Sunday, August 25, 2013
Pulling back to move Forward?
Going backward. Generally speaking, it is not often a good idea. Both literally and figuratively. It is however a continuous temptation in many areas of our lives. I have had a couple of "going backward" situations recently and I am further convinced it is not the best direction for me. Sideways and forward are really a much better bet.
When I stop and really think about it, almost every time I go back, I regret it. And I am not just talking about the major go backs, like relationships or jobs. Even the simplest backward steps can get you in trouble. Like last weekend when instead of taking a step forward into my canoe while boarding, I stepped back with the outside foot instead to avoid the unbalanced tipping caused by the inside foot and I slipped on a rock underfoot and took the backwards splash into the water. Normally this would have been no biggie, except this time I had my iPhone in my pocket...now a defunct iPhone. That canoe adventure was the most expensive one of my summer. Not only did I have to pay for a new iphone (albeit at a reduced cost), but I lost hundreds of photos that were not backed up. These are lessons learned the hard way that could have been avoided had I moved forward rather than back out of the canoe.
This past week, I took a trip back in time to the city where my daughter was born, where I became a first time home owner, where I married her father, where I have many happy memories. We visited the old hood and I took her to see where she lived until she was 3 and showed her the parks where she went from wobbly baby legs to a running and climbing toddler. I wondered if any of these visuals would prompt her memory, but she did not have any recollections. No sirree, all the memories were mine and mine alone. And it was bittersweet. The views and vistas of my beloved Deep Cove were still intact, but my old house was run down and hardly recognizable. Ugly in fact. All the hours and passion I put into the garden and trying to turn a fairly ordinary house into something more seemed wasted. The follow up owners clearly did not care or possess the talent or money to improve on what we had created there. It occurred to me that the house had followed the same path as my marriage. The garden had not been tended.
Spending too much time looking back does not really do much good either. It seems to keep you stalled in limbo. Best to look to the future. A place where you can apply all the lessons of the past at least. The tendency to paint the past with pastel watercolours is easier than facing the unknown and possibly harsh colours of the future. Of course, all the current wisdom encourages us to try to live in the moment but that concept is easier said than done. As much as I try to just be here and now, the future and past are relentlessly pulling me backward and forward these days. It's exhausting.
I have come to the conclusion there is only one area of my life that I actually want to go backwards. Yes, the place where we all (well most of us anyway), want to go back. Backwards on the bathroom scale. Backwards and a bit even. What are the chances? OK, so I will never have that 16 year old waistline again, or breasts that will pass the pencil test, but just once in my adult life I would like to step on a scale and be happy with the number. Satisfied. Even at my lowest weights over the years, I have always wished the number would be lower. Will I ever let it go? Will that critical voice ever shut up? She is sooooo annoying. Every now and again these days, I have moments of clarity on this in my mind. I look in the mirror, standing in all my naked glory and actually feel (dare I say it?) beautiful. Then as this fleeting feeling hovers over me, I find myself thinking..."yup, this is me now, less than perfect, flawed by time and the odd scar, take me or leave me world!" And for one brief moment, this defiant, glorious, powerful voice inside me moves me forward for one more day.
Bathroom scale be damned.