Last night as Jack and I were doing the after dinner dog walk, a neighbor stopped me. She was so happy to see me, she said. She'd be thinking about me and what I did. She wanted to tell me that she thought I was courageous and brave, generous and selfless. And that she'd be planning to write me a note but it meant so much more that she got to tell me in person.
She had tears in her eyes. By the end of her tribute so did I. She then turned to Jack and asked him if he knew how amazing I was. He muttered a half-hearted yes. There are few things that irritate him more than when I stop and chat, which happens fairly often.
For 5 minutes or so I basked in her admiration. But that glow soon floated away like a bubble.
I don't feel like that person.
Right now I feel like my thighs have never been fatter. I can feel the skin sagging under my chin. I know there are muscles in my upper arms but they're engulfed in jiggles.
Even my feet are starting to look old.
I can't wear pants. I can't seem to wear any of my vintage anymore. I'm living in shapeless black sundresses which, for those of you who know me in the real world, goes against my entire fashion sense.
My entire family is in Vermont right now for a bar mitzvah and I'm not. I didn't think I was up to the 7 plus hour car ride. I wasn't sure I could handle all that goes along with flying - the trek through airports, dealing with luggage, various cars. And right now I am so disappointed in myself. I can usually push through anything. I have fierce willpower and drive. I've done what many would think impossible, or at least crazy.
And now I'm flat on my fat butt wallowing in timid.
It is stunningly beautiful out and I'm afraid to do too much. Everyone's looking to me to make plans and I can't. I'm the loser with a holiday weekend and nothing to do.
Everyone I know is doing something different. Weekend houses. Beach. Travel. Classes.
My days are nothing but feeling guilty about not entertaining the kids better, at needing to sleep, at getting increasing disappointed in myself for the limitations I still have.
I can't control my body at the moment and it's making me crazy. I feel like a failure. I can't hold onto the reason I'm here and all the good that I did. I feel like that woman was talking about someone else.
It's not even 8am and I'm dreading this day. This long weekend. The week ahead with 2 kids and no plans.
I wish I could think of myself as the admirable, inspiring person other people see me as.
But right now I can only see the opposite. And it's not pretty.