Attack of the If Onlys


At yoga the other night I was trying to arrange my creaky old body into something that approximated a shoulder stand.

In the process, my tummy was compressed so hard that I was convinced the salmon salad I had eaten for lunch 5 hours ago was going to come back and wave at me. And I felt as if my tummy was falling down to meet my boobs- which makes a change from feeling as if my boobs are pulling my face down. All in all, the picture was not attractive.

Then there were the cross legged poses. These days there simply isn’t room for all of my leg material to cross- and the same problem applies with the tummy.

None of this used to happen. I didn’t used to feel this old or this fat or this creaky. It didn’t used to hurt. I used to be supremely flexible- even at 9 months pregnant I could still plant my palms on the floor or reach centimetres past my toes.

Not any more.

But then I also used to be able to do a lot of things that now seem to have suddenly disappeared from my repertoire. And it got me thinking

Are the phrases used to and if only the saddest phrases in the English language?

Are they, in fact, the potato chip/crisp packet of phrases?

You know- when you open a packet of chips intending to have just one? How often do you put it away after having just one? No, I didn’t think so.

The if onlys and used to be’s  are exactly the same. Allow yourself just one, and before you know it, you have a full on binge fest on your hands.

  • I used to fit into those jeans
  • I used to be able to sit in lotus
  • I used to be able to butterfly lap after lap
  • I used to have shoulders
  • I used to be able to dance all night in heels

Don’t start me on the “if onlys”- I’m a Pisces, so have to work hard to not allow myself to stray too far into victim territory…but you know the drill:

  • If only I had more time
  • If only I had more money
  • If only I had a partner
  • If only my partner was more (or less)…

Unfortunately, the if onlys are close relatives of that motley crew of rednecks- the coulda, woulda shoulda brothers…

  • If only I had a partner I would have bought that house
  • If only I had more time I could have finished that book
  • I should have been a millionaire by now if only I had the money to go to University
  • If only I’d had more self discipline, I’d be as flexible now as I used to be.

The if onlys, used to be’s and the redneck brothers are all drinking partners of the Big Daddy of them all- the King of Wishful Thinking, his consort- Be Careful What You Wish For and that manipulative bitch Regret.

When they all get together for a pity party in your head, there isn’t a dry eye in the house.

The problem is that when all of these guys get together, it means that you don’t have time to chat with Enjoy the Now, Unlimited Possibilities and Right in Front of You.

Having said that, I still wish I could bend and stretch like I used to…

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

One thought

  1. Oh yes… I needed to read this right now. Am just doing some homework for a coaching session I do with someone in the US (I’m the one being coached!) and my big blurb was about my victim-like behaviour… Poor me. Pity Party hostess with the mostest!

    And I am the Queen of the IF ONLY.

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