A Record Of Our Lives

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

I was shaving my legs the other day and it reminded me of my impression of wood flooring; explanation required.  In our last home, my husband and I installed hardwood flooring in the dining room and living room.  With great attention to detail and a keen interest in a beautiful finish, I would lay out each piece, just as I felt it would look best.  I would plan the spacing of the colour variations and the distance between each seam while my husband would hammer each piece in.  Laying this floor took hours and of course, the beautiful result would ensure that I took extra care of our new flooring.

Despite the rich appearance that hardwood flooring portrays, the wood can be easily blemished and the result can often be a nick or mark unless you sand the floor down and refinish it.  Okay, I am not a flooring expert so I wouldn’t guarantee that sanding is the only way to repair the floor but for this story today, it is.  Because of my fear of scratching or marking the floor, I was always very aware of any item falling and what mark remained so much that I knew how each mark on this floor came to be.  This ‘obsession’ was becoming a fault.  One day, my husband expressed to me that he liked to consider every mark on hardwood flooring as the ‘history’ of the home and of our family.  This wisdom had fantastic influence on me, instead of being paranoid and annoyed by something being dropped, I would ignore it and if I was aware of any new mark on the floor, I embraced it was just us, making memories in our home.

More recently I was at a friend’s home where she has an old, wooden table from her grandmother.  My friend had mentioned that they would like to refinish the table but it held many fantastic family memories including a burn mark from something hot being placed on the table by her grandmother.  My friend was pleased to embrace a part of her family history and looking forward to recreating some of her treasured memories from her childhood with her Grandmother into treasured memories for her own children in the future, based around the same old table.

Shaving my legs, I was once again aware of the veins that were much more prominent then they were years ago.  Now, I am well aware of my ‘justifying’ personality; I may consider this trait a coping mechanism for surviving disappointment and avoiding regret.  Yes, these prominent veins needed a few extra moments of thought and ‘justifying’. I began to analyze (not so consciously) in my mind where I felt these veins came from; were these veins from years of running?  I decided to embrace these veins, as I do have fond memories of running, I should be thankful I had that opportunity and I am able to run.  I began to think about other ‘marks’ on my body that are like the hardwood on the floor or old wooden table, every mark on my body holds a memory and is an example of places I’ve been or what has made me who I am today.

This new found impression of myself is going to help me justify and adopt an overall new outlook on each little imperfection on me; just like the hardwood, each part of me is an impression of where I’ve been and has made me who I am today.  The scar under my eye is a reminder of a time as a free spiritied, naive young adult, I was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Marks on my skin from the sun hold memories of sunny days, sunny vacations, new adventures and warm weather.  My permanently damaged fingernail is a memory of playing with my sister as a child.  The resulting body I hold after having my two little boys is a blessing I can embrace because I would rather have my new imperfections then to be without my beautiful boys.  The lines and wrinkles on my face are a part of me, they show I have experience and have gained wisdom because of it.

Much like the flooring, we begin life with a beautiful, young, fresh body, without any marks.  This body can be easily blemished so we can spend our life protecting and dwelling on our flaws or we  can live and embrace the inevitable imperfections as our proof that we lived, and enjoyed our life.