I did something huge yesterday.
Life-altering. Newsworthy. Noteworthy.
MONUMENTAL, in fact.
I went swimming with a group of friends.
Quite a bit of build-up for that? Really?
I know, I know. But for me. It was huge.
You see, last year, I had the opportunity to go swimming with friends, and I refused. I sat and watched them have fun. In fact, I made them feel uncomfortable about it. I sat and stewed about it and was near tears about it and didn't have a lick of fun.
Because I was fat, and because I didn't want to show anyone my fat body and because it was just too embarrassing all that I was just SURE everyone would be thinking about me and my fat body.
Fast forward to yesterday. I was fatter yesterday than I was last year. I was in a bathing suit in front of all these people, all of them more fit than I, and I just didn't care. Because guess what? I've come to realize that they don't care either. They just want to hang out with me and have fun and relax and enjoy the afternoon. All of which we did.
Something I am learning:
We all spend entirely too much time worrying about what other people think or feel. We spend an inordinate amount of time putting words into other people's minds. What I mean by that is this, "Oh, they don't think I am a good teacher because every one else gets all these wonderful teacher appreciation gifts, and I don't." Nope. The real reason is that perhaps I just have a group of families that show their appreciation in other ways like service in my room or notes on Facebook or comments to other family members. Or maybe, this is just a rough financial road for many of them. Their hearts are in the right place, but they just can't swing it.
Here's another one: "He would never be interested in me. Look at all those skinny women surrounding him. Why would he be interested in me?"
What about this one: "She is talking about me to her. I can only imagine what she is saying! That I am horrible and mean and not kind and just rude and ..."
We tell ourselves lies all the time. We listen to the voice inside our heads. That voice comes from a place of insecurities and ugliness and inaccuracies. That voice doesn't really know what it is talking about. That voice doesn't really KNOW us.
Yesterday, I hung out in the pool for almost three hours. I laughed, I talked, I floated and listened, and I soaked up time with some of my favorite people and enjoyed the present. I watched birds fly overhead and listened to the sounds of the rural habitats that surrounded the pool. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and didn't give two hoots about what other people thought of my body.
It's so cliche, but it's so true. We only get this one life. It is such a waste watching it all slip away from you when you are an observer and not an active participator in it.
Instead of anticipating all the depressing parts of that "UGH, I HAVE TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL SOON," thoughts, I want to make sure that I am enjoying the NOW. The sounds of birds in the air, the gentle breeze on my face, even the oppressive humidity for which this area is known.
I want to make sure that I am soaking up all that this day offers and the next day and the next day after that. So, that when I go back to school, I can say that I truly made every single moment count. Every. single. one.
We all need to start being present in the present.