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by Jamie Betts

Point Of View:

From Rut To Strut

The Big Bounce Back

by Jamie Betts

 I remember vividly the day I moved from one emotional place to another, and it happened all inside my head.  It was on a Friday and as usual, I was driving home from work.  As I rode along in the quiet sanctum of my car, I began to reflect on the years before I got married, and I was reminded of a time when I felt much better than I did at that moment.

I was happier then; three sizes smaller, and involved with a man whose presence dominated my thoughts and whose whims ruled my world.  Gardening was my hobby and shopping and lunch with the girls were things I looked forward to.  But as time passed, and love evaporated with the sound of a slamming door, I wandered aimlessly into the crowded land of those who exist only. 

As I passed a nail salon, I realized how unhappy I was at that moment.  My job was my life and all that I functioned for.  It hit me that I was thirty-three years old and had never experienced a pedicure or a professional massage.

I loved the outdoors, but I only took in its beauty through glass.  I loved art, but I didn’t own a painting.  I no longer had friends, because I no longer trusted women.  A close friend had stolen my love away.  Suddenly, I realized as I looked down at my drab attire, that it had been awhile since I cared what I wore or how I looked.  For me, clothes were a required cover-up whose only proviso was to be clean and neat. 

I shrugged my shoulders in defeat, as I realized that I was no longer into current fashion, chilled wine, expensive hairstyles or the latest music. Life’s pleasures for me were now few and simple…a car that worked, a television with cable, a good novel and all things chocolate.

 As I drove past three well-dressed women who stood laughing in a group, I slowly realized that real living was passing me by.  I couldn’t remember the last time I ha enjoyed a good laugh. At home, I owned a couch I seldom sat on and a stationary bike I’d never ridden. 

 As reality churned furiously in my head, I slowly passed the neighborhood park, and abruptly stopped the car.  I parked and began to walk through the trees and I breathed deep as I savored the fresh air. I felt rejuvenated and I decided right then and there to end the day a different way.  I began with a salad for dinner and threw all my doughnuts away.  I thought of my grandmother and the comfort she got from reading the Bible.  That night, I pulled mine from its obscure corner and enveloped myself in its pages. 

The next day, I got up bright and early and discovered the “exquisiteness” as my old friend Sharon used to say of a pedicure.  But first, I checked on exchanging my stationary bike for a 10 speed, and then I called Sharon to invite her to lunch and shopping.  We spent the whole day together and I felt enlivened.  But my walk became bouncier when I went to church that Sunday for the first time in two years.  That night, I did something I had been unable to do.  I forgave the woman who had betrayed our friendship and the man who had betrayed my love.

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