Yesterday found the love of my immediate life and I driving into Banff to have a little soak in the Upper Hot Springs, it is something that we both enjoying doing when we are in the vicinity of any natural Hot Spring to be honest. There is just something about it - now you already know about my nightly soak history dear imaginary reader but this is different.
Perhaps it begins with the historical nature of the location and the building itself - the feel of the soft warm water wrapping you in imagined safety and healing....Banff Upper Hot Springs is the highest operating Hot Spring in Canada at 5,200 feet (hot springs.ca). The gift store has souvenirs where you can purchase bathing suits both of current fashion and historical suits. The building where you enter the Hot Springs is a renovated historical building. It is easy to conjure up an image of people as my kids would say “back in the day” enjoying time in the spring in their fashionable suits..coming up the hill by horse and buggy.
Yesterday we were able to get a parking spot fairly close so TLOMIL didnt have far to walk up hill with his bum knee, the Hot Spring was bout 1/4 full. Lots of space to float or stand, easy to grab a jet to blast what ever sore spot you had. Bright, warm sun shining on your face...eyes closed, feel the steam...ahhhhhh. Heaven. There were people of all shapes and sizes - but all we could hear was English being spoken. I found this to be strange - normally our apres soak convo involves discussing the number of languages we heard.
I hopped up on the edge to cool off a bit , enjoying one of our family past times, people watching. There were people of all ages, a cute toddler in their swimming diaper practsing jumping into the “kiddie pool” with a grin from ear to ear when ever they were able to “stick” their landing. A group of older men sitting in a line having a serious political conversation - a group of tweens taking selfies of each other with a shared IPhone through the plastic cover of a dry bag. There were a number of women enjoying their soak in shorts and tee shirts. My favorites where the women of my vintage, some skinny, some my size or bigger.
As I cooled on the side and thought to myself, good for you ladies for having the confidence to feel awesome and secure in a two piece bathing suit I overheard three early twenty year old ladies to my right discuss the same ladies I was thinking of. The opinions they had were far different than my own. The were comparing their own bikini clad bodies with those of the older ladies - down to length of their torso, width of thighs - what where the older generation thinking wearing these suits - just look at their breasts!!! It took everything within me to listen to the imaginary voices of my girls in my head telling me that this was not the place to loose my shit. Why?? I mean seriously, why do we women do this to each other? WHY???
I wish that I could tell you that I have never done this dastardly thing, but that would be a big fat lie. I have compared myself to other women, but in my case generally, I come up lacking.
Why is it that for the most part it seems that we look for flaws in each other instead of seeing the positive? Why do we do this at all? Is this behavior something men do? If not, then why don’t they? Why is it that women feel they have to be taller, skinnier, color their hair, dress appropriately? Most men I know are happy if they comb their hair and match (though there are a couple that have no freaking concept of what the word “match” even means hahah). Ooohhh maybe that was mean....
I ended up having a conversation with the younger ladies, easy for me to talk to strangers than those I know, none the less a baby step backward on the tightrope I think. I promise Teach and LLB that I said nothing about my thoughts about their conversation, though on second thought perhaps I should have.
TLOMIL and I left the Hot Springs to wander about downtown Banff. A beauty day with mountains as the back ground. We came upon the weekly Farmers Market, found some yummy food, Gin (WOOT), and lovely people. While there, I again overheard a group of ladies criticizing one of the vendors appearance. Why?
So dear imaginary readers, I challenge you to stop criticizing and start supporting. Let’s start actually telling the man or woman something positive...lift people up instead of cutting them down. Let’s change the “Why” are we criticizing to “Why are we not” handing out a complement . Learning how to accept support and compliments is somehthing that I am not good at, I am sure that many of you dear imaginary readers aren’t either. A couple of weeks ago a friend shared her support of me with me, I said thanks and quickly changed the subject. I was uncomfortable, and I should not have been. Shoulda grabbed her up in a hug and said thanks. Let’s get good at giving and receiving.
Hey dear imaginary reader - thanks for taking the time to find me. To read my thoughts, fears and dreams. You make my day!