Yesterday I took my children swimming.  We usually go twice a week to the local health club.  I like this health club because if you go in the morning on a school day, you pretty much have the place to yourself.  There are usually a few senior citizens hanging out in the lobby, maybe a few stay at home moms running on the treadmill, but the pool area, that baby is ours.

I like having the pool to ourselves.  My children can splash without making anyone angry, they can shout without offending anyone, and they can roughhouse without knocking over any small children.  Also, the life guard is a little more lenient about me doing trick dives into the pool.  Just kidding.  Those life guards are pretty hard core.

The other thing I like about having the pool to ourselves is that very few people are forced to look at my body in a swimsuit.  This is a plus because I have a great body…for sitting on the couch and reading.  I do not have the best body for parading around half naked in public places.  I like to blame this on the fact that I have a lot of children.  I should probably blame it on the fact that I love oreos and hate running.

The other reason nobody wants to look at my body at the pool is because my swimsuit is a little old.  It’s kind of ratty and has seen better days.  Like, A LOT of better days.  However it is also very comfortable AND it had polka dots which makes it kind of fancy.  If you don’t know, I kind of like fancy things.

So, yesterday I decided to grab my fancy, ratty, falling apart, polka dotted swimsuit and take my kids to the pool.  When we got to the pool I went into the locker room and changed into the ratty, once fancy suit.  There were two other ladies in the locker room.  Both of them were grandma type ladies.  Not grandmas like I had, but the new modern style of grandma.  One was just done with her daily 5k (ugh!) and the other was getting ready to go lift weights (what?!).

When I was finally done squishing my body into that suit I started to head out to the pool when one of the other ladies stopped me.  It was the 5k lady, if you are wondering.

“Hey!” she said “I have that same swimsuit, but I can assure you I don’t look like THAT in it!”

I was a little shocked.

I go to the pool when it’s empty to avoid this type of conversation.  Also I was a little shocked she had the guts to be so rude.  Weight lifting grandma looked like she also wanted to avoid the conversation.  She looked at me and was clearly thinking “Oh please please PLEASE don’t have heard that!”

I know that look because I have that look a lot.  Mostly right after I speak.

I did hear it, though.  And so I decided that instead of tackling her to the ground and punching her in the face, I would just get a little snarky with her.

“Well,” I said “If you’re interested I can assure you it takes a lot of hard work.  I’ve spent the last eleven years on a strict diet of Oreo’s and peanut butter M&Ms.  Also it requires a daily regimen of hours spent on the couch reading and playing video games.  Mostly playing video games.”

Then I screamed “I HAVE A LOT OF KIDS!  MY BODY IS TIRED!  LEAVE IT ALONE!”  and tackled her to the ground and punched her in the face.

Not really on the second part.  I just stared at her waiting for an apology.

“Oh!”  She said  “Oh no!  What I meant is that you’re young and still look all perky and cute with actual curves and no wrinkly knees!  You look really good in that suit!”

And that’s when I realized that any one of my bad days can always be someone else’s good day.  My frumpy, tired, flabby body is someone else’s perky, rocking, sexy, youthful body.  My curses might feel like a blessing to someone else.

I need to start appreciating what I have, not being so hard on it.  And I think you should start appreciating YOU too!  What is the thing that feels like a bad thing that might feel like a blessing to your neighbor?  Embrace it!  Love it!  Maybe it will make your day better!


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