In a few weeks, we’re heading down south and taking the kids on their very first trip to an all-inclusive Carribean resort.
Here are just a few of the things on my to-do list:
- Force the kids to try on all of their summer clothes that I optimistically packed away in September, in complete denial of the fact that in the six months that have elapsed since then, they’re bound to have outgrown everything.
- Go shopping for completely new summer wardrobes for both kids once I see that not one stitch of clothing I lovingly washed and folded and packed away still fits them.
- Inventory and set aside each and every item we’ll be packing.
- Defy the laws of physics by packing said items into two suitcases and four carry-ons.
- Pray that the Canadian dollar rallies the day before I go to the Currency Exchange and not the day after.
- Make all of the arrangements regarding missed school work, piano lessons and kung fu practices.
- Water the plants, cancel the newspaper, take out the garbage, turn down the furnace, verify the insurance, pay the bills, return the library books, run the dishwasher and verb the noun of whatever else I can think of.
- Lose 10 pounds.
Here’s the ridiculous thing: on every single to-do list that I’ve written for every single major life event in the past 25 years, that last bullet has been there.
It’s varied slightly over time, of course…
My wedding list would have been more along the lines of:
- Order the flowers.
- Taste-test wedding cakes.
- Lose 5 pounds.
The list for my daughter’s first birthday party stipulated:
- Order balloons.
- Make sure the tablecloth, plates, cups, cutlery and napkins colour coordinate with said balloons and that all food being served, including the cake, not only colour-coordinate but adhere to the ladybug theme.
- Lose 25 pounds.
And the list for the trip Luc and I took to Mexico for our 15th anniversary included:
- Book the flights.
- Write each of the kids a personalized letter for every night we’re gone so that they can open them and read them before they go to bed and know that Mommy and Papa still love them and haven’t abandoned them and will be back before they know it.
- Lose 15 pounds.
So why, one might ask, does it take a huge gathering of relatives or the prospect of putting on a bathing suit (or worse, both simultaneously) to put reaching my target weight back on my radar?
Why, one might ask, do I not make healthy eating and exercise a daily commitment so that I am ALWAYS within a respectable range and never have to diet, refrain, deny myself or unduly sweat in advance of yet another event?
Well, one might answer, there’s chocolate. And wine. And lattes. And lasagna. And let’s not forget garlic bread with cheese. And warm banana chocolate chip muffins straight out of the oven. And margaritas! I love me a salty margarita! Especially when it’s served at a swim-up bar!
And, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I hate exercise. Unless swimming up to a swim-up bar for a margarita counts as exercise. Then count me in for a work-out!
I’d love to say it doesn’t matter. That 5 or 25 or 15 or 10 or however many pounds won’t make or break a party or a vacation. It must matter, because it’s always there on every list. But it’s obviously not a priority, because it’s always “to-do” but never “done”.
I’ll have to think on that a little more when I’m sipping on a margarita at the swim-up bar in a few weeks’ time…