I’m cringing as I type it, but last weekend was my 10-year college reunion. Yes, it’s been 10 years since I was in college. An entire decade. Just that word “decade” has me reaching for my Olay 7 Total Effects anti-aging night cream and researching ways to increase my waning metabolism.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to attend the reunion but that doesn’t mean I didn’t reflect from afar. Part of that reflection was going through old, embarrassing photos (a few of the less incriminating ones I’ve decided to share) and trying to remember what life as a recent college grad was like versus now.
It’s obvious that things are different in many major ways: I’m married, have two kids, live in New Jersey, my student loan debt is paid off. But since it’s #TBT I wanted to pay tribute to the more subtle ways I’ve changed from a plucky Midwestern gal with a twinkle in her eye into a worldly stay-at-home mom in the Garden State…
- Drink of choice:
- Lynn Then: Amaretto Sour, flavored Smirnoff Ice, or Captain and Coke consumed in ridiculous amounts. Beer? Never even had one. How gross. Wine? You mean like Franzia?
- Lynn Now: A reasonably priced Cab Sav. Champs if I’m feeling classy or just feeling champs. A beer if the occasion calls for it.
- How to recover from a night out:
- Lynn Then: Sleep as late as humanly possible. Greasy breakfast / lunch depending on the time. Taste all food and eat at a leisurely pace. Lay on couch and watch a marathon of favorite show while I fade in and out of sleep.
- Lynn Now: Turn on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse at 6am. Lay on couch and pray toddler doesn’t need anything. Continue to say “yes” to toddler’s “another one?” request for the next three hours. Make coffee. Cook everyone breakfast. Drink the now lukewarm coffee. Wish for a quick death or nap time, whichever will come first.
- On being tired:
- Lynn Then: I didn’t sleep well last night. Only 7 hours. I guess I’ll just grab a nap whenever I want with all this free time.
- Lynn Now:
- “Going Out” Outfit:
- Lynn Then: Cleavage-bearing top from Forever 21/Charlotte Russe/Wet Seal/Express, and too-short denim skirt (when seasonably appropriate. Or not.) Jewelry that featured hemp and puka shells acquired at PacSun in the middle of Ohio, the surfing capital of the US.
- Lynn Now: “What is this ‘going out’ you speak of?” Oh shit. This Saturday? Um. Okay, I need to go to TJ Maxx. Where are the flowing tunic tops in a conservative print? And a cheapie costume jewelry statement necklace that I will only wear once, maybe twice? Jeans? Crap. Okay. I suppose I need to find a pair that I can squeeze into. Good thing I have that billowy top…
- Lynn Then: Walk into any clothing store. Purchase size. Cut tags. Fits perfectly.
- Lynn Now: Carefully research reviews about fit and quality. Order multiple sizes of a single item online. Search for discount coupon and free shipping code. Try everything on in the privacy of my own home in low lighting. Nothing fits. Hold a pillow over my face to muffle my gentle weeping. Return everything. Repeat.
- What is sleeping in?:
- Lynn Then: 11am
- Lynn Now: 7am. 8am if it’s my birthday or Mother’s Day.
- Lynn Then: Can we do MORE blonde highlights? It really accentuates my year-round golden glow acquired naturally at a local tanning bed.
- Lynn Now: (to hairstylist that I see every 14-16 weeks) “Give me the usual: Why Do I Even Bother? It ends up in a ponytail or pulled out by my daughter anyway.
- Wild Night:
- Lynn Then: Drinking out of cups bigger than my head and staying out until the wee hours. Making good choices.
- Lynn Now: Staying up to see which house they pick at the end of the 10pm House Hunters.
- My Typical Lunch:
- Lynn Then: PB&J, chips, Hostess cupcake, and a Coke heavy. EVERY.DAMN.DAY.
- Lynn Now: turkey on low carb whole wheat tortilla wrap, apple, 15 carefully counted out pretzel twists, water and/or a Diet Dr. Pepper, and my feelings.
- Who was skinnier: Lynn Then. By about 10 lbs. That bitch.
My conclusion after all this reflection? Sleep and free time is wasted on the young. And despite not being able to fit into the jeans I wore in college (although given my fashion choices I’m not sure I would even want to) I feel about 40% confident that I’m aging like the fine(ish) wine I like to drink. Cheers to the next decade!