I heard her concerns and her frustrations with her life. And I understood them. Because of who I am today, I would not have the same problems anymore....but that makes them no less important. But I do know that in a few years...she too will look back and probably see her life as a journey that will change her in many of the same ways that I have changed.
After she left my house, I spent a few min thinking of who I used to be, and of how much I have evolved ...and wow....It sure made me realize how much has changed in the past 10 years! 10 years ago....I was dating steve....working full time...and now I am a mom of 4 with not job? Yikes...I guess it is easy to see Why I have changed.....here's my take on the how!
10 years ago I......
...had trouble getting to work by 9am. I would hit the snooze button 10 times and then rush like a bat out of hell to make it to work 15 min late!
....never even gave a thought to a life without a career.
....smiled all week at the anticipation of a Saturday night out.
....took many trips and vacations....and we were so "fly by the seat of our pants" each week as to what our next adventure would be!
...thought seeing a movie was a normal weekend activity and breakfast out....was a necessity!
...wondered if I would ever have a family.
....looked forward to eating out every weekend. And saw no reason to cook when I could easily afford to go out for dinner and the choices were awesome in the place where I lived.
....had a truly clean house. A bit of cloudiness on the shower door could ruin my day. And if there were any brown areas around the base of a faucet....you know I must have had Mono! The floors always looked like they were just put in and everything had a place! And to top it off...I had a plan of progression for the decor in each room. I had to like where it was now...but always needed a plan for what was next to better it! :)
...had nothing in my life to keep me from doing exactly what I felt like doing at any given time. Stay home...go out...shop....sleep.....and I had no idea that there was any other way to be?
...I often doubted the value of my opinions and ideas. At work, I most always waited till everyone else had spoken before I offered any ideas of my own. A silent observer of sorts...but not based on any grand plan for success...based mostly on self doubt and a timid nature. And often....when the time came for "Renee's Thoughts"....I wanted to speak my mind, but was too afraid to do so...and the ideas stayed in my own head!
...I ran each evening after work, then ate dinner, then went out for drinks, then danced, then went to bed.
5 years ago I.....
....would get up at 4am....give my 9 month old a bottle....and then go back to bed till I heard Ben calling for me in his crib around 9am. Then I would rush to get dressed and showered so I could make a 10am gymboree class or take a trip to the mall or sams club...just for something to do!
....dreamed of owning my own business....and missed my career a bit. Didn't really want it back....I knew I could not leave the kids....but missing my work and my past purpose did give me pause for frustration and a bit of sadness at times.
....could not wait till my mom came to visit so that she would watch my kids while Steve and I had a quick dinner out at ANY local restaurant. She was the only person that I would trust with my kids...and even her...I could not let drive them anywhere in the car or I would feel physically sick!
...considered a trip to see my grandparents in PA a vacation! (isn't it?) And we planned 6 months ahead for anything that involved leaving a 10 mile radius of home.
...Could not wait to see what new movies came out on "on Demand" every weekend! And Steve started his Saturday morning waffles....so we never even thought about eating out anymore.
...secretly knew I wanted at least two more kids...but with a 9 month old and a one year old...decided that I better keep that hush hush for a while longer.
...I didn't cook a ton, but I had a handful of good meals that I knew Steve loved and at least four times a week I would prepare something from the heart!
...had a clean house. Now you may find some blocks or Thomas trains under the couch, but as far as clean...still spotless....no brown....no clouds....shiny floors....just a bit disheveled. I just started buying baskets and putting toys in there....looked more like decor than a mess to me!! :)
...became kind of a schedule freak about naps and feedings. A realized that a baby without a nap made everyone around them miserable. Yet I wanted my alone time...so I had to time everything in unison with Ben and Kyle and that took some real effort and planning. But heck...with no job...I had plenty of time to take on that challenge!! :)
....I realized, that much of what I had to say in this world had value. And so I spoke my mind most always. Maybe too much? Steve called it "coming out of my shell"....I don't know what caused my opening up, or where the confidence came from, but I found that speaking my mind often ended in good. And so I continued to do so when it was called for.
...bought a double jogger and ran around the local neighborhoods each morning and kept in shape while my kids napped and ate snacks. It had to be done in the AM because by 6:30pm (my previous run time), any self motivation was sucked right out of me by the two little monsters that needed every ounce of my energy!
....set my alarm for 5:25am so that I can blog, do dishes, finish laundry and take care of the dog...BEFORE my kids wake up at 6:30 for school. And I jump out of bed when the alarm goes off because I don't want to waist a single min of alone time! :) No snooze needed!
...feel so free some days now that I have sold my business...I remember the work and how demanding and unforgiving it was and while I miss parts of it....I love that nothing takes me away from tennis lessons, cub scouts, baseball, basketball, parks, beaches....and all of those things with my babies...who are growing up so fast that I can't believe it. I will take being poor and unmotivated for now! Only for now.....but for now...it works!
...paid a service to find a great babysitter the second I move to Florida to assure that I am available for necessary things like school meetings, navy functions, and weddings!! I met her once and took the heck off!! ha ha ha And furthermore....A night out for no reason?....hmm...who has time for that!! :) And my sitter picks the kids up from school....drives all 4 of them to practices and the park and I don't even call to check in? Yikes...I've come a long way here!! :)
...don't even think about taking a vacation or a trip unless it is spring break or summer break - and even then...it can only work if there are not camps, sports, or parties that we "need" to attend!! :)
...fall asleep so early that I can't even keep up with the hour long TV shows that I DVR...and we have not watched a movie in a VERY long time! :)
....somehow talked Steve into two more kids and now we are so outnumbered that we have given up sitting down for a while - and feel like we are running a circus most days....but we can hardly remember how we handled the slow pace of one and two year old? And I laugh when I think of how hard I thought it was....back 5 years ago!! :)
...Don't cook - EVER....it is terrible! Yogurt, bananas, and a turkey sandwich is considered a balanced meal at our house these days.....and soup and bread...is gourmet!
....don't have a clean house? I clean for company.....and once every other week because I start to crawl out of my skin...but as a general rule...if I have vacuumed and I have clean laundry in some basket ...somewhere....I have done a good job that week! :) And I really do feel fine about it.
..need a calendar to run my life, as each day is different, and each day has more than I think I can possibly get done when I brows my to do list in the AM! Yet it all gets done and all of the Mongolds seem happy and healthy and played out at the end of every day! Thank God for that Calendar! :) Meals may not be on any schedule...but we still do eat and bath each day!! :)...or most days....I think?
...think I probably could lend a valuable opinion or point of view on some situations, but I am so busy running around that I completely forget to mention the thoughts in my head..when they are needed, wanted and or relevant. By the time I remember that I had something to say...the situation is long gone...and it is a mute point. And so once again...most of my ideas...stay in my head...but in this phase of my life...it is for a much different reason.
...try to get to the gym - the one with CHILD CARE (because no jogger stroller is big enough) in the mornings when no one is sick. Yeah.....not a definite plan of action for top shape...but it is what I can do and it is ALL I can do right now! And i have kind of accepted that in this phase of my life...a few extra pounds might just have to be ok!