On a recent Saturday where the stars aligned and I had a few hours to myself, I chose to go to yoga and then swung by the chiropractor on my way home. That’s when it hit me… Not only have I become a stereotypical yuppy, but I’m doing things that my younger self would never have imagined doing. That got me thinking about the things in my life that would really come as a surprise to my younger self, and hence this list was born.
10 Things about my life now that would come as a shock to my younger, single self.
1. I do yoga. Ever since yoga became popular, I insisted that yoga wasn’t for me. I’m not flexible, and I really believed that a workout should get your heart pumping and sweat dripping in order to burn calories. But as my 40th birthday looms nearer, two things have happened. First, I get stiff and though I’ve never been a flexible person, I’ve noticed myself becoming less flexible. Secondly, I have so much going on in my life that I’m often one overflowing bucket of stress with about 1,000 thoughts running through my mind per minute. I tried yoga once when I was about 8 months pregnant, and at that time it confirmed my dislike of yoga. But in July, as part of my Mommy Zen Plan, I gave yoga another try. I’ve found that it really is enjoyable. I’ve given up the idea of shunning it for not being a workout, as my body is challenged, and I now think that there are days in my week where I don’t necessarily need to do the most intense workout possible, but I realize there is benefit in stilling my mind and getting in touch with my body. I have begun to think of yoga as enjoyable as a massage. Almost.
2. I go to a chiropractor. For most of my life, I’ve had a strong aversion to cracking joints. I’d get really grossed out when people would pop their knuckles and my best friend knew that if she really wanted to get to me, she could tackle me and pop my toes (yes, we have a unique relationship, and one of those encounters actually left me with a bloody lip.) But half way through my thirties and well into motherhood (which requires hefting squirming heavy kids and their paraphernalia), I discovered the pain of a pinched nerve, and how a small move can cause a CRACK in your back that pretty much disables you for a few weeks. I ain’t got no time for that, y’all. So I don’t screw around. As soon as my back or neck are out of wack, I head straight to the chiropractor, and I’m pretty sure it speeds recovery. Not 100% sure, but sure enough to go running in after a trip to Wild Island or a ride on the “tube of death” behind my brother’s boat.
3. I drive a mom car, and that mom car is often dirty with kid remnants. When I was 24, I had an awesome job at General Motors, and had one big extragavence of buying myself a shiny red sports car (2000 Trans Am Ram Air with T-tops and a Borla exhaust). I loved that car. I named it. I talked about it like a person. I spent weekends detailing my car. I vowed I would never sell my car. And then I became a wife of a husband that was so tall he barely fit in the car, and a mom that couldn’t easily get the infant seat in the rear seat. The car also didn’t really fit in the garage due to the wide doors (getting out was almost like doing yoga, ironically). It killed me to leave that car outside, where the shiny red paint would eventually fade and the black leather seats would crack. I did the adult thing and sold my car to buy a Mom car. A Toyota. I no longer have time to detail my car, so it’s constantly littered with food wrappers my kids have left behind, artwork, stickers from the grocery store, etc. I literally think my younger self would be shocked into tears by this.
4. I drink red wine and LOVE IT. When I was in college, I loved Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill. I thought it was hilarious to take it to parties and drink it in the paper bag it came in. I loved that it tasted like fruit punch. Thankfully, my palate has matured, and I love me some red wine. Red wine is my big treat and my path to sanity some days.
5. My job is sitting in front of a computer. Ironically, I chose my major of marketing because I didn’t like math and I didn’t want to sit in front of a computer all day. I vividly recall having a computer crash on me in college and I lost my term paper that was due in mere hours. I threw the keyboard across the room, and threw a rather impressive tantrum where I screamed about how much I hated computers. I now work for Microsoft, and have a computer on me at all times during my work day.
6. My job is nothing like Heather Locklear of Melrose place. When I chose my major of marketing, I literally thought my work days would be like those on Melrose Place. I wanted to be like Heather Locklear — the kick ass bitch of an advertising agency. Huh. My days in the office have not once resembled Melrose Place.
7. My social life no longer includes bars, and I really don’t like to stay up past midnight. Remember when the nightlife started at 10pm? I like for my social life to happen in the afternoon or early evening now. I really don’t enjoy staying at bars past midnight. I’m like Cinderella. My best friend from high school (the toe popper mentioned above) usually drags me to bars once a year, and around 1am, I’m often fading and thinking about how miserable the following day will be while I’m low on sleep and hungover and dealing with kids. Plus, most bars don’t even serve wine, and if they do, it’s just crap. So not worth it!
8. I eat sushi. I used to hate fish. I didn’t eat it for the first 21 years of my life. Now, I absolutely love raw fish. Crazy town. When I was growing up, kids didn’t eat sushi. I don’t think it was even on my radar. Now, my kids adore going out for sushi. See, I told you I’ve become a yuppy.
9. I avoid Walmart at all costs. I went to college in a small town, and I remember how exciting it was when our town got a Walmart. I looked for excuses to go there. Now, I hate Walmart. I literally feel like shopping there takes precious days off of my life. You can go in looking for one thing and emerge 45 minutes later frazzled with a bunch of crap you didn’t need. No one is happy in Walmart, and I really don’t like supporting that institution. I will actually pay more for the things I need in order to avoid supporting Walmart and spending my free time in the confines of that store.
10. I no longer view massages as an extravagance. I got my first massage at 24, and it was on a company morale outing, so not even on my own dime. It wasn’t until my late 30s where I actually started buying myself the occasional massage, but even then, it was probably once or twice a year. But now that I’m a full time working mom of two kids, I look at massages more as a means to taking care of myself, and avoiding the health risks of me feeling like an overflowing bucket of stress. Now, mind you, I buy them at a chiropractor’s office that is really inexpensive, so it’s not a full out spa day, but doing the less fancy massages means I can get them monthly if I feel the need. Having someone pamper me and enjoying silence and relaxing sounds for an hour is bliss — pure bliss — and I will not feel guilty for it.
Let’s hear from you — what about your life now would shock your younger self?