Sunday, 23 August 2009
The holidays are almost over.....and here are some of my musings, written when I was sitting on an Atlantic beach, near Le Porge.
For many years the advert featuring Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson et al really annoyed me; it was demeaning, encouraged little girls to be overly concerned about their appearance, objectivised women etc.
And then, over the last few days I've had a rethink about the message being sent out, what I, as woman really think, believe and subconsciously act upon. My conclusion is that I (and I don't believe that I am the only one) put the question of what I am really worth way down the line.
Because if I really acted on "because I'm worth it" would I
• Be overweight
• Have the stamina of a mayfly
• Be unfulfilled at work
• Need to colour my hair
• Still be grieving old hurts
• Be acting in self destructive ways
• Be unhappy with the state of my home
• Still be disorganised
If I really believed that I am worth it, would I not try to channel some more useful energy into dealing with the above issues? Not so simple: I realise than I am my OWE (own worst enemy); shooting myself in my foot is a speciality.
So what brought on this epiphany? Like all the best (sic) discoveries, it was not a lone effort, nor a single action. It had been built on reading (especially the Slob sisters), observation, sophrology and all sorts of things. The final eureka moment came when I saw a woman jogging. As I passed her on my bike (on the way to the beach, easier to cycle the 2 km than walk), she stopped, checked her watch, turned and beamed! I happened to be in the line of her smile, and it was beautiful. She was too. The sort of toned, slim (but not skinny) bronzed lady I would love to be – right down to her tanned legs. Oh, and not much younger than me either. And I thought to myself “She thinks she’s worth it. She thinks she’s worth the effort of taking the time to be fit and healthy”.
At the moment of writing I was on holiday with J. We were on a camping holiday near the ocean, and we used the bikes a bit (J more than me) including cycling from the car park to a quieter part of the beach. On our first day we cycled the 4kms or so to the village (and back) and did some shopping in the morning. After a light lunch we headed to play in the waves, leaving the car and cycling along the path to the beach. By the time we arrived I was in a sorry state, with the beginnings of a real migraine; one eye pulsing, a throbbing headache and an intolerance to light (tricky on a sunny day on the beach). I suspect it was due to a fall in blood pressure after too much effort. My gut reaction was to get into the sea and lower my body temperature, as opposed to lying in the heat in our little beach tent. In the water I began to feel better and lay floating so as to cool my head. When I was overturned by a wave, a younger lady, also playing in the waves with her partner, laughed with unrestrained joy. She didn’t see a middle aged overweight lady needing her hair dyed, with the beginnings of a migraine. She saw someone having and enjoying the same sort of innocent and exhilarating fun as her. We were both being tumbled by the waves; we were both worth the childlike joy of playing in the waves.
After that, on the same route to the beach, I passed all sorts of well groomed, coiffed, muscled, fit men and women. Each of them obviously considers that they are worth the effort of taking time for themselves. And using after sun as well as sun cream!
My light reading included “Get your act together” (by the aforementioned Slob sisters). (Even there I found reference to my main serious area of research for this summer; for my dissertation for the next sophrology weekend, including awareness, consciousness, mind etc. My more serious books were on phenomenology.) Amongst the issues of organisation, weight loss etc. a very strong message came through. Change will only happen if you want it enough, when the gain outweighs the pain, when the future pleasure is more important than the current and so on.
For me than means that I have to believe in the person that I can become, that I shall become, tanned legs and all. I can only believe, truly believe, in that future once I can accept, that yes, I am worth it.