Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A half truth is a whole lie. ~ Yiddish Proverb

I started this blog yesterday, inserted the title and when I began to write, nothing came out. I had no idea what I wanted to say. I felt brain dead. So I got up and walked away for 24 hours.

Maybe my inability to think clearly is because my bursitis is giving me great trouble. Standing up from a sitting position is mostly excruciating. Sleeping is horrible because I normally sleep on my left side and it's my left hip that's affected. I wake up frequently in the middle of the night, on my left side, in pain. After several days on the hot pad and a couple of doses a day of ibuprofen, I still have pain that runs from my hip, down my thigh and stops at my calf. I'm too stubborn to take anything more than ibuprofen. I hate taking medicine of any kind. I prefer to let my body heal itself, if at all possible. I'm not so sure it's working for me, but we will see.

So, I sit more than usual, which doesn't help the weight loss - or lack thereof - while Tom comes home nearly everyday and hits the treadmill, inserts an iFit card and cranks away for 30 minutes. I can't even walk on the darn thing.

And what does this have to do with the title of this blog? Nothing. When I started this blog yesterday, I was thinking about all the half-truths that we throw around so easily and for no apparent reason except to hide the whole truth, the actual reality. From whom are we hiding? Everyone. Our friends, our family, our acquaintances, our bosses, doctors, dentists and whoever else we come in contact with and whose reactions we will distort into their judgement of us.

It's not like I'm immune to half-truths. Sure I've told them, too, if for nothing else than to protect myself, because I "know" that if I tell the whole truth I will be judged for my shortcomings - as a wife, parent, friend, boss, employee or whatever - and I already judge myself enough. I don't need to pile on somebody else's judgement of me. Or am I just projecting my own self-judgement on to those other people? Probably.

But I try hard to just tell the whole truth - the absolute reality. Sometimes it's not pretty or perfect. Sometimes it's not what I want it to be. I sometimes wish I could tell a different truth. But there is no denying the real truth. What's the new, over-used expression of this decade? "It is what it is."

Yup. There it is...the truth, the whole truth...always...staring us in the face. We can try to hide it, we can pick and choose only those little details that make us look perfect from the outside, when the reality is not so perfect at all, and maybe we just don't know how to fix the imperfect (Are we supposed to be perfect?). So, we withhold pertinent information. The whole truth is in a sentence like this: I've seen the doctor repeatedly over the last few months, but she says I need surgery for [insert your affliction of choice] and I'm doing as well as can be expected. But the sentence comes out transformed into something like this: I've seen the doctor and I'm doing well. We justify our sentence editing by convincing ourselves that, hey, at least some of the words are there and if we've used "some" of the words then, at some level, it's the truth. But we haven't used all of the words that would provide an accurate context. Instead we've painted a completely different picture - on purpose.

We can manipulate the words - the truth - all we want. We can justify and rationalize it. We can dance a million steps around it, but the whole truth will ultimately surface and when it does, and others find out that we've only given them a half-truth, they won't judge us for the faults and imperfections the whole truth would have revealed about us. We will be judged for lying. For some reason, that is worse to me.

So, on that downer note, I would like to share something a little more uplifting. A couple of days ago I received the following little story in an email from my cousin, Rickey. It made me laugh out loud.

Recently in a large city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym. It said, "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

A middle-aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern,

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans.) They have an active sex life, get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp.

They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Bering Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia.

Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs.

They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human?

They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them, not to mention how could they have sex? Just look at them ... where is IT? Therefore, they don't have kids either.

Not to mention, who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me:

I want to be a whale.

P..S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver, and a piece of chocolate with my friends.

With time, we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy.

Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, ~ Good grief, look how smart I am!? ~

If the size of my ass is the measuring stick for my intelligence, baby, I'm applying for membership to Mensa!

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