Gather round kittens, what better way to start off the week than by taking a nice walk down memory lane.
Recall the good old days of high school. Back in the day, the sorts of things that made for a great day for me were things like my parents not embarrassing me in front of my friends, my sisters not annoying me, not getting any extra assignments in school and fabulous weekend plans filled with gossip and booze in my future. Ahh, the good old days.
Then came college and the sorts of things that made for a good day, well, they didn’t change that much from high school except my parents weren’t there to embarass me and my sisters weren’t there to annoy me. I still didn’t want any extra assignments from teachers and I still had weekend plans filled with gossip, men and booze. Add in the fact that my weekends started a bit earlier than high school. And then mix in how much breakfast for dinner in the dorms would really brighten a gal’s day and I was happy!
Into my early 20s, the pieces of a good day changed a bit. Things like a promotion at work, enough money at the end of a pay period to buy some milk and cereal without counting pennies, random fun Tuesday night’s out and a few extra dimes for a fun top from the Gap, and I was happy!
As time marched on, good days continued to change. Enter in a boyfriend, enter in a future husband, enter in more money, enter in a better apartment, and good days came with surprise gifts of flowers or presents from my soon-to-be husband. Or how about a fancy meal out on the town, a random and last-minute planned trip to Miami. Ahh, life was good. This continued into the early years of my marriage. I mean, who doesn’t love flowers for no reason, or a get-away weekend somewhere warm and relaxing? Long meals with great wine? Right? A nap on the couch on Sunday after reading the papers? Ahh yes. Those are the kinds of things that make a good day, great.
And then came pregnancy. Little did I realize or fully appreciate that with pregnancy comes the last 10 months of my life where I, and everyone else around me, is focused on ME! How I feel, what I’m doing, how hard I’m working, if I had to wake up to pee one too many times that night – all these things mattered to me and my husband, my parents, even some of my friends. It was important, I was important. I was a delicate flower carrying precious cargo. ME. I mattered and others wanted to hear all about it. What made for a good day started to change a bit, however, because gone went the fancy bottles of wine, gone went the last minute trips as I headed into my third trimester, but the nice meals out, the movies, time to shop for myself, and time to complain about how I felt and what was bothering me – all these things were still there. ME, me and me. I could obsess over myself, and you better believe, I did. I would drive to work and lament over how many times I was bothered by waking to go to the bathroom. I thought that meant I had a rough night’s sleep. HA! What a joke! I failed to realize that I could then just return to bed and lie there without having to hold my breath and pray the baby woudn’t hear and wake up. I could just lay there and do nothing. I had no idea. And believe you me, I never bothered to stop and hear the clock ticking faster and the time running out on those good old days. Mais non! The days of yore, the days of MOI.
And now, here I am, a working mom. And I’m quite sure every other working mom out there will agree – what makes a good day? What is it that we want? What is the little secret to make us all happy and peace to exist throughout the land? Forget the crap about balance. Mais non, kittens.
It’s really quite simple – sure, flowers are nice. Sure, my husband thinking to stop and get some milk on his way home without even being reminded is like adding dark chocolate sauce to the dessert. But that’s not necessary. All I need for a good day is this: for things to go as planned. For the nanny to show up on time, for the baby to be healthy, for the traffic to not add two hours to my commuting time – that’s it. I don’t need or even want anything special. I just want a drama-free day with no added surprises.
I’m pretty sure that no one warned me that my expectations would be so low by my 30s. But really – I’m fine with that. A day that goes as planned is the perfect day now.