If I Were Me

photograph by  Nancy Malcolm



When did I change? This over night sensation took a lot of painful, rough riding years to become me, whoever that is. I thought I was me earlier, but apparently not.

For example, when did I start liking creamer in my coffee? How does someone just wake up one day and say, “Yep, I’ll take cream and sugar in mine.” I was a black coffee girl for many years, and somewhere in my 40’s I made the switch. Maybe it was hormonal or maybe I watched one too many International Coffee commercials, but for whatever reason, I am now hooked. I’ve been known to go out late at night to find creamer just so I don’t have to face my morning Sittin Ugly time with black coffee. Hmmm..

When did I start leaving the house in my workout clothes, donning a ponytail or baseball cap? I used to be “that girl” ..always lip stick and my hair fixed…always trying to look cute. “You never know who you might run into at the grocery store.” Hey, that’s still true, but these days I’m just as apt to head out in my work out clothes as I am to fix up. When did I change? Maybe it was hormonal or maybe it was when I retired and could finally go to the grocery store during the day, not after work or on crowded weekends. Now, I shop among the haggard stay at home moms, struggling with two babies and a cart full of diapers. They’re lucky to be dressed at all, so there is a no judgment rule going on. If I were me, I would stop those tired looking moms and give them a hug. I’d tell them to enjoy this time because it passes too quickly. Too soon you’ll be footloose and fancy free just like me. Maybe I’ll try to look a little cuter before I say all of that or maybe not. I’m free to be me.

When my children were growing up, I was a clean freak. Always cleaning something, wiping counters or running the vacuum. “Clean up this room!” I would exclaim while standing in the doorway of their bedrooms. “Did you make your bed?” was a question I asked without even thinking. It was second nature to me then, and as I asked it, I was walking to the bedroom to see for myself. Was that drill sergeant really me? Maybe it was hormonal or maybe it was just my way of trying to keep our busy lives in some semblance of order.

Not too long ago, we were keeping our grandson and my daughter came to pick him up. He and I were playing cars, serious Hot Wheels stuff and had used painters tape to attach a ramp to the coffee table. Remnants of the WII lay about, hand controls and game covers and we had eaten a snack. My daughter just stood looking at us…at my normally House Beautiful den and said, “ Who are you and what have you done with my mother?” “What?”, I asked… “Oh this?, we’re just having fun!”. Although she was laughing, she said, “You would have never let us trash out the den like this.”And she was right. When did I change? Maybe it was hormonal, but maybe it was the minute we first had a grandchild. Why did I wait so long to have fun and allow others that same freedom?

All I can say is better late than never! I’m making up for lost time and if I were me, I would have done it sooner!

One thought on “If I Were Me

  1. Such a groovy essay! Who says you can’t teach older ones new tricks? I say “wabi-sabi” and embrace the new, laid-back you.


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