Big Girl Pants*

(In which I crown myself the King Of Digression and inappropriately capitalize things.)

*In case you’re English: I mean trousers. Not underpants.

Today was Volunteer Gig Day, during which I meander on over to a my favourite office downtown and tap away at a keyboard for a couple of hours while talking the ears off of people about my pets, eating their cookies, and drinking their coffee.

(It’s a good gig. They let me bring my dog in sometimes. And did I mention the cookies?)

Anyway, while I was there I had a fascinating conversation with one of my new favourite people. It seems she had this friend, once – Well. I’m sure she’s had a few over the years – and this friend was a larger woman, who had a special pair of pants. Amongst a closet of slacks, this woman had one pair that I shall call her Big Girl Pants.

These pants were for days when she was feeling fat, or had put on a few pounds, etc. She would put on the Big Girl Pants and inevitably collect a handful of compliments throughout the day. “You’re looking fabulous!” and the like. (I imagine. Look, at this point, I’m really extrapolating. It’s my blog. I don’t care.)

Over the years, the woman put on a few more pounds, but it didn’t matter. She would just buy a new pair of Big Girl Pants, go out and reap the rewards.

Now, before anyone starts writing the pissy little letters about how obesity causes heart attacks and diabetes and earthquakes, let’s assume we all know that Being Unhealthy Is Bad. (Do you like my cheap trick of lending gravitas to things by capitalizing them? Me too.)

(Damn, am I the king of digressions or what?)

Anyway, my point is: Being Unhealthy Is Bad. Right? Good. And now, we move on.

The Big Girl Pants are brilliant. As a metaphor, man. Wait, come back! I have a point. (If the point is obvious to you, skip the next paragraph and stick a gold star to your forehead.)

Everyone has something – a conversation they have with themselves, a great song they listen to, a particular shade of (ugh) lipstick, the perfect drink, or a great pair of shoes. I suppose a really lousy day could call for all of the above. A series of really bad days calls for magic pills, but that’s another conversation altogether.The Big Girl Pants are that thing. That thing that picks us up when we’re down, makes us feel better, and can sometimes turn a whole day around.

On an (I promise) related note: a while back I was asked to think about the things I do – hobbies and the like – that make me happy. Things I do just for me that have no outside attachments. I. Had. Nothing. Not a damn thing. I mean really, who has time? (I do.) Do any of you have these magical hobbies that you enjoy just for yourselves? What are they? I imagine they’re art. Or, wait, knitting. I hear that can be soothing, though personally it makes me want to do horrible things with the needles.

So I’m cultivating things. New hobbies. What do I love? Apparently I can’t just steal things from my friends and pretend that I love them. (Look, I want to love gardening, I do. But it’s so much work. And I don’t like growing things I can’t eat, which means I can’t use any industrial strength slug killers or – right. Digressions.) I’m working on it. No suggestions, please – one of those things, you know?

To tie it in: I think having the things that make us happy makes a big difference in day-to-day life. Maybe it doesn’t have to be a hobby; maybe it’s a five-minute dance party in the kitchen by yourself. So my first question is: What are the day-to-day things that you do just for yourself?

And if all that fails, we bust out the Big Girl Pants.

My Big Girl Pants fall somewhere between a really, really great song played really, really loudly in the car, and my brown leather boots. They just make me happy. They make clopping sounds when I walk, and that makes me feel like I have somewhere to go, and that’s reassuring to some sad  part of me. (Sorry, sad part. Didn’t mean it.) My second question, in case you didn’t see this coming a mile away, is:  What about you? What are your Big Girl Pants?

I’ll get back to some more depression-related stuff soon. I just took a week off the internet as part of a writing challenge, and now I’m back with a bunch of ideas. This one came up today, though, and needed to be written (before it was forgotten!) so thanks for bearing with me.

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8 thoughts on “Big Girl Pants*

  1. WHOA! SO MANY FLYING METAPHORS!!!

    I don’t have hobbies either. I think of them as interests or pursuits. Music, writing, Skyrim, etc. Those make me happy. Glad you dig your boots. I may have to get my black ones out and clop around in them.

    • We need some air-to-metaphor missiles, here.

      I want to think of writing as a hobby, but I think the point this person was trying to make was of a hobby that has no . . . I don’t know. Drive, or something, associated with it. Like crocheting. I’ve been making this stupid crochet blanket since 1999. I couldn’t care less that it’s not done, and it’s just sort of mildly entertaining.

      I just feel like I could aim higher than ‘mildly entertaining’.

      Go boots!

  2. I’m kind of in the same boat, but I guess going to the gym would be my thing, though it’s more to me than a hobby… I find there’s lots of stuff I like doing but never take the time to do – like sitting in the car listening to rain. You know, ‘me time’ type things.

    However, on the same note – I spent today skiing, which I haven’t done in ten years, and I think I’m going to make a point of buying skis this spring. That will force me to use them next year or suffer the endless guilt my brain will launch at me every time I see them. You see, guilt can be an effective self motivator. I don’t know if I’d recommend it though.

    So, a work in progress. Interesting timing though, thanks for writing it down.

  3. Hmmm…changes by the season. 🙂 In late spring and summer, it is grabbing a beer and going to sit outside with our youngest dog after work. I write in my journal about whatever takes my fancy; he runs around like a dingo, and occasionally fetches things. Something about this ritual just makes my day better, no matter how lousy it’s been.

    In fall and winter it’s more like curling up with a tasty snack and a good book, because I don’t have much time to read, so I treasure it. An evening spent doing that will generally improve my mood.

    On lovely days, a leisurely bike ride in the evening as the sun is going down (my favorite time of day} does wonders. And whipping out a fresh shiny new pen of awesomeness to scribble with is fantastic in a pinch (simple pleasures, simple minds?). 😉 I am rediscovering my love of fountain pens recently; I see expensive purchases and bottles of multi-colored ink in my future.

    I also have artistic hobbies, like painting figures. For many years now that’s actually been my job, and I missed it being my hobby. Now my job has changed, and I will be able to go back to enjoying painting again, for its own sake. 🙂

    • All of these things sound like excellent Big Girl Pants. I like the idea of going back to hobbies v. jobs – my dad used to say: “A surefire way to ruin a hobby you love is to have someone pay you to do it.”

      So there’s that.

  4. I have stupid songs that I listen to when the world seems so fucked up that I can’t stand it anymore. For a long time it was the Kesha Star Trek party song, then it went to the Charlie Sheen Winning songify video. It’s currently this: http://youtu.be/wyx6JDQCslE

    Because honestly, if singing “wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle” isn’t going to make me laugh, then nothing will.

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