My husband and I were sitting outside the coffee shop with our puppies last weekend when a man came strolling by with his three children. He was a pleasant looking fellow I guesstimated to be about 50-something. The children looked six and under, with one in a stroller. I thought to myself how nice this picture of healthy and normal Americana looked. I imagined mom was at home resting and her dutiful husband had taken the children off her hands for the morning so she could have some much needed "me" time. Boy was I ever wrong! Mama walked out of the coffee shop a few seconds later and when she joined up with them I was quite surprised, to say the least. She was young and hot! Looked younger than me with a phenomenal body, muscles rippling under skin-tight yoga gear with a caboose that would not quit. I looked at my husband and said "Boy, I sure didn't expect that one!" He agreed and diplomatically commented she looked like she took good care of herself. When I pointed out her perfectly round derriere he reminded me she worked hard for her figure. I sipped my coffee and wondered off into dreamland for a few moments as The Cleavers piled into their Porsche Cayenne. It was easy to surmise the charmed and privileged life this perfect looking family must have. I ain't gonna lie, I coveted. It looked so normal, so picturesque, so enviable.
Now I know I was presuming a lot, and it's silly to think they don't have plenty of their own issues. I mean how many episodes of Real Housewives does Bravo have to make to tell us nice things don't make happy people? But the irony of appearances was not lost on me. Isn't this a topic I am always bitching about, how frustrating silent illness is? That because Fibro doesn't exhibit external signs and symptoms the patients have to fight extra hard to be taken seriously? People assume a normal looking individual is healthy, and it's not unreasonable for them to do so. But there I was, I'd just gone and done the same thing I frequently get all hot and bothered about. I assumed because their life looked charmed, it was charmed. The judged had become the judger.
I am still marching toward that bubble gum life. One of rainbows and unicorns and happily ever after. I don't want any more pain or to struggle and have issues and grief. I want them all to just go away, to have never existed! That is the girl in me. The woman in me knows that with the anguish would also go the knowledge in my head, the compassion in my heart and the drive and determination in my soul. There is something that comes from struggling in life, a depth of spirit that manifests itself deep within the soul and breeds a strength of character, a sense of self, a cause of purpose. So I must strike a balance. Strive for health and freedom from illness but also remember how far I've come. Keep my perspective so the bad days don't take me down any further than they have to, and work toward the good days to far outweigh them. So while I may look at that family and assume life is peachy keen and easy for them, there is no guarantee someone is not looking at me with my outrageously adorable puppies and devilishly handsome husband and assuming the exact same thing about my life.
Thanks for joining,