For years, I was the one who was always the butt of the jokes in the family.
I was the one who brought my own meals to barbeques and holidays, turned down cakes and pies and ice cream and chips and candy and cookies at family events. I come from one of thoe traditional Irish catholic families....so there were ALOT of family events....mostly because there were ALOT of family members. Just in June, we have over 8 birthdays. Just in JUNE. Of course, everyone has to have their own party.
Being the OLDEST of all the first cousins didn't really help matters.
I was the first to leave parties to get up for those silly races.
I brought my own food.
I didn't get drunk with them.
I was the perfect target. The ultimate Goody Two Shoes.
But I took it all in stride. It was all in good fun.
One year, I mentioned that for my birthday I'd like for everyone to do a 5k with me.
You could hear a pin drop.
Before my grandparents died, the Family was on a constant mission to fatten me up.
Over the years, the Family has grown and grown and grown. My 30 first cousins have now an average of 5 kids each. (Them Greeks got nothin' on us). So, the Family has split up into smaller more manageable groupings for birthdays and holidays.
About a week ago, we had a psuedo Family reunion. It was impromptu but every was able to make it. Now, I hadn't seen many of my first cousins for quite a few years. (Barring funerals....but I don't count that because everyone looks like crap at funerals).
Here at the reunion....everyone was having a good time, laughing, drinking, eating, dancing, all the normal stuff.
Then, I mistakenly took one of my first cousins (one of the youngest ones) for her MOTHER. My Aunt.
That's when I started looking around. I realized that everyone looked so old. SO much older than they are.
My *thing* has always been that I don't mind looking my age. I'm 42 and a half. :) I just didn't want to look OLDER than I am.
But looking at everyone that day, I realized how much YOUNGER than everyone I looked.
Younger than the youngest. The cousins close to my age? They looked at least 20 years older.
I don't know if I actually look younger than my age or if they look so much older than their's.
I just know that sometimes being the butt of jokes is a good thing.
If you're reading this, and you know someone like me: *THAT* person...the one always getting up early on Sundays to train for some silly race or the one always watching what they eat or the one people always guess to be younger than they are.....
that can be you too.
Just ask if you can go watch the race.
Ask them what they are training for.
Ask them what they eat.
Then, make the decision to change one thing for that month. Get up in the morning and walk for 20 minutes. Don't run, don't try to go fast....just walk.
But do it every single day.
Commit to it.
Commit for yourself, your family, your friends.
Before you know, you'll be the butt of all the jokes in your family.