"Marsi, you look radiant. I am so happy to see you!", exclaimed my colleague as she offered an affectionate hug upon my arrival at her office.
"Happy to be seen," I said, my standard reply.
This is how my conversation started, yesterday afternoon. This is how many conversations start that I have had since I went back to work. In this instance, my colleague is truly one of the most genuine people I know. Smart too. She has a heart of gold and the success that goes along with a smart person who is generous with her time and gentle in her manner. She is a grant officer for a large foundation. We have spent many lunches together, dining over discussion of children, soccer, vacations and our work.
As usual, we had a wonderful lunch together. We laughed. We talked about her the family cruise she had recently taken. We talked about business. After spending the lunch hour with one of my favorite people, I ventured back to my office satisfied. However, as my thoughts became solely mine and I started to strategize how to attack the work on my desk, my mind wandered through what had been our conversation of the afternoon. I thought to myself, what about me is so radiant? How is it that everyone keeps telling me how good I look? What am I missing?
Looking in the mirror myself, I see the same Marsi that I have seen for the past 39 years. My hair is shorter and curlier than ever before, but for the most part, it is the same Marsi. More than that, I have gained weight. Not anything to worry too much about. Just enough that the smaller clothes that were fitting me last month, are not fitting so well right now. It is almost as if the weight I lost on the top went right to my hips. It hardly seems fair, but then again, what about this disease is fair? Of course, the disease has nothing to do with it. The dark chocolate covered acai berries with blueberry from Costco, had everything to do with it though!!
Not to give anyone the wrong idea here. I am not fishing for compliments nor do I have low self-esteem. When someone tells me how "good" I look or that I am "radiant", I just sometimes feel like saying, "As opposed to like death warmed over?" I realize that people do not know what exactly to say sometimes and are just trying to be nice. However, like in the case of my colleague, that is not her style. Genuine to the bone, I know she would not tell me how good I look, if she did not think so. So, then what is it?
Like everything else in my life, I tend not to dwell on things too much. Maybe she just liked my shade of lipstick. Either way, I will take it. And if you want to call me radiant too, well then thank you. Goodness knows, all the support in the world has been thrown my way over the course of the last year. And this is just one more show of it and for that, I remain grateful.....and radiant.