March didn’t march

It flew! This month, I gained no pounds, I lost no pounds, but even though the scale stood still, everything else seemed to be moving.

A social event that filled my emotional brain with anticipation and some anxiety for several weeks leading up to it was, just as my logical brain predicted, wonderful in ways I couldn’t have anticipated.

Did I mention that it involved wearing a swimsuit? Did I mention it included a couple people who had pretty decent seats to the shit show that was my life several years ago (right around the time I split up with my husband) that was full of pain and my self-image was in the toilet?

Even though I’m not in that space anymore thank you baby Jesus, I remember the feelings well and feared experiencing them again. I feared being, literally, exposed. And of course, it was no big deal in the end. Nobody was judging me (as if they would anyway) and everyone was happy to be together. None of those feelings returned. A new one showed up: compassion.

The event in question was an overnight at a hot springs to celebrate my friend’s 50th birthday with ten other women. (Mine is coming up in three years, sixty-nine days, so basically it’s tomorrow.) There were, as you’d expect, many stories shared.

In addition to being a group of smart, funny, powerful women, everyone had sacrificed something important to them, willingly or not. Business and career dreams that collapsed, jobs that no longer fulfill, complicated relationships, children whose needs were placed above all else, bodies that are beginning to have problems that can’t be solved by trying harder.

Nobody was complaining, mind you. But it was so obvious that nobody escapes the shit show. By this time in life, everybody’s exposed. Questions, uncertainty, pain, setbacks, they come up, they get overcome or dealt with, and life leaves its marks, some visible, some not. Instead of comparing myself to others and falling short, I found myself comparing my story to theirs and feeling compassion for all of us.

It may be that the only thing that truly gets easier is knowing that most everything (and ultimately, everything) is temporary and/or not in our control, and that even if something is in our control, that doesn’t make it easy, even for people who seem like they’re rocking life.

Speaking of rocking life, this week I will not be moved from my plan of tracking everything and making good choices. Maybe resting from being a weight loss superstar those first few weeks did me some good. I’ve got my eye on the next “decade” on the scale!

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