“I just buy bigger pants”. She said it with a straight face and then threw her head back in a girlish chuckle.
I’m talking about a lunch meeting I had with one of my favorite colleagues, Anissa. If memory serves me well, we were at a pizza place called Chiusano’s Brick Oven Pizzeria in Kansas City, Kansas. You know a place with a high-octane name like that HAS to have amazing food, right? Right!!! Trust me, they do indeed! That place can teach me a lot about failure because I mess up my diet every time I go there…and I’m happy about it!
But, I digress.
Anyhoo, there I sat whining about my recent weight gain all while searching the menu for some nasty, low-calorie, low Weight Watcher point option…IN A PIZZA RESTAURANT)!!! Crazy, right?
Losing those extra pounds was beginning to consume me. I was going around measuring everything before I ate it, weighing food and acting like a mad woman. I was driving my family crazy and stressing myself out. I mean REALLY stressing. After I’d been staring at the menu until my eyes crossed, Anissa nonchalantly looked up from hers and said “I just buy bigger pants”.
We both cracked up and I felt better.
Now, before you get this weird, distorted mental image of my work buddy, let me tell you she’s a beautiful woman donning middle-age like a 20-year-old – in fact, she even looks like one. She’s a good size (quite thin) and lives her life without obsessing about weight loss and counting every single piece of popcorn before allowing it into her bowl (yes, I did that). Her casual comment made me laugh and gave me a much needed dose of perspective and sanity. Boy, did I need it at that point. As we used to say in the ’80s, I was really ‘trippin’.
Reflecting on that day now, our conversation reminds me of that scene in the movie “Eat Pray Love”. Do you know the one I’m talkin’ about? Somehow I related it to managing failure.
Great movie; great philosophy!
The main character, Liz (played by Julia Roberts) was in an Italian restaurant with a friend. The friend was doing just what I did at Chiusano’s- fat-shaming herself to the point of distraction. What was hilarious was that the character was doing this in one of the world’s most famous culinary metropolises – Italy. Liz’s response was just as wise and well-balanced as Anissa’s. She said to her friend:
“Right now we’ll enjoy this, and tomorrow we’ll go buy bigger jeans” This is one of the wisest quotes in cinematic history. Well, at least it is for me. Check it out here:
That’s when that funky bass line from Sly and the Family Stone came on.
Here’s a link to a YouTube video of that song. Be prepared to bop your head.
Want to see the scene with the jeans? I can’t resist!!!! 🙂 Here it is:
Again, I digress. Back to managing failure.
You see, I’m such a “thinker”. I consistently analyze, pick apart, self-punish and then I start doing it all over again. I give others so much grace, but I often want to burn myself at the stake for the tiniest infraction! Can you relate?
I’m learning to give myself some slack. I hope you are too.
Be kind to yourself.
How many times do we, in life, utterly pound ourselves for our past or current choices? Sure, we should always be emotionally and spiritually evolving, but lamenting over the past and not seizing the moment is just short of living a life of torment. That’s not the Lord’s will for us.
To be clear: I am not advocating reckless living with no consideration for consequences. I’d be an unhealthy size 99 if that was my philosophy, plus I would be beating up folks and cursing them out at every turn. No. Self-control is a good thing. It’s the fruit of the Spirit – the direct result of God living inside us.
No. I’m simply admonishing you not to compromise your “today” for what you did “yesterday”. In other words, enjoy the pizza, buy bigger pants and change your pathway in the future.
A page from my own life.
In my twenties, I married a young man. It was to the wrong man for me. It wasn’t all bad because it produced one [of the two] biggest blessings imaginable – my son. But, for years I beat myself up for making that bad choice and choosing the wrong man for myself. I avoided relationships because I didn’t trust myself to choose a mate.
How silly that was. I didn’t know Anissa back then, but had I known her, she likely would have said something like “Ok, that’s done. Now pick up the pieces of your life and move on” in other words, buy bigger pants.
So, please don’t live in a state of condemnation or regret. Yes, be the best you, but enjoy your now and forget those things that are behind. You can’t change them overnight, so why lose sleep over them?
Buy bigger pants.
Take 1 minute and be encouraged by Ben Courson and failure.
Online Resources for moving past regret and failure.
“Let Go of the Past to Move into the Future”
“Moving Past Regret”
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