"Learning to live and living to learn"
Whilst I was being taken out for my morning walk by Lily, (the dog who must be adored), who likes to take her humans for a walk, at least twice a day, because they need the exercise, I got to thinking about how our perception of self, invariably differs from the perceptions, others have of us. This then led me to consider a wider hypothesis in that we often tend to see reality for what we want it to be rather than what it actually is.
Whilst walking through the local park, I noticed how much weight Lily has put on over the past 6 months or so; for before that, as a result of intestinal issues, she looked more like Mick Jagger at the end of a month-long dietary regime of nothing but green tea. As I emerged from these thoughts, I noticed Lily looking up at me and in that instance, I realized that she was thinking the same about me. Not that I ever looked as svelte as, nor have I ever had “moves like”, Jagger. But her gaze was noticeably fixed upon my mid-rift and, there was a discernible look of pity in her eyes.
OK, OK, I admit it, I’m no stranger to the nose-bag; I enjoy having my face down in the trough just as much as the next guy but I’M NOT FAT!!!!! Rather, I’m a man of substance, a well-nourished titan of a man, not some salad-munching, drink-of-water, who pigs out on nut-rissoles twice a week and has to change into sweat pants, as a result. In any case, those scales that stand so ostentatiously in the corner of the garage by the filing cabinet containing all the take-out menus that have provided a life-saving, lifeline since the start of the pandemic, are not to be trusted. They taunt me with their quantitative-assessment capabilities, but are bloody liars that deserve to have their batteries removed.
When I was a younger man, before I hit that pinnacle of the bell-curve at 40, I was slim and trim. Indeed, whilst in school, I was so skinny that my class mates used to call me “skins”. But once I progressed deeper into my 40s, gradually, I began to look more like the “bell-curve” than a mere statistical representation within it. But I kept telling myself, as I still do, from time to time, its not so bad. I just have to walk more, ease up on the pastry and continue to avoid mirrors and those reprehensible liars in the corner of the garage.
Whenever there is the possibility that I may succumb to the lure of what psychologists refer to as, "the confirmation bias”, or in other words, whenever I need some awakening to reality as it is, as opposed to what I want it to be, I have Lily, and of course, my dear wife, to shock me out of my complacency and into corrective action.
“What is that dear? Put the pastry down, you say, and go put the batteries back in the scales?”