One bonus of this enforced captivity has been the opportunity to get to grips with clearing out various cupboards etc. Go on, admit it, I bet there’s been some dried herbs found at the back of the larder that expired in 2017!
Looking for something specific the other day, I was ploughing through a box of old photos and came across one, circa 1987, in a swimming pool in what was then Yugoslavia. It was a shock….and not just because of the bright yellow bikini that I only vaguely remember owning.
I had a waist! I mean a proper nipped in waist and thighs that were tanned and more importantly toned. I don’t remember them. I sat and stared at this alien being that I really don’t remember. Where the hell did she go and why didn’t I appreciate her when she was here?
It got me thinking – we had not long got engaged and I am very clear that I knew I needed to diet before the big day. It was the time of the Cambridge Diet and liposuction was just coming to the forefront of the headlines. I’d always been on one diet or another for as long as I can remember because “I was so big”!!!!!!! I knew I had to do something drastic to be streamlined and lithe for the wedding.
Hindsight being a wonderful thing, as I stared at the photo I realised, with a big lump of regret, that I was absolutely fine in 1987. I shouldn’t have been worried – we ate reasonably well, played tennis and squash regularly, swam on holiday, walked to work every day and from memory was a size 12-14 (or 10-12 on a good day).
The sadness is that I remember being consumed by worry that I wouldn’t find a dress that would fit; would look a lump in the photos…etc etc. The dietary marketing people had obviously had been successful in their campaigns!
Thinking more widely, I have always enjoyed my various jobs, but I LOVE being a wife and mother (and now grandmother). It may go against the politically correct lobby, but I genuinely thrive on cooking for the family (probably why the waist has expanded); home-making, walks in the parks with toddlers and dogs; ironing! Madness possibly, but for me, I’ve always felt the need to apologise that I didn’t want or need a high flying career. Those ladies who go on maternity leave, have a baby the next day and return to work in a couple of weeks in the Size 10 pre-pregnancy wear have always left me feeling rather inadequate and contrite that I have somehow failed the test.
But actually, it was a test of my own making – I seriously doubt any of them would have cared or commented on the decisions I made for myself.
These last few weeks have given us the time to consider what’s important to us as individuals. We’d all agree that our health is something we probably take for granted and shouldn’t. Our families and friends are so very vital to our wellbeing and sense of who we are. Shopping (contrary to the lines outside Ikea) is not a constantly rewarding pastime.
Sometimes life comes along and bites you on the bum as this pandemic has so ably demonstrated, so:-
- Do what you love
- Be proud of who you are
- Don’t compare yourself to others (they may just be comparing themselves to you and coming up short!)
- Don’t waste time on “what if’s” and “if only’s”
The Lesson from Lockdown this week is NO REGRETS, LIFE IS TOO SHORT.