an analogy

Once upon a time a man went to a tailor to have a suit made for him - bespoke - as they say. He chose a very good fabric and left it with the tailor. Several weeks passed before the tailor called him to tell him his suit was ready. So he went and tried it on. It didn’t seem to fit too well.

“Look,” he said to the tailor. “I think the right sleeve is a little too long.”

“No problem,”said the tailor. “Just raise your right shoulder a little and then the sleeve will fit your arm. "

The man did so and the sleeve lifted off his wrist nicely. “Okay,” he said, what about the left leg. It’s too short.”

“That’s easily fixed,” said the tailor. “Just bend your knee slightly and pull your leg back. It’ll be fine.”

The man did as instructed and his left trouser leg fell into place where it should be. “What about the collar?” he said. “It’s lying low and loose at the back.”

“Stretch your neck above it,” the tailor said. The man stretched his neck and the collar laid flat across the back.

“I don’t know,” he said. “What do you think?"

"Walk around and let me take a look,” said the tailor and after a moment, he smiled in approval.

“But what will people say?"

“People will say,” said the tailor, "there goes a deformed man in a beautiful suit.”

I do have a point.

Yesterday I had my second interview with CLSA. The last one was five years ago.In case you didn’t know or remember, CLSA stands for Canadian Longtitudinal Studies in Ageing. It’s a long-term survey of older people, their health and habits.I have read of several such surveys in the United States but this is the only one I know of in Canada, so far.

I didn’t enjoy it as much this time round. It seemed to me to be more concerned with my physical health than with my mental acuity. As you may have surmised, I try to keep fit, to stay on top of my aches and pains, that is, to ignore them and/or to walk through or away from them.Of course, everyone (most people?) compensate for their shortcomings and keep going. I realised, as I answered the questions, how much I have compromised with my various problems, successfully, I might add. I do not take painkillers or other medication. That’s when I thought of the man and his custom-made suit.It was he who shifted his body to suit the suit. I guess I’ve done that, altered my behaviour to suit my body’s requirements.

I’ll be fascinated to see how I’m doing in five years.