Then and Now

Taking my shower on Saturday morning, enjoying ten minutes of ‘me’ time, I found myself reflecting on how at this stage of my life I am more inspired and pleased for friends when they shout from the roof-tops that they’ve done a 5 km run or joined a gym, than stories of downing shots over late night pool games.

In my twenties life was a whirlwind of work, socialising, hurried meals and little exercise, apart from walking between bars and to and from work. Dan and I did get away and do some of New Zealand’s big tramps (hikes for English readers!), but daily exercise was low on our priorities (I’m ashamed to say). We would meet for lunch on Wellington’s waterfront and watch other people exercising. We weren’t complete sloths though, we’d have periods of motivation when we would go for a jog after work and join a gym (and then forget to go). And we did go for a good walk in Wellington’s hills most Sundays (when we weren’t recovering from a big Saturday night).

Our home was somewhere we slept and briefly ate in – but rarely ‘lived’ in – more time was spent in the office or out socialising. When we did socialise at home it was all about having the coolest pad for the occasion.

Fast forward to our late thirties (well, I’m only just ‘late’ thirties, having just turned 36). We drink little, as dealing with children and a hangover is not pleasant (we learned this fast in Charlotte’s first year – when we were still trying to hang on to our before children lives). We eat a good breakfast; whereas we used to skip breakfast altogether in our twenties and grab a piece of fruit – or worse a sausage roll – for morning tea. We now try to make family meals fairly healthy (though everything in moderation!).

Exercise is something we want to do more of and are constantly trying to fit around the children. We actually want to exercise and acknowledge it is essential so that we can keep up with the children, set a good example and live longer, healthier lives. So Dan cycles to work and back most days, plays football at the weekend and indoor football once a week too. I get my exercise by going for walks with baby, half hour hoover workouts, weight lifting (children, baskets of laundry, shopping) and stretches (I do a few sun salutations whilst Alice is having floor time).

I spend countless hours organising and reorganising our home. My place of work is my home. I am the office manager of my home. Clutter and grime is my enemy to conquer. Toy rotation, changing rooms, creating safe, happy, creative play spaces for my children is high on my list of priorities. When we socialise at home we focus on making sure the children are entertained (and the adults well sustained with coffee and baking).

@YouDoDan (aka hubbie) tweets, ‘Not sure why, but it’s curiously satisfying removing the lint from a clothes dryer’s filter’.

We spent Saturday moving beds from one room to another (again). The changing rooms forces us to clean the dust from under the beds, which is also strangely satisfying (and discover half eaten Easter eggs and silly putty).

And taking a shower isn’t something we take for granted, it’s a much valued and appreciated moment of mental therapy. When I go to the hairdressers they fall over backwards in horror that I would contemplate going out the front door without blow-drying and straightening my hair. Vanity is something I have little time for – however I do admit to ‘needing’ a lick of mascara and preferably a dash of blush. I also hate hairy legs/armpits etc. so my shower time, once every other day, is a real pamper session that I highly value and don’t feel I can face the world without.

And our evenings are very, very precious. Once we’ve read a few dozen stories to the children and they are fast asleep (often not till 8.30/9.00pm) we catch up on work, blog, read and make sure one evening a week is set aside for just us to cuddle up, watch a movie and indulge in a moment of life back ‘then’.