A few years back the family headed up to Wisconsin Dells for one of those intense indoor waterpark experiences in the dead of winter. The kind where it doesn’t matter if it’s 356 degrees below zero outside because you’re in a climate controlled indoor experience that is nice and warm (though the humidity is approximately 172%).
Humidity aside, it is a great time to go down many crazy, zig-zaggy water slides and have some sopping wet fun. Me being the practical (aka miserly) girl I am, I didn’t want to wear my good swimsuit to go down all the slides. After all—I might wreck it—and where would that leave me come summer? (I know many women are shouting, “At the mall with a great reason to get a new suit!” but I find shopping for swimsuits about as desirable as eating my own hair, coughing it up, and eating it all over again. Too graphic? Maybe, but I think you better understand my feelings on swimsuit shopping.)
There was just one problem with my thrifty plan: the elastic had up and died in my old suit. Luckily I brought a pair of swim shorts to go over the suit (hey—I never claimed to be a fashion maven), but this did not solve the problem. While the shorts offered coverage, the exhausted elastic meant that every time I went down a slide (or pretty much did anything), the suit gave me a nice little wedgie.
I grew somewhat adept at demurely fixing the wedgie each time my suit scurried its way north, but it was a constant nag on my swimtastic experience, and it was really dampening my spirit.
And then I had an a-ha moment.
I realized I needed to embrace the wedgie.
You see, I was fighting it because I knew it wasn’t supposed to be—but what if I accepted it as reality and embraced it? What if I told myself that the wedgie was supposed to be there? It was in this moment that I realized that embracing the wedgie meant that I needed to stop fighting physics and work with it instead.
Granted, this took some getting used to, but from the moment I told myself “let it stay—this is my new normal” I felt a bit of a shift in dynamics (as well as my wardrobe). I owned that wedgie, and that made it less annoying.
When our time there was up, I gladly threw the suit in the garbage, but I didn’t forget the lesson. There are experiences in life where what is happening is not ideal but also inescapable for that span of time. I can fight against it and maybe have a moment’s relief, but the annoyance will be all the more frustrating the second it returns. Or…I can accept it for what it is—a “life wedgie” that I need to put up with for a while, and by doing so, lessen the nagging irritation.
And there you have the simple moral of the story, my friends: sometimes you need to embrace the wedgie in order to have as much joy as you can flying down the water slides of life.