I’m usually bursting with pride whenever I don the ol’ running shoes and shuffle off to skim the surface of the pavement-- even though I soon look like I need to be medivac’ed to the nearest hospital. But I’m proud to say that I’m pushing 40 and still haven’t surrendered the Battle of the Bulge.Yes, the bulge is winning, but there’s still glory in having a little ammo in my arsenal.
Whenever I start feeling a little smug, though, in the face (or more precisely, the double chins) of my contemporaries who have thrown up their own white flags by throwing down too many Krispy Kreme donuts, I do get my comeuppance. Because, as I trot along with my heart-attack red, though still single-chinned face, I am inevitably passed on the left by the likes of a mature deer with the lithe legs of a fawn.
If there were a good trade name for female deer like there is for female dogs, I’d risk the irregular breathing and mutter it jealously under my breath. Alas, “Doe!” doesn’t quite have the right ring to it, since it only conjures up pleasant thoughts of The Sound of Music, instead of these, the sounds of a jealous woman. Yes, I’m aware this doesn’t make me sound like a “drop of golden sun,” but I would get a sick satisfaction out of shouting “Venison!”
Isn’t it funny how the determining factor for how we’re feeling can be directly related to the plight of those around us? When we’re emotionally stable, these thoughts are pure, like: “Good for her!” or “Go, girl!” Seeing a friend succeed might even motivate us to jog that extra lap around the track, exercise some restraint when offered whipped cream on that scrumptious mocha, or work a little harder for a promotion of our own.
If we’re being honest, hearing about a friend’s misfortune can be just as inspiring. While we feel genuine sympathy for her and her struggles, and do what we can to support her through them, we can’t help but take a moment to feel fortunate that our current state in life bronzes in comparison. No, this isn’t the textbook way to learn to appreciate what you have instead of whining about what you have not, but some of us can be unconventional that way.
When our emotional train has really jumped the track, however, the thoughts aren’t so pretty, are they? That’s when our inner voice uses prefixes like “spoiled” and “lucky” before the root word…um, “venison.” This is when we let another person’s success paralyze our forward momentum. We actually think that because we never come in first place, we don’t even want to play. Because we can’t get on the bestseller list, we don’t want to write. Because we can’t have doe legs, we want to order venison for dinner.
With the dawn of a new menstrual cycle, these feelings tend to fade-- especially since the venison didn’t taste a thing like chicken. It’s then that we remember a couple of important things, like the fact that you’re really supposed to measure yourself against yourself. As in: At least I parked the car and walked inside, instead of going through the drive-thru to get my Big Mac today. And by the way, kudos to you, Slim, for ordering the extra-large fries instead of Super-Sized.
When we focus on our own personal milestones and acknowledge that the grass will always be greener on the neighbor’s lawn -- just as the ass will always be leaner on the lady who tends it -- we might cut ourselves a break… and stop villifying the likes of Bambi’s mom.
Causes Shana Moore Supports