There is a line from a Mary Oliver essay that goes like this: "That’s the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. 'Hey, you are alive. Would you like to make a comment?' ”
I read that line, highlighted it in my book, and kept a silent copy of those words in my back pocket as I walked out the door to our local YMCA, where I do some instruction and spend my free time rebelling against the clock, pretending I’m not getting any older and making chit chat with the guys playing pool, which is one of my favorite parts of the whole week and I bet those guys don’t even know it.
At one point, a co-worker asked me if I was currently eating sugar, because we have shared diet and nutrition conversation many times in the past. This was his very kind way of asking me if I was on some kind of diet because he brought a cake in and was hoping to share a piece with me.
First of all, I’m a woman in her mid-40s who admittedly rebels against aging (see above) and I’d venture to say a large portion of my peers if asked, would say they were on some kind of diet. Those fellow rebellion warriors, waking up one morning and wondering how skin and bellies and joint pain can change and appear overnight, might be willing to try a lot of things to go back a few years and/or sizes.
Secondly, I’m at a wellness center, working as a personal trainer, where I’m supposed to be a positive influence of health to those around me. And there he is, asking if I want a piece of cake. And not just cake, pineapple walnut cake with [insert drool] cream cheese frosting. The nerve of some people ...
That homemade cake with cream cheese frosting were the right reasons
It took a millisecond to remember that line in my back pocket. I answered that I’ll eat sugar for the right reasons and that a piece of his homemade cake with cream cheese frosting seemed just about the best reason I could think of that morning.
Diet or no diet, fitness or no fitness, rebel or no rebel, my comment to the world that morning was if there is cake to be given, there is cake to be had. I happily stuffed the delicious slice down my gullet.
My parents always taught me it’s bad luck not to eat someone’s birthday cake. I would extend that out to more than just birthdays because every morning you’re alive and able to make a comment to the world is a reason to celebrate, especially with cream cheese frosting.
Reach Karrie McAllister at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on The Daily Record: Dirt Don't Hurt: Attitude toward life takes the cake, and icing, too