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In just a few days, our summer guest, Israeli camp counselor Dikla, arrives at our house. Anxious to learn more about her, I got a short profile from the head of the JCC summer camp program.

Aaaaaaand . . . according to a survey she submitted, Dikla is really into mysteries and crime fiction, movies, shopping, and art.

Oh crap. I have seen approximately two movies per year for the last six years (I don’t even bother with Netflix any more). I read less/slower than I used to (time + neck issues), and when I do it’s more likely to be non-fiction. I have neither the time nor the wallet nor the closet space to be the clothes horse I used to be. And while I do still like artsy stuff, I do less than I used to because of my neck and also because I live with decidedly non-artsy people.

So my first thought was, Oh boy, what are we going to do with this poor house-guest? We are a family that enjoys soccer (watching and playing), tennis (watching and playing), running, nature hikes, going to the pool, playing basketball and ping-pong, doing pilates, and playing a variety of board and card games. This poor woman is going feel like we’re putting her though an endurance competition. She’s going to feel like . . .

hmmm . . .

this is starting to sound a bit familiar . . .

. . . Oh yeah—she’s going to feel like me back in the day! And I don’t mean me 20 years ago; I mean me according to my own Facebook profile. It wasn’t that long ago that my hobbies were reading and knitting and that I spent hours and hours watching movies and going shopping. It was just a few years ago that I hated all exercise beyond walking and had no interest in sports beyond college basketball, Wimbledon, and the Olympics. I’ve got lots of mystery fiction on my shelves. And until very recently I would have told you that, excepting Scrabble, I hated board games.

I’m clearly not that person any more. And while I know how some of this happened—I decided to get fit, I ran farther than I ever thought I could, I fell in love with pilates, I had to give up hobbies that strained my neck, I produced a sports-loving child—I am astonished at the degree to which my interests and entire way of being has shifted. Because make no mistake, the vast majority of this shift has little to do with Simon or self sacrifice. Or perhaps more accurately, Simon and neck pain may have been the catalyst for change, but these changes have been fully internalized.

If I hired a chauffeur, cook, and laundress tomorrow, I’d spend that extra time volunteering, running, doing pilates, or taking on yard and house projects, not shopping. If my neck (which doesn’t hurt any more, by the way) reverted to its youthful state tomorrow, I don’t know if I’d pick up my knitting needles. Who wants to sit when there’s a beautiful park to run through? I watch soccer games even when Simon is in bed or out of the house. Heck, I watch and read soccer news of my own accord. Board games are fun. I get twitchy trying to sit through long movies.  I’d rather sweat or freeze than spend all my time cooped up inside.

Now the question remains whether during Dikla’s visit I can revisit my old self the same way I might revisit some place I used to live? And if so, will I feel a wave of nostalgia and want to incorporate more of my old self into the new? Or have I put that person in the rear-view window for the near term, if not forever? The answer is coming in about five days.

Postscript: I mentioned my old shopping ways to my pilates teacher Saturday. I’ve studied pilates from this woman for two years now, and we volunteered together for another two years before that. She knows me well. And when I talked about hitting boutiques every weekend, wearing heels almost every day, and adding extra shopping time to all my out-of-town business travel, she looked at me with such shock that I don’t think she quite believe me. So yeah, the change is definitely not all in my head!


One Response to “Remembrance of Things (Barely) Past”

  1. blg says:

    I met you towards the end of your high heel days. This post reminds me of how impressed I am with this chronicle of (among other things) your own evolution. I am very happy that you seem so very pleased with your growth. Just because we turned 30, or 40, or whatever, doesn’t mean we are permanently cast.

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