Yeah Right, Keep Dreaming Baby…

The girls officially started summer vacation almost two weeks ago already. They love the warmer weather, playing outside, no homework and later bed times. I love burying my nose in their sun-kissed hair and watching their arms and legs brown up, despite the sunscreen I insist they lather on. The other night as we were walking along, I talked about what we were going to do the upcoming weekend. My oldest looked at me and smiled. She said, “you know what I love about summer, Mom? I forget what day it is! I bet you don’t though, because you still have to go to work!”Sigh. Alas, she is quite right, though. For the most part, I know what day we’re on and how many days left until the weekend! I’m quite envious of my daughters. It’s days like that, I wish I’d gone into teaching (unfortunately, my authoritative aura is lacking and I’d be like the substitute that goes home crying because the class ran over her – not good for me or the kids.)

As the days continue to grow longer, though at least I get to enjoy spending more time outdoors with the girls after work and on weekends. As I’ve recently started a fitness obsession, we’re walking, riding bikes and shooting hoops in the driveway. What we haven’t been doing (at least not yet), is swimming. While the girls love splashing about, the pool is not one of my favorite summer activities. If I could float undisturbed on a raft (without getting wet) in my own private pool with a tall, tall fence I might enjoy it more. However, the idea of putting on a scrap of material (or in my case a really big scrap) and parading around in a public place with much of my body exposed mortifies me (hence, the above-mentioned fitness obsession!). On the bright side, at least I don’t live in a country where bathing suits are optional!

Me, Age 26
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The other day I came across an old photo of myself (see right) in (gasp) a bathing suit (with a t-shirt over it). I remember cringing at this photo back in the day when it was first taken. I didn’t think I looked good – at all. I didn’t think I was pretty enough or curvy enough. Looking at the girl in the photo almost 20 years later, I would give anything to look that good in a bathing suit again! So I’m thinking, either I didn’t look as bad as I thought back then or my standards are lower these days! Unfortunately, I don’t think even if I ran 10 miles a day or limited myself to 900 calories a day, I could ever look like that again.  It’s a shame I didn’t appreciate what I had when I had it.

So I’m thinking as I stand in front of a mirror once again mentally criticising my body and they way I look, I wonder if when I look back at my 43-year-old self 20 years from now, I’ll wish I looked as good now as I did then. What would my 63-year-old-self tell me now? Would I tell myself I don’t look half as bad as I thought! Hmmm. Probably. So, why not think it now?  Why not be happy with myself they way I am right now? Well, because I know I could look better and feel better. Out of all the uncertainties in this world, I can control my body. I control what I eat, how much I sleep and whether I jog two miles or sit on the couch and watch TV.  And so, I’m running/walking in my second 5k on Saturday. Yes, the obsession continues….For now…

What about you? How do you see yourself in old photos? Do you think you look better or worse than you thought you did back when it was taken?

7 thoughts on “Yeah Right, Keep Dreaming Baby…

  1. When I look at old photos, I just think I look different. Not better or worse. I’m glad I don’t have hair anymore, and I like my heavier, stronger body, (love handles and small man boobs excluded.) I’m 44 and I’m cool with that. Good luck with the summer fitness program.


    1. OK – you made me smile with that one! That’s a great attitude to have about old photos though. I need to work on that! So far the summer fitness program is going well even if I’m not getting skinnier (at least I’m not going the other direction!)


  2. Shar,
    I remember you looking like that…but you know what is the same… regardless of the outside…your inside is the same!!! Your were smart, talented, funny and kind then and you still are today!!! You are beautiful, my friend!


  3. Shar!!! That is an awesome picture!! I’m with you I never thought I was skinny or pretty. I wore those dumb glasses and my hair was thick, frizzy, and black. Not flowing and blonde. Some of my favorite pictures of myself are actually from your wedding!! I look at those and think- DAMN!! I was hot! We were hot- just, unfortunately, not comfortable with ourselves. I think you are right- what would your 62 year old self tell your 42 year old self (I’m not taking that extra year you have until I’m forced!!) I think my older self would be bummed that I didn’t spend more time splashing in the pool with our girls! As the mother of daughters I think about the message I send to my girls too. I say get that bathing suit on (you’ve been working out a lot!!) go to that public pool! There has to be someone there that looks worse. (I know, that’s mean) stand by them!! Ha ha!! Take care my good friend!!


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