my 41 year old legs. put on the damn shorts.
it was a short (ha! no pun intended) but effective conversation. i have been letting the legs out this summer. i told one friend and her husband that i have labeled my legs "ombré". he thought i said "hombre" and was naming my legs not after their gradual colour change from tanned to sparkling white, but after a spanish man. i supposed either could work - if the spanish man is incredibly handsome and pale.
my 13 year old daughter went on a tour of the maritimes with her choir in july. incredible incredible experience. we picked her up from the airport, overwhelmed and excited and thankful to have her back. i was looking over a program from one of their performances that she had the other choristers sign. one of them wrote "you have the voice of an angel". i said "awww...people used to say that about me!" to which she countered
"way to make it all about you mom".
yes. she said that. TO MY FACE.
my first feelings were of the "i cannot believe....did she just?...." variety.
my next feelings were of the "wow. nailed it" variety.
here's hoping she takes this skill of calling out the crap of another into her dating relationships!!!
so, i'm being stretched. physically, emotionally and spiritually. and it's good, though often uncomfortable. i think the important journey of this stage of life is to listen to wisdom, even if it comes from your imagined elderly self.
i'm just realizing i should have asked that 80 year old what jeans to buy.