I was thinking recently about how my life as a single working woman was so different from my life now. There are moments when I miss little things about that lifestyle -- the wardrobe! the shopping! -- but gee, things have vastly improved.
Then: 6:15 am meant the alarm went off and I dragged myself out of bed to start the day.
Now: 6:15 am comes and goes and I'm still asleep.
Then: Getting dressed in the morning meant suits or dresses, panty hose, pumps
Now: getting dressed means jeans or linen pants, a comfy cotton shirt... "Panty hose?" What are those?
Then: Morning coffee was consumed at my desk, while I was surrounded by files and papers -- and it was bad office coffee, too.
Now: Morning coffee means a thermal mug full of Starbuck's Verona coffee, sipped while I sit in a patch of sunshine on the living room couch to read my novel for a bit... or while I'm upstairs at the computer reading emails and blogs.
Then: 10:00 am on a weekday meant I was in the office, hard at work, or in court dealing with litigation matters, or in a meeting... I remember driving between the courthouse and the office and seeing casually dressed people strolling down the street, shopping, or just hanging out in a coffee place, and I'd think, "How do they get to do that?"
Now: 10:00 am might find me at home working on household stuff, or out running errands (out in the world! on a weekday!) or at the library returning books, or at the health club for Pilates... There's a whole WORLD out there on weekdays between 8am and 5pm.
Then: Grocery shopping meant rushing to the store after work, when every other working person was there trying to figure out what to have for dinner, too
Now: Grocery shopping means going whenever I want, or even ordering online and having Safeway deliver while I'm upstairs sewing.
Then: Weekends meant trying to do all the housework and laundry for the week, plus make some food to freeze in advance, plus getting into the office to catch up on work, plus wondering if I'd have a date with anyone interesting.
Now: Weekends mean family time, time to putter around the house, work in the yard, visit my sister, or go wandering in search of something going on in the area.
Then: My days were filled with men in suits -- all those lawyers, you know.
Now: I never see men in suits. Except on Mad Men and The West Wing (yep, I still watch the reruns.)
Then: I never thought about kids. Except when the guy down the hall would have his wife and their 3 toddlers come to visit the office, at which point everyone knew to shut their doors. They were a chaotic, noisy group and the highlight of their visits was the time the boy got himself stuck behind the copy machine. Don't even ask what he was doing back there. He was one of those kids who'd find those sorts of places and get stuck in them.
Now: Life is all about kids. Or one kid in particular. Okay, TEEN. (I keep forgetting.) But mine never got stuck behind any office machines, I'm proud to say.
Then: The "school" I thought about was the law school where I taught legal writing part-time, trying to fit in grading papers with my other legal work
Now: The "school" on my mind is Caroline's homeschooling, and I think about how to make what she's learning fun and flexible and interesting.
Then: fabric was something I occasionally thought about -- as in trying to identify the contents of a bathrobe fabric that had caught fire and was the subject of personal injury litigation.
Now: fabric is my art medium! My love! My passion!
I liked my life a lot back then, and I sure learned a lot. But now? Now is great, and I'm so grateful to be where I am!
I'd love to hear your "thens and nows!"