Perhaps it comes with age, perhaps it comes with more responsibilities, and just plain “adulting,” but it feels as though the “old me” is just that – old and a thing of the past.
Back in the day, before my career started, before marriage, and most definitely before children, I was so care-free, fun even! Where did I go? Who is this grown-up I see in the mirror every morning with dark circles, smile lines, and dare I say crows’ feet starting to form?
I’m not sad, not mourning my pre-“lady” self, but if I hear one more person call me ma’am….
I used to be so fun! I had a nickname, I went to parties, had fun friends, went shopping with my disposable income, and had copious hours of sleep and relaxation.
Now, my version of being fun is having the best Cookie Monster impression, trying a new Pinterest recipe for dinner, or knowing all of the words to any Disney song – any. Parallel that to my party-trick of knowing the words to any rap song, any; seriously, ask around. Now, I have two very small people who think I am incredibly fun, and 27 ten-year olds who think I am mildly fun, some days.
I used to be so well-read, cultured even! I read ALL THE TIME, when I wasn’t being fun of course. I knew all the latest titles, attempted to read most of the classics, and had a vocabulary that caused many-the-eye-roll. I went to the movies, events around town, concerts, etc.
Now my big night out is going to Disney on Ice, I don’t think I’ve read a book beyond a sixth-grade reading level in about 8 years, and I go back and forth between baby talk, and “don’t touch that”, “put on your listening ears”, and “because I said so”. Now I can tell you anything you wanted to know about Harry Potter, and can readily recite any Llama, Llama book.
I used to be so spontaneous, to a degree of course, let’s not get crazy. I may have delusions of grandeur as to exactly how fun and how well-read I was, but I know when to call a spade a spade. To put it plainly, I used to not care about schedules.
Now, schedules are all I ever think about. In fact, I’m typically so immersed in a schedule that I often think it is the next day, rather than the one I am currently in. I am on a schedule at school (to the minute), I am on a schedule at home, cue bottle-feeding, bath time, dinner time, snack time, bed time. Now, spontaneity would entail giving the girls a bath before dinner, gasp!
This raises the question: how and where do I find the “old me?”
She shows up sometimes, definitely during summer break, the occasional dinner party and when the kids “sleep in” until 7:00. How can I find her more often?
I wouldn’t trade the life I have now for anything, but I’d love to have a little more of myself back. As mothers and wives and simply responsible adults, we always give of ourselves to the nth degree. So much so, our identity has a tendency to fade away and become clouded with labels: teacher, lawyer, doctor, manager, mother, wife, partner, care-taker, volunteer, mentor, and advocate, just to name a few.
How do we get back to who we were when we were young?
Maybe it’s making the time to read those books (if you can stay up past 8:30 pm unlike myself), connect with those friends, and attend to those hobbies you used to love.
Or, if you’re like me, put the kids to bed, take a bubble bath, and listen to some Adele – or maybe Dr. Dre.