I'm forty-five. I spelled it out because seeing the numbers makes me want to sob. Forty-five feels old. Old as dirt, actually.
I've lived a fun life so far. Lots of experiences. Some pain. A lot of laughs and a lot of tears. And had I had to experience these five things when I was 25, there probably would've been more tears than laughs.
1. Elf on a Shelf.
Don't get me wrong, Elf on a Shelf, you are adorable. Honestly. I adore you from afar.
And to the parents that are able to come up with (or borrow) such creative ideas AND successfully perform them for 30 days in a row: I admire you. You rock. You are a better parent than I was. I know. I admit it.
Honestly, I was the worst (spoiler alert) Tooth Fairy on the planet. I think I forgot to leave money about 50% of the time and then had to try to think of a great excuse, sell that excuse to my kids, and then leave the normal amount of money plus interest the next night.
I can't imagine that I would've been good at this. I would've blown it. And the performance anxiety this cute little tradition would've caused would have led me to drinking or anxiety meds or both.
But to those of you who take part: You go, girl! I'm right here cheering you on.... and thanking my lucky stars this didn't exist when my boys were little.
2. Pregnancy Photos
I swear to you - I was the ugliest pregnant person on the planet. And I was a miserable human being.
I got fat. Ugly fat, not cute fat. I gained weight EVERYWHERE. My nose got huge. My feet grew. My butt... let's not even go there.
My face was red and blotchy. I was sick as a dog and on bed rest for the entirety of the 2nd pregnancy. And I puked. A lot. Yes, I puked a lot but still got fat. So unfair.
There isn't one thing I want to remember about my two pregnancies other than the fact that they ended. And I got two amazingly wonderful boys out of them.
So cute little pregnancy photos never would've happened. Part of me wishes I would've done them ... but the part of me that got fat, doesn't.
It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: Pinterest would've been the bane of my existence.
The pressure. Oh my word, the pressure!
Pinterest is great at showing you every single area in your life where you don't measure up. I don't have the clothes I want.. and if I did, I'm not thin enough to fit in them. I can't cook the amazing food that I find pinned all over the place. I can't make the crafts, afford the home decor, or perfect landscaping. And the places I want to travel? They'll stay on my wish list.
Yep, pretty sure that if Pinterest would've existed while I was a newly married and young mom, my self-confidence would've been lower than it already was.
4. The Housewives
I survived High School. I know how absolutely horrible those of the female gender can be to one another.
I know we're bitchy, catty, gossip hounds who can love seeing those we don't like brought to their knees and destroyed.
I know all of that, but watching any version of this show makes me sad. And knowing that so many others love watching them makes me even sadder. And knowing that some women aspire to be like the women on the show makes me saddest.
I miss happy shows that reminded us of the good in the world. I miss shows that made us aspire to be better. I miss real housewives who focused on their family and loving others - like my mom.
4. Yoga Pants
I've never had a butt that looked like that, so....
5. 30 Day Challenges
"I'm such a failure!"
"I can't finish anything!"
"I'm such a loser!"
Those three quotes above are how every single 30 Day Challenge I have tried, ended.
In other words, they ended. Before the 30 days.
Planking. Fasting. Reading the Bible. NANOWRIMO. C25K.
You name it, I've tried it and failed miserably. So glad I didn't have more to fail at when I was in my twenties. So. Much. Pressure.
Twenty years ago, I knew I was a wife. I knew I was a mom. A friend. An employee. A daughter and sister.
But, I didn't know WHO I was.
We had magazines and tv shows. We had perfect friend who seemed to have it all together. But we didn't seem have it in our faces twenty-four hours a day.
I'm so glad I didn't have such impossible high standards which so often bring us to such low places, and I pray that those twenty-something new wives and moms of today are able to ignore the pressures, make mistakes and be true to themselves - even if they feel really ugly when pregnant.