I do yoga, so I’m perfect. I only eat organic food, I don’t drink alcohol, I never lose my temper, and I always see the best in everyone and everything. Not!
I was having one of those days when I’d tumbled out of bed and barely had time to wash and dress before settling down at my computer to earn a living. Even so, I knew food stocks were running low, so mid-morning I thought I’d sneak a quick trip to the supermarket. I ran a comb through my hair, put on a slick of lippy, checked that my clothes were at least respectable and set off.
Any other day I would have been there and back without seeing anyone I knew, but not that day. Served me right for being slovenly, I suppose. I was browsing amongst the yoghurts when I heard a voice behind me: ‘Julia? I thought it was you!’
It was one of the women from the edge of my circle: not really a friend, but more than just an acquaintance, and always beautifully turned out. I forced a smile and a cheery reply: ‘It’s just a quick dash out and back for a few basics.’
‘Are you OK? You look rather drawn,’ she continued. Her disapproval of my dishevelled appearance was evident.
‘Fine, thanks, but I can’t stop. Probably see you by the pasta,’ I laughed, feebly.
I hadn’t gone much further when I bumped into a former student. My heart sank as I watched her eyes take in the contents of my trolley, which included a big bar of chocolate. I fought the desire to explain that it was a treat and there was plenty of healthy stuff in there, too. Honestly. So much for leading by example.
It’s all very well if you live in an ashram beyond the reach of temptation, but out here in the real world we face the constant challenge of avoiding what we know is bad for us, and making positive, life-enhancing choices. So let’s not beat ourselves up about it. I’m not perfect; I’m a work in progress. Insert serene smile here.