I always thought I dealt well with changes. I like the feeling of rearranging a room or a new haircut or shade of lipstick.
It changes things ever so slightly without really alienating you. It’s refreshing and exciting, once again, to walk into a room or look in the mirror.
But as I get older, changes seem to frighten me. I always think back to one of my favorite movies, Raising Arizona. Those early happy days were referred to as the “salad days.”
I don’t think of salad days as better than any other time in life. Just a really stable time of some sort of relative peace and happiness. I love being a mom. I mean, it’s difficult as hell but so incredibly rewarding, and not just in the cliche way.
But I often think of my salad days as the time before my son was born. My husband and I were DINKs (duel income, no kids). As a result, we traveled the world and generally had a pretty good time.
We built our house and I still have the pictures of our dogs Holden and Einstein so excited to enter the house and “christen” the carpet.
That was a time of love and devotion without much complication.
As I get older, the complications seem to increase (as does my reaction to them).
Holden and Einstein have long since passed. They’ve been replaced (but never really replaced) by Roscoe and Emma, dogs that have eerily similar personalities. Obviously, we have a child in our life that reprioritizes everything. And major travel has been on hold.
I’m okay with those kinds of changes. That seems more like a natural progression. But sometimes life doesn’t progress the way that we want and that’s what makes me afraid.
I haven’t dwelled on this too much lately but I sometimes make myself crazy listening to the news. You hear about a tragedy, an accident, an illness. And I worry about when it’s going to be my turn. When is that going to strike my life.
I’m 42 years old and I’ve dealt with loss but it hasn’t been for quite some time. Both of my parents are alive and well as are my two brothers and sister. We don’t really have much of extended family on my side and maybe right now I’m almost thankful.
On my husband’s side, my extended family, he is also one of four children. His mother is alive and well as are her 11 siblings that make up the foundation for his unending number of aunts, uncles, and cousins.
And then I look at my neighborhood. This is the place that feels like home. The place where I expect to be for the next twenty years. In the year since I’ve been here, I’ve already seen four new babies born, new decks being built, new puppies being welcomed into the families. And I look down the street and think of all the change that is to come over the next few decades and hope and pray it’s only positive.
It that realistic? No, not really. But these are my new salad days and I want to hold onto these feelings and relish them instead of worry about what will take them away.