There is absolutely no significance to my choice of photo for today's Blog. It's my shadow on the beach. Sometimes I'm just silly. But actually I guess you can see from this photo that I tend to stand very straight.
The reason I mention it as that as I was walking home from Pilates class this morning, I cut through a park as I usually do. Nearly every time I make this walk back home, I pass an older gentleman sitting in a wheelchair, wearing his very snappy hat. He is usually smoking a cigar and reading the newspaper. But occasionally he will nod as me as I pass. I smile and say good morning and that it usually the end of that.
Today, however, as I passed him, in this very deep rusty voice, he said, "Do you mind if I tell you that you have excellent posture?' I fairly beamed (a compliment is a compliment after all) and said, "I don't mind at all. Thank you very much" and continued on my way. What a lovely thing to say. And not the usual sort of compliment that a person might receive but I appreciated it nonetheless.
I do have excellent posture, when standing. Sitting is an entirely different thing. I slump, I lean and curl up, I have terrible sitting posture. But standing, my posture is rockstar. I think there are three reasons. First of all, I'm short. If I think tall thoughts and stand very straight I'm five foot two inches exactly. The world is no longer created for shorties like me and it's easy for us to be overlooked. I stand as tall as I possibly can to make sure people are aware that I exist. I do not know it for fact, but I'm going to guess that most short people have good posture.
The second reason I think I have good posture is that I had this violin teacher when I was a kid who was huge on posture and correct violin playing form. We stood while playing and she would circle us, listening to us play and if our arms were in the wrong position we would hear the whistle of her own violin bow swinging through the air and then feel the sting on it on our forearms. Immediately we would correct our arms. If we slumped the teeniest bit next we would feel the point of her violin bow stabbing into the center of our backs and we instantly stood properly. You only need to experience that a few times and without thinking about it, your posture and playing position becomes as it should be. And clearly the lesson stuck with me.
The third reason well, perhaps it's because I am a happy person. I think happy people walk taller, stand straighter, head up looking around, seeing what there is to see, smiling and nodding at people as they go by. Unhappy, sad, shy people look down. I used to be that person, that's how I know. Back then I was terrified that someone might notice me. Don't look up, you might accidentally make eye contact! That's the desire to specifically not be noticed, looking down, shoulders forward, trying to be as small and inconspicuous as possible. Tha'ts not me anymore. I stand straight and tall and meet the day square in the eye.
I need to work on my sitting posture, I know. But as soon as my fanny hits a seat I just seem to curl into myself. I assume a cat-like position, whether I'm reading, or having a conversation or watching TV, I get comfy. Not that standing tall isn't comfortable, it absolutely is, but sitting board straight doesn't seem to be. I remember being taught that a ladies back should never touch the chair back. I also remembering wondering why chairs had backs if we weren't supposed to ever touch it. We, girls, were supposed to sit, feet together and flat on the floor, hands folded in our laps, on the edge of our chairs, back absolutely ruler straight. I can do it. But I so do not want to. It feels rigid. It feels unyielding and unfriendly and uncomfortable. The very concept of "sit" to me says "relax". And relax I shall. Legs crossed or feet up, curled into a ball or sprawled across the sofa, I am the essence of comfortable. Since I'm no longer being graded on it, and there is no one around to scold me if I slack off, and my violin teacher is no where in sight with her killer violin bow, I think it's safe to curl into my chair with my book and be at my ease regardless of the appearance.
Still it's nice to know that without a seconds thought, while standing and walking, I'm still looking good.
Any day that starts with an unexpected compliment is a good day. Today is a good day.
I hope yours is too!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.