You know...ever since I posted those pics the other day I've been in a sort of a funk. Hubby came across the photos lying next to the scanner last night and we had the following conversation:
Him: These are you?
Him: When?? (way too much question in his voice here...)
Me: Before we met. WAY before we met.
Him: So if you succeed at this diet thing you'll look like that?
Me: That's the plan. Give or take a few wrinkles.
Him: I'M IN!
Hubby met me several decades after some of those pics. After three kids. After 75 pounds! Part of me is happy that he fell in love with me in spite of my "less than svelte" figure. (What did he expect..I was 45 years old and a widow for crying out loud!)
So now I'm looking at the young woman (girl!) in those pics and wondering where she went! Where the heck did the years go? (ummm....that sounds vaguely familiar to a line on Oprah Winfrey referring to yours truly....)
I know. I'm always posting about the proverbial clock ticking and how we need to savor each moment. That time waits for none of us. So why do I feel so surprised that the young woman in those pics is someone I don't recognize anymore? And I'm not talking about the way I looked or how much I weighed. I'm talking about the young woman who had so many dreams in her heart...who had her whole life ahead of her and plenty of time to decide "what she wanted to be when she grew up." The young girl who hadn't tasted true heartache yet. The kind of heart ache that comes when you've stood at the bedside of each parent and a spouse and held their hand as they passed from this life into the next.
I always did believe that things always worked out. No matter what. I still do...but not in the same way. Because things do always work out (faith helps a lot there) but not always the way we'd often planned. A big part of me longs for the naivety of that young woman.
Big *sigh* here.
Now that I'm older I realize that life isn't always fair. And people aren't always kind. Or honest. or genuine.
On the same token (and here's where my Pollyanna optimism kicks in) I've realized what a strong woman I've become. I've survived a lot. And I'm better. Not bitter. I've realized looking back that God has always been at my side - leading, guiding, carrying.....even when I've pushed Him away. I've learned that being a mom is a really hard job that never stops (even when they're married.) I've learned that the real friends in life are the ones who show up at your door and just hug you and hug you without saying a word when they got news that your husband just died. I've learned that having the biggest house, or the nicest lawn, or the fanciest car only counts when you're competing with shallow people. And I've learned that shallow people aren't really worth my time. (Just my prayers.)
Still - I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say I'm a little sad when I look at those pictures. They're a reminder of the fleeting years. How quickly they passed. How much even more quickly they will pass now.
I guess a trip down memory lane would leave even the most stalwart among us - a little melancholy. And that's okay. As long as we don't get stuck there. So I'm movin' on. (With a big dose of incentive - if nothing else!)