Whatâ€™s Important in Life (Other Peopleâ€™s Priorities)
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Curves.
Just in case we forget our lifeâ€™s mission or whatâ€™s important, thereâ€™s always some chatty â€œfriendâ€ who lets me know whatâ€™s really important Â in life, from their perspective, and how I should be defining â€œsuccess.â€
It reminds me of the JK Rowling news story where someone she hadnâ€™t seen in a long time remarked on her weight loss/gain during the Â intervening years and failed to give any credence to the number of books or children the Harry Potter author had produced in that time period. The only thing that mattered was the size of her ass.
I feel Rowlingâ€™s indignation.
Case in point.
Six months ago, I ran into a woman Iâ€™d been friends with a few years ago. She knew Iâ€™d come through a painful divorce (and was highly outspoken and judgmental of me for staying so long), knew I was starting my life over, etc. I asked about her life and what was new. Then she asked about mine and what Iâ€™d been doing since she last saw me. We Â chatted Â but her focus Â was on how much weight Iâ€™d lost, which I had not even mentioned, and that was the way she marked any success or growth in my life. I cut the chat short. Of all the things Iâ€™d accomplished since Iâ€™d seen her and was excited about, only the weight loss was importantâ€”and she made a huge effort to validate me for it. Gee, thanks.
Then Â again, Â maybe Â it Â was Â because Â when Â we Â were friends, she spent so much time criticizing my weight.
My younger daughter ran into her recently on a shop- ping trip on her dadâ€™s time and told me the woman had asked about me. The woman Â always spent a lot of time informing me of all her spiritual gifts and work projects, especially when my life was crap.
Aislinn didnâ€™t get the opportunity to tell her that Iâ€™m really doing Â well on my own; that since I last saw the woman, I have written Â another half-dozen books, published another half-dozen, and completed Â my share of a 7-book series I co-created Â for a major publishing house; that I discovered I was an empath and my intuitive giftÂ has gotten really strong; that Iâ€™m working on transitioning into a new Â career; that Iâ€™m studying hypnotherapy; Â that weâ€™ve taken two wonderful family trips in less than a year; that Iâ€™m a guest speaker at several conferences Â this year; that Iâ€™ve gotten really good at both Tarot and astrology in the past year; that my health is really good and Iâ€™m happy with my regimen; thatâ€¦well, these were high manifestations of all the things this woman used to lecture me that I needed in my life.
But without hearing a single thing that I deem a success, the woman had only two questions in regard to me:
1. Howâ€™s your mom?
2. Is she seeing anybody?
Yep. Thatâ€™s it. Not even if Iâ€™m seeing anybody special. Not whatâ€™s up with your mom or whatâ€™s she been doing or what new circles of spirituality sheâ€™s casting, but down to the basic question that was important to herâ€”who Iâ€™m sleeping Â with, Â likely Â so Â she Â could Â give Â her Â two Â cents worth.
I guess Aislinn saw I was perturbed. Iâ€™d just spent a
recent dinner talking about how irritating I find it for all these Â people Â to Â try Â to Â define Â my Â life Â under Â their Â own terms.
Then she gave me a peck on the check and leaned into my ear to whisper something totally catty that made me smile in a most devious way Iâ€™m terribly ashamed of.
â€œBy Â the Â way, Â Mommy,â€Â Â she Â said Â of Â the Â woman,
â€œyouâ€™re a lot thinner now than she is.â€