Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The 5 Years Ago Exercise

Tomorrow is my 43rd birthday. I KNOW! How is that possible, when really I'm 24?

Actually, I don't mind turning 43 one bit. In fact, I think I'm a pretty darn awesome 43, and plan to continue along that vein for a long, long time.

Here's where I am today. I am a mom of three, and we've homeschooled them for their whole lives. I teach now, and not just my kids here at homeschool. I teach classes at our homeschool co-op/enrichment program, and I think I teach them well. I coach CrossFit classes, mostly for kids, but I'm branching out into adult coaching, too. I teach online parenting (Positive Discipline) classes and manage an online PD discussion group. I know tons and tons and tons of people (well, it seems like it to me). I have friends from Food Allergy Land, Homeschool Land, Positive Discipline Land, Objectivism Land, CrossFit Land, and more. Sometimes my worlds collide and that is generally pretty cool. I drive a minivan and live in a 40 year old house in the woods that we've named Wildhaven. I am training for my second competition in kettlebell sport, and with all due modesty, I'm pretty good at that, too. I own, with my husband, a couple of small businesses, and am going to incorporate myself in the next year. I know all about life with people who have peanut allergies and T1 diabetes.

Five years ago, my life was pretty different. Maybe drastically different. I was 38, and had a 5 month old, a 3 year old, and a 6 year old. Our official homeschooling journey had just begun, and I was happy to finally have gotten over the reading hurdle (the first big homeschooling hurdle, I think). I'm sure I watched a lot of Blue's Clues and Nick Jr. shows. I was up to my elbows in diapers, and spent a lot of time nursing the baby. I was finally figuring out my issues with food and diet and really improving my eating. I was blogging regularly (Sean is my blogging baby, he got an announcement and everything!), and it was a primary outlet for creativity and communication. I had just joined this Facebook thing and was trying to figure out how it worked.

Five years before that, I was 33. I had one child, who was only 18 months. The words "peanut allergy" meant nothing to me beyond some vague sort of compassion for those poor souls who had to deal with such afflictions. I had recently decided NOT to go back to work in order to stay home with my child, and was voraciously devouring parenting and homeschooling books, and having lots of parenting philosophy conversations with my new friend Kelly.

Five years before that, I was 28. I was a year away from completing my MBA, and planning to leave a stressful job in favor of another, better, more well-paying job that would surely come after. Brendan and I had just purchased our first home a few months before. We were never planning to have any children, preferring instead to be DINKs forever, pay off our house early, take plenty of fantabulous vacations to exotic places, and retire early. I hardly paid any attention to my health at all, being relatively young still, but it was beginning to dawn on me that A.) I was not immortal, and B.) I would really appreciate a working pancreas later in life. The words "type 1 diabetes" meant nothing to me beyond some vague sort of compassion for those poor souls who had to deal with such afflictions.

Five years before that, I was 23. I had just graduated from college and gotten my first job. I lived alone in a tiny apartment in Indianapolis, biding my time until my boyfriend graduated from college after which we'd move away from the Midwest forever. I made $9.75 per hour, ate lots of ramen noodles, and rented videos like crazy because really, it was not a lot of fun living alone. My job was okay--I was ridiculously good at it (because it wasn't hard), and I spent my spare brain cell energy devising ways to improve the processes and make things more efficient.

When you put it like that, five year snapshots, it's kind of amazing, isn't it? I feel like the same person, mostly, but my life is so so so much different than even five years ago. I can't wait to discover what I find myself doing in five more years, and five years after that, and five more, etc.

So onward and upward! To me, and to whoever reads this! Do things now such that your life in five years will look more awesome than it is today. :D

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