Thursday, January 15, 2015

Then and Now: 10 Years


I was 31 years old.

I am 41.

My husband and I had been married for five years, and I was a new(ish) mom with a 3-year-old son and a 20-month-old daughter.  
 We also had a little dog.

My husband and I have been married for a hundred and eighty years.  It feels like a billion.  The kids are 11 and 13.  
I don’t remember life without any of them.
 We have no pets, after years of trying out other pets and realizing that we are not actually pet people.  
Sometimes we keep my parents’ cat and I am reminded why we do not have pets anymore.

I was at the end of my job working as an analyst/proofreader/Girl Friday for a marketing research firm located in Charlotte.  My work-from-home position was rare then; no one understood yet how difficult it was to get work done with toddlers underfoot.  Daycare was out of the question, so I decided to quit.  My husband and I agreed to forgo any unnecessary expenses until we figured out how we could survive on his salary.  
We ate a lot of spaghetti that year.

I am a full-time mom and wife, completely institutionalized.  I cannot fathom being on the outside.  
My kids are past the ages of daycare.  
 Sometimes I wonder why on earth I chose a profession for which I will never be paid.  
We eat a lot of pizza and Oreos.

I didn’t have good enough friends yet to tell me that short hair was not my best look.

My good friends warn me that if I try to get my hair cut short they will hold me against my will until the desire to get my hair cut short has passed.

My hair was “red.”  
I colored it myself, just for the fun of it.

My hair is “brown.”  
I get it done professionally because its natural condition requires this.

Our house was new(ish).  
I spent a lot of time cleaning, painting it a rainbow of cheerful colors, and decorating.  
I scrubbed grout.

Our house is almost at that age where it requires replacement on all the big things.  
I expect my family to help with housework and I spend the least amount of time possible cleaning it myself.  
I only scrub things if necessary.  
I painted the walls in our house one color in a rage against the paint colors I had picked out when I was 31.  
I dream about living in a minimalist apartment with a doorman.

One child was in two half-days of preschool a week and I would soon enroll the other one in a playgroup once a week.  Any feelings of sorrow or wistfulness that my babies were growing up were squashed by excitement at being one step closer to having an hour or so of “me time” once a week.

The kids are in school all day five days a week.
 Sometimes I miss them even when they’re here.
I contemplate keeping them home forever. 

I lamented that I still carried some baby weight.

I absorbed the baby weight and added another few pounds to seal it in forever.

I pretended like I didn’t care about fashion and wore jeans and sneakers every day.  Secretly I wished to do better.

I OWN wearing jeans and sneakers every day.  It’s my favorite uniform.

I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to do with my life after this phase was over.

I realize that this phase of life is a blink, a breath, a moment.  
I’d love to do it all over again.
Maybe more slowly.


This post inspired by:

Mama’s Losin’ It

Prompt #1: Find a photo of yourself taken 10 years ago and display it on your blog along with a current photo. How have you changed since the day that photo was taken?


  1. I loved the way you did this (ad the formatting had to be hell), but the last paragraph really got. Oh...

    1. Thanks so much! xo (it was just a cut/pasted Word table, though I did it in two other formats just in case it didn't look right online. I don't do html).

  2. I'm visiting from Mama Kat's, and I love your post! So creative, and yes, the last paragraph "got me", too!

  3. Amen to that last one. To all of them, but especially that last one. Ten years never used to go this fast, did it? When I think about how everything will change in the next ten years, or even the next ten months, I want to push a magic slo-mo button.

    1. Yes! I can't believe they haven't invented one yet. Ten years, gone in a flash. Sigh.

  4. Love this. Made me laugh and cry!

  5. I can relate to so many of your then and nows!!! Loved this idea!

  6. I love what you did with this post - great setup. And like Trish said, I laughed and cried. Amazing how quickly ten years passes. Just the other day, I was thinking about how I'll turn 45 this year and I thought "holy crap that's a lot of years!" My next thought was to hope the next 45 go a little slower so I can make sure to grab every second. Amazing how much things change.

  7. I love this one.
    I can echo almost all of the before's and after's in this post.
    Except for the red hair.
    I want a purple streak.

  8. Oh there is so much that I love about this....seal it in forever...bwhahahah!!!
    I have no idea what my hair colour is. My kid says my hair is "painted".
    I really really truly needed this laugh and I cannot thank you enough :)
    Your family is gorgeous and you are too (no that didn't sound creepy at all).
    Go team jeans and sneakers...errrrr big nasty boots because Canada eh.

  9. Seriously? are the same. You look the same (I kind of liked the reddish hair!) and you haven't aged at all. LSo. Not. Fair. ;)

    I think you're right where you need to be (now and then), I'm just glad that now I get to be part of your life.

    You're adorable.

  10. I love everything about this post. Beautiful inside and out.

  11. How amazing that things change so much, yet remain the same.
    You look better now, for real.

  12. Are you aging backwards?? I want some of that water!!

  13. Let's get an apartment in NY with a doorman! We can split the rent! ;)