It’s What You Do

I met a woman while stretching in the park.

What I first noticed about her was, the emotional weight she seemed to carry along with some on her hips and thighs.  Since we were the only ones there, I decided to speak to her.

“If you don’t mind me asking, what’s the matter?  I see you’re agitated first thing in the morning.”

She looked at me pensively.

“Since you asked, I just hate myself for not doing more.  I’m trying to lose weight…chemo weight that just won’t budge.  And all I can manage is one full turn around the track.” (a little under a mile and a half)

I digested this, having been there myself, though long ago, before someone said these magic words.

“It’s what you do, not what you don’t do .”

We are so hard on ourselves, and here’s a woman who clearly, has been in the valley, as they say, beating herself up for not accomplishing more.

I’ve never had chemo, thank God, but know those who’ve had, and it’s no picnic.  So after enduring its many slights, to put it mildly, I felt the need to raise this woman from self-hatred to hero.

“You know, for the record, only 1 out of 10 people exercise, 6 of them inconsistently,  meaning, you’re in the higher group of those who’ve committed to a regimen.”

She thought about this for a moment, while stretching her calves, then saying, “I do come out every day, even if I’m not up to it.  If I can’t run, I walk, then stretch before going home.”

“That’s great, not to mention impressive.”

She was so pleased to hear this, as if it never occurred to her, her whole demeanor appearing to change.”

“I’m so glad we met,” she said, smiling for the first time. “My name is Marion, and it’s been a pleasure meeting you.”

“I’m Susannah, and likewise,” I said, as she proceeded to leave. “And

try to remember Marion, it’s what you do, not what you don’t do.”



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in Health, Love, Sports, women, words and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to It’s What You Do

  1. I deeply want to remember:
    “It’s what you do, not what you don’t do.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. micklively says:

    Why can’t more folk be like you? What did it cost you to make a real positive difference to Marion’s life? Two or three minutes of attention maybe? Not, I submit, a heavy price to pay!
    Way to go, Susannah.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    Words can instantly crush a happy soul or let a heavily laden soul take flight. You didn’t just lighten her mood for a few moments, Susannah, I believe you permanently changed her outlook. And how perceptive of you to pick up on her demeanor to begin with.

    Liked by 2 people

    • When you travel alone Skinny, as I do most of the time, and being a child of two alcoholics, you have senses like a cat. I see things others don’t. It’s a bit of a burden to be quite frank, but I can never in true conscience turn away pretending I don’t see.

      I felt for her.


  4. If we can touch one person with positive words, our own lives are enlightened too.
    A true example of RAOK – Random Act Of Kindness – Susannah. Nicely done … : – )

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gail Kaufman says:

    “It’s what you do” sounds a lot better than the typical fitness mantra of “challenge yourself.” Every time I challenge myself, I strain something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Forgive me, but that’s funny. I was so competitive with myself, never achieving enough, when this yogi I met after watching him stand on his head, he couldn’t get to a class because of something or other, and he said it out loud, to himself, and guess whose ears were flapping?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. MJ says:

    Susannah, in this post and in so many others, you illuminate a dimension of generosity that’s within everyone’s capacity, and it’s truly inspiring. You’re a veritable Little Flower!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Patricia says:

    \O/ You are wonderful! I am sure this woman will never forget you. I love the advice. I need it tattooed somewhere. Well, maybe just a note on my mirror.


  8. Thank goodness there are intuitive people like you still roaming the earth without their face in a phone to recognize those souls that need a little sugar. No doubt in my mind that this woman will not forget your words and will be instinctively lead to pay it forward. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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