I was talking to one of my favorite class participants today about body image and self esteem. Her take as she nears 50 is that at some point you have to just say, ‘This is who I am. I may not be perfect but I can still be perfectly happy.’ Unfortunately, she pointed out that we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by images and reminders of what it means to be attractive and we’re forced to feel less than in a multitude of ways. We’re too old, too big, too thick, too thin, too small up top, too large on the bottom, too pale, too dark, etc, ad nauseum. In this sort of cultural milieu, when is good enough good enough?
What’s infinitely sad is that this woman’s mother is in her 80s and I see her in the locker room weighing herself. It’s usually followed by a sigh and some negative comment about the results. Although I want to say “Shoot me if I get to 80 plus years old and still care about the number on the scale!” I can’t help but wonder why I don’t have the same reaction right now as someone who has made it to her mid-30s and has a great life. What age will I have to be before I can say good enough? Is there a magic threshold I have to look forward to?
I don’t know about you but I’m going to make an effort to be a little more perfectly happy now than potentially perfect later. In the immortal words of Stuart Smalley – I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!