Sulli stared over at Jude. Sleeping like a little angel, quiet, innocent, pure. She didn’t often feel like ‘mother’ was a title she loudly proclaimed as other women did. She often times felt like ‘mother f*****’ was a more obvious title and at times a title she proudly embraced. Sulli quietly giggled at her self deprecating joke. It was another reminder that Sulli was different. There were mothers her age that carefully planned and worked so hard to gain the title. They looked forward to the day they would become ‘mother’ and could give their mothers the gift of ‘grandmother’. The acknowledgement of mothers and grandmothers would just remind Sulli of what she was missing. There are enough reminders of that. Sulli, the motherless mother who never planned for anything and just let life kick her around like a soccer ball. Sulli decided long ago making plans was not her forte. What’s the point in making big plans? It’s like setting up dominoes. Tediously, assembling one little rectangle after another, creating a long, intricate path of carefully placed game pieces. Only to have one wrong move, a large gust of wind, a jerk of the elbow, knock each and every domino down in mere seconds. Big plans, big disappointments.
As she sat staring at Jude the television was quietly on in the background. Sulli tuned in when she heard the term ‘inner fitness’. What the hell was inner fitness? A woman named Tina Lifford was on doing an interview about a book she had written.
‘So many of us have been living our lives in survival mode. And survival mode has you just dealing with whats in front of you. But to actually live your best life. To make sure you don’t leave your life on the table. You have to be pro-active. Inner fitness is being fit on the inside. Developing mental, emotional, and spirtual skills and practices that support you. So you can strive instead of survive.’ ,Tina Lifford spoke. ‘Anytime we tell ourselves we aren’t good enough, that’s a lie. Anytime a person, event, or experience left you feeling not good enough, disconnected from yourself and your sense of what’s possible for your life. They left us with a dark spot. You are bigger than any experience, it does not define you. It lifts you up.’
Experiences did define Sulli. Maybe Tina Lifford never experienced loss that was as devastating as a natural disaster. Those losses changed Sulli and shaped her into the person she was today. Maybe Tina Lifford was right and Sulli just never learned ‘inner fitness’. If that was true why did valuable and helpful information always reach Sulli just a little too late? Perhaps it was Irony again. Irony! Life’s best friend and most trusted teacher. Sulli laughed. Once again vital, valuable information that Sulli learned through another knock out in her theoretical boxing ring. How to maintain , navigate through negativity, sail safely back to sanity. There it was, right in front of her on the television, right in Tina Lifford’s book.
But then again, Sulli liked who she had become, she had ‘inner fitness’. She went round after round. She keeps getting back up. Sulli now embraces her too big smile, it’s plastered on her face all the time.
‘How are you always smiling?’ People ask.
‘It’s because I’m crazy.’ They laugh at Sulli’s answer. But she’s serious. Crazy, crazy like an old man who tripped out too much in the seventies. Crazy like someone in love. Crazy like a fox.
Sulli smiled widely, Tina Lifford had one less person in the world that would be purchasing her book. Without ‘inner fitness’ this crazy fox would still smile, everyday.