The Old Me

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Have you ever looked in the mirror and not fully recognized the person looking back at you? Have you ever looked at yourself and said, “I miss the old me?” Every now and then, I can still see her, living just under the surface of worry and responsibilities.

Who I Was

I love a good, old-fashioned Facebook memory. A jog down memory lane, if you will. Except jogging down memory lane sometimes reminds me of how much I have changed and how different I am these days.

Not better. Not worse.

But, definitely different.

The old me was more spontaneous, adventurous, and carefree. And, dare I say, FUN?! Adventure wasn’t so scary. Spontaneity was easy.

Spending two weeks sailing around Catalina Island, snorkeling in the kelp beds of the Pacific Ocean without a care in the world – check!

Riding on the back of my husband’s motorcycle, cruising the country roads with the wind in my hair – check!

Spur of the moment weekend trip to New Orleans – check!

Man, those were the days!

Who I Am Now

Ah, how times have changed! Fast forward a few years. I am now a wife and mother of two and can primarily describe myself in one word.

I am a worrier. Plain and simple.

There, I said it.

In my mind, there is no worry that is off-limits. I worry about it all – big things, little things, and all things in between. I over plan and overthink every little detail. In all honesty, I can “what if” anything to death and talk myself out of a perfectly good time because I can’t get past the worry of what could be.

How did this happen? What happened to me?

Motherhood…that’s what!

Don’t get me wrong! We still have adventures. We like to travel – camping, hiking, sailing, all of those things. However, just like me, it all looks different. A little less spontaneity and a lot more planning. We still hike, but now I have a properly stocked backpack full of water, trail mix, sunscreen, Tylenol, snake kit, and (never leave home without them) anti-bacterial hand wipes.bicycle in the woods

Now I turn down music in heavy traffic and wear reading glasses. My muscles ache if I sit for too long, and my joints can predict, with astounding accuracy, a weather front.

My kids call me the Queen of No. Sadly, it may be a well-earned title because they’re not entirely wrong. Though in my defense, I feel they ask a lot of questions that deserve a “no” but that’s an altogether different matter. And, even when the no turns into yes, I seldom get credit for that.

Who I Can Still Be

I like my comfort zone, and sometimes change feels hard. As if, by changing, we weren’t good enough to begin with.

How can change be bad when motherhood changes us for the better?

Is the new and improved me really new and improved? I guess it depends on who you ask. My husband would probably say no. Deep down, he misses the old me. Remember, she was carefree, fun, and adventurous! And truth be told – maybe I miss that part of me, too.

So what if my sense of fun and adventure looks a little bit (or a lot) different than it did twenty years ago?

Motherhood changes us. Period. How could it not?

As mothers, we are designed to put others before ourselves and are responsible for growing tiny humans into big humans.

The old me is still in there somewhere. I see her now and then. But I’ve decided to embrace the new me. She’s pretty cool, too! I’ve introduced my old self to my new self. And while we might not always see things the same way, we are learning to co-exist.

Maybe I can say yes more often. Perhaps I can tell my worries to take a hike now and then and try to live more in the moment.

I am a constant work in progress, and I love that about myself! All I want to be is the best version of myself each and every day.

I want to be better than yesterday but not as great as I plan to be tomorrow.

woman looking at sunrise

 

 

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Born in Alabama (Roll Tide!), Heather moved to the Pensacola area at the young age of 7 and has called this area home ever since. After narrowly surviving distance learning while telecommuting, she is now concentrating fully on her career as a community coordinator for a local court-based program. Heather received a degree in Criminal Justice from the University of West Florida and has over 15 years experience working in child welfare, the school system, and as a crime victim advocate. Married for 14 years, she and her husband are the proud and busy parents of two beautiful girls, whose interests in volleyball and sailing keep the family calendar packed. Heather fancies herself to be an organizer of chaos, leader of household misfits, and below-average gardener. When she isn’t avoiding the elliptical, cheering on a tournament or regatta, or searching for a new recipe, she enjoys traveling, sailing, camping, and finding new ways to make a positive impact on her community. Recognizing she is a constant work in progress, Heather loves connecting with others, self-reflection, and strengthening her village, all while trying to breathe in the simple pleasures of life.

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