Inspirational thoughts and random writings from the alumni and friends of Quad-Cities Christian Writers Conference.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Of Swimsuits and Carrots

By Kristi Paxton

Swimsuit season is a bright orange carrot dangling in front of my long, gray winter. Yearly, I anticipate the day I can trade my parka and gray skies for a swimsuit and eternal sunshine. Shopping for a swimsuit feeds my fantasy.

Fantasy over.

In reality, the amount of joy I get from my new swimsuit can fit into a thimble—profound since the volume of a thimble is equal to the volume of a swimsuit bottom. And speaking of bottom, I always struggle with the act of putting mine into any swimsuit. Drat! And so begins swimsuit-disappointment season.

Nevertheless, I suspect that:

1. Most of us look awesome in a swimsuit from age 0 to age 24. We never relish those gorgeous years, since we can’t reconcile media’s airbrushed Barbie with the reality that women are uniquely and individually shaped. Covered up, we shuffle shyly to the water, planning our next diet. We waste youth on the young, missing our day in the sun.

2. From age 24 to age 62.5, we think we look bad in a swimsuit. Why do we believe this? Because our culture defines “looking good in a swimsuit” this way:
a. Capable of modeling in the Sports Illustrated annual swimsuit issue.
b. Having a bottom the size of a thimble.

We do not learn the beautiful truth until age 62.5 when we realize that life is short. For proof, visit any warm climate in the dead of winter. Older-but-wiser humans stroll on beaches, pick up shells, splash in the water, enjoy their day in the sun and smile. They finally live life to the full, just as the Bible advised. Their golden tan bulges look “mahh-velous” when coupled with a smile. And if they do look bad in their swimsuits, well then who really cares?

Yet God has made everything beautiful in its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.
Ecclesiastes 3:11-12, NLT

Kristi Paxton left a 26-year Postmaster career to become a substitute teacher, freelance writer and MadHousewifespokesmodel. She loves her childhood sweetheart-turned-husband, two grown children and a dog named Ziggy. Kristi writes features for the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier and submits pieces to anything that sounds interesting.  Her hobbies include writing, painting, reading, kayaking, skiing, budget travel, drinking coffee and having ideas. She has an idea that she’d like to be on a beach right now. She lives in the woods outside Cedar Falls, Iowa.


  1. 1st - thanks so much for making me think about bathing suit season - ugh!

    2nd - the truth is the truth, no matter how much I dread it ;) I am uniquely designed and as long as I am walking the path that I am called to walk then I will fit into that design. Perfect confirmation of what I was just writing!

  2. Thanks so much Kristi for a great reminder that what God sees and what we see are NOT the same!

  3. This is great and so true, especially since I'm going to Florida soon. I think I'll just have a great IS too short.

  4. Huh. Maybe I'll just go ahead and buy a month of pool use at Cedarberry Inn in spite of swimsuit antipathy! It's good exercise. It's a warm pool. You make my excuses sound obsolete. Why should I wait to hop in until I'm 62.5?