I'm Mandy, a mother of a handsome handful of a toddler. I'm the wife to a relocated Jersey boy at heart for almost five years. I'm a "youngster" in "Corporate Legal America." I'm one-seventh of a dynamically loud and loving family. I'm a woman with newly-diagnosed hypothyroidism, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Metabolic Syndrome trying to find a course of treatment that works. I'm a twenty-something trying to find her way on a journey to discover faith, friends and fitness. Most importantly, I'm me. I'm just trying to figure out who that is exactly...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sooner or Later...

I watched this amazing video via Parenting on Twitter and it really made me think.  My life has become such a routine, I forget how things were.  Before Blake and Cristian.  Before my job.  Before bills.  Before graduating.  Let me just say it, before LIFE happened.  Somehow I am twenty-five and an adult.  How did this happen?  I don't think I authorized this!

But I did.  We all do.  When we look forward to tomorrow or the next day or Christmas or our birthday, we are wishing our lives away.  When we want a day to end and to never be remembered again, we are wishing our lives away.  I am not saying this to depress you.   Just to make you think.  After reflecting with some of my co-workers about 1990's trends and fads, we realized that we missed our childhoods.  When we were head-first in our childhoods, we wanted to be where we are now.  Too much wishing and hoping for the future does not allow you to enjoy your present to the fullest of your ability.  Now that we're here, we want to go back.

If you could go back in time and tell yourself things at certain times, would you? Would you go to your five, six, or even seven-year-old self? Your twelve or thirteen-year-old self? The pre-high school you? The bachelor/bachelorette you? The person you were before children? If you would, what would you say?

I would go back.  There are a few things I need to tell myself:

*At 7: That little boy calling you "fat" is not a good enough reason to starve yourself.  Do not do it.  You get caught and do not even get to spend the money you saved.

*At 8: He was a jerk for throwing your brother in the pool, but you should have known he was a jerk.  What a waste of a first kiss!

*At 13: These friends you have will not be your friends in the future.  Do not change yourself for them.

*At 14: You are smart, but you don't need to take special tests or have a special diploma to do it.  Do not worry high school away.  Enjoy it.  It all works out in the end.

*At 15: Do not stop being friends with Renee.  I can't even remember why you stopped being her friend in the first place, which obviously means it was not worth it.

*At 16: He's gay.  Do not take him to prom because he is going to ruin it for you.  Go alone.

*At 18: You should have tried to work your friendship with your best friend in high school out.  You tried to run away from the problem, but that did not work out so well.  You were supposed to grow up together, not separately.  You didn't always have to be best friends, but you could have settled for a friendship of some kind.

*At 19: Yes, he is scary. And you do not understand all of what he's saying.  And he won't stop touching you.  But Mom is right.  It does all work out in the end.  By the way, they are all lying about him because the little one is trying to break you up.  Watch out for her.  And for his "best friend."  They are both nothing but problems.

*At 20: There are two types of friends you should get rid of.  One being the kind you should have never had in the first place because she is vicious and nasty and will cause nothing put problems (except for meeting the future Godmother of your child).  Second being the kind that you grow up with but grow apart from.  Cut her off sooner than later and you will save yourself a world of hurt.

*At 21: Drinking that whole fishbowl by yourself was not a good idea.  Do not ever do that again.

*At 22: Enjoy your sleep.  You are making the right move by switching careers.  Your heart is in education, but not politics.  You will find your way to a great job.

*At 23: Take weekly belly bump pictures.  Savor your time at home with him.  Watch him sleep.  Don't wish he start walking until he's ready.

*At 24: He loves you.  He just has a lot going on.  Don't doubt that he cares about you, but make sure you take care of yourself.  Get your finger from down your throat.  It's not worth it.

*At All Ages: Don't eat for comfort.  Working out is hard, but there are ways you can make it more enjoyable.  Cherish your moments with Nana and Papa -- you are going to miss them more than you can ever realize.

I fell victim today of realizing I had fast-forwarded through my son's first years of life.  All of a sudden, he's a toddler reaching up for me and crying "Mama no go!"  If you know me, you know I could not be a stay-at-home Mom.  But I really wanted to sit with him and play all day -- at least the moments he's a good boy.  I can't let that happen.

Yes, I am working out and eating healthier for myself.  But I'm also doing it for him.  So I can be there for the long haul.  To enjoy all of the little things.

So I won't have to go back and tell my twenty-five-year-old self to live for the moment.  I, as a twenty-five-year-old, am going to do just that.  The dishes and the laundry and the bills and even sleep can wait.  Before I know it, he will be twenty-five.  I will have missed out on not only his life, but mine if I do not live.

In closing, my mom has a statement that she always says.  Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.  Stop worrying.  Just live.


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