Throwback Thursday. Timehop. Facebook Moments. We love to look back and reminisce. I know I do.
I’m constantly pulling my son Evan over to look at my phone and see how cute he was! see how little he was! He loves it too. As he ages, his notion of “then and now” probably won’t be as nostalgic as mine. He’s reminded of yesterday, today, and even tomorrow. He’s well-connected and pretty well-informed. I just hope he stays that way.
I’ll be working with Responsibility.org this year to continue the message of responsibility in terms of alcohol use in the Ask, Listen, and Learn program. As they welcomed me into the program this month, they reminded me of a few key things:
April is Alcohol Awareness Month. If you haven’t started the conversation with your kids, now is the time to do it!
Responsibility.org is 25 years old! Happy Anniversary (or Birthday?)!!
It’s the kick off of the Starts with Me campaign. What does personal responsibility mean and where does it start? I’ll let you take a guess or take a look at their new campaign video.
In honor of all of these things, I thought I’d spend a little time reminiscing about my personal responsibility THEN (25 years ago) and NOW.
ME – THEN
Twenty five years ago, I was 20 years old and in the second semester of my junior year at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. I carried a full course load and was well into my major of Biology and my minors of Chemistry and Theatre. When I wasn’t attending classes or studying, I had a part-time work/study job at the Ireland Cancer Center working on lab research for prostate cancer.
Gosh, I sounded pretty well put together.
ME – NOW
Now, I’m 45 years old and I spend my days working from home behind the keyboard of a laptop. I usually travel at least once a month for press trips and when I’m not working or traveling, I spend my time taking care of my son, four pets, and running errands. Yep, that’s pretty much my life.
DAILY LIFE – THEN
I wasn’t a morning person so I opted not to take any class that started before 9:30am. I’d book it all over campus and usually stop somewhere to eat. Because the commons were too far away for lunch, I usually head to the Student Union building and eat at Charlie’s Place where I’d usually grab a Pizza Hut pan pizza and maybe play some pinball. At the end of the day, I’d head back to my dorm.
I covered more miles in a day and never even stopped to appreciate the effect it had on my abs.
DAILY LIFE – NOW
I wake up too early for my taste for the morning flurry of making breakfast, packing lunch, feeding and walking the dogs, and driving my son to school. Then, it’s usually a morning of writing or calls, a quick break for the lowest calorie meal I can find in the house (I usually fail at this) – all while checking my wrist to see if I’ve gotten in enough “steps” for the day. I don’t.
NIGHT LIFE – THEN
Even though we were considered a “nerd school” (okay, an engineering school), we loved to sit around in our dorm suites with the cheapest of beers that we could convince someone to buy us. In all our 20 year old wisdom, we’d talk about music and movies and changing the world. Or sometimes just boys. The campus was pretty dead so we were pretty content with each other’s company.
NIGHT LIFE – NOW
Living the suburban life almost has more action than my dorm life. We have book club once a month and often get together with friends for a party or just a glass of wine. Our kids play while we wax poetic about things like jobs, kids, and neighborhood gossip. I’d say not a whole lot has changed.
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY – THEN
My biggest worry was getting up in time for class. Or getting the reading done that I was supposed to. I didn’t worry about hair or makeup. I didn’t worry about what I was wearing. (I probably should have). I didn’t think about the drinking. I felt safe. Nobody really had a car or money and we all focused on our school work. And we were smart kids, right? Honestly, I was too young, naive, and inexperienced to have any clue about what real life held in store.
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY – NOW
It’s more than just the daily responsibilities. It’s trying to keep the house organized and remember that the car servicing is due and it’s time for an annual physical. And did I give the dogs their heartworm medicine? Uh-oh. When is the science fair? And isn’t tax day coming up? I could go on and on and on and on.
Once in a while, it’s nice to stop and look at then and now. It’s amazing how much we juggle on our plates now that we couldn’t even imagine back then. And it’s also a good reminder that when we’re younger, the emptier plates mean there’s a lot more room for a focus on personal responsibility. It’s starts with me – 20 year old me and it’s paved the way for 45 year old me.