A Snap. A Year
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
10-15 years ago a friend of mine told me a story that was told to her. I'm going to try to re-create it.
My friend said that an old man told her the following
"On my 5th birthday my dad told me to snap my fingers and remember this day. Not understanding, I carefully snapped my fingers. The next year, again he told me to snap my fingers and remember my 6th birthday. Each year it became a tradition to snap my fingers and remember back a whooooole year to the previous birthday. The snaps seemed so far apart and life was so exciting! Every year I snapped my fingers and somehow it helped me to remember that special day.
On my 25th birthday my father reminded me to snap my fingers and remember my childhood birthdays. On my 30th birthday my father instructed me to do the birthday finger snap now only every five years...and not to forget to teach my children to snap their fingers and remember the year between their birthdays.
I'm in my 70's now, and I finally see what my father was getting at. I look back at my life and see a series of years that have flown by. The 5 years between birthday-finger-snaps are as short at the years was when I was a child. Life is a blur of these snaps. Life speeds up. Enjoy it. Don't waste it"
I have a finger snap moment of my own. I'm visiting a city I was visiting this same week last year, and the year before this same week, and the year before that this same week, for maybe 5 years back...the third week in July. I'm staying in the same hotel. I'm sitting in the same cafe, maybe the same table I've sat at each year. every year I am in this city for two days, doing the same thing.
And I'm worrying about the same thing: my weight. What to eat on this trip that will be in my eating plan because I'm always on a "diet" And I am probably within 20 pounds up or down of the same weight each year during these 5 years. Which means I'm still 80 pounds overweight.
When I look back--the year has passed in a snap. I can remember what I did last year here, and the year before that and the year before that. As clearly as if it was yesterday. The pain and the growth, the happiness or sadness that happened in this year-it's all passed. I've survived what was thrown at me or given to me. My blessings and challenges. They've passed in a snap of the fingers.
What if I had taken just one of those years and truly dedicated myself to eating right and exercising? One year of truly learning what hunger is, what satiated means, what being it feels like to eat well and healthy for more than a week at a time? A year to set small exercise goals?
I know the hunger passes-I can't remember individual days of hunger in the whirlwind of days in the past year. I know the emotions that lead to eating pass-I can't remember specifics of sadness or anger or frustration in the blur of the past year. I know I have consistently let myself down, let emotions and false hunger and bargaining with myself take precedence over my life.
What I know for sure is that I do not want to wake up tomorrow and realize it is July 20, 2012 and I am again in the same hotel, getting up to go to the same cafe for coffee, and feeling bad because of my weight again. STILL.
Snap your fingers and a year goes by.
Snap your fingers and a year goes by......