Thinking Out Loud
April 15, 2012
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"Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it." ~ Ann Landers
By: Diane Szczepanski
The dusty, size 7 jeans from 1985, hung lonesomely in my spare closet.
In act of of realization and resignation, I removed the major throwback to my younger days and tossed them in the donation bag.
It wasn't an easy thing to do.
The hopeful act of hanging on to them for 20 or more years with the notion I would get into them again, made it a difficult decision. It took great strength to relinquish the idea that they would ever grace my now sagging behind.
Oh, I SO loved those jeans.
They represented a time in my life I was young, carefree, living on 39 cent cans of soup and more worried about fitting in my Calvin Kleins than I was about the balance of my 401k.
It was when a full cooler, a beach bag and a tank of gas were the all staples required on a weekend. Dust bunnies, weeds in the garden, helping a kid with homework and catching up on sleep were all foreign phrases.
Gray hair was what my grandma had, I hadn't been introduced yet to acid reflux and going out having fun with friends wasn't a treat, it was a given.
Those jeans represented FREEDOM.
The freedom of being an 'adult' by virtue of the numbers my barely 21 age indicated, yet lacking the oppressive responsibility that comes with truly having earned our maturity badge that usually comes later in life.
Property taxes were something my parents paid. There were no concerns how much sick time I accumulated at work, "just in case", since I rarely used it. The biggest cash scare was that I'd have beer money AND make rent, not that I needed to save for new tires and the dishwasher was starting to make a funny rattling noise.
I often find myself longing for my youthful days of yore in recent days. I feel too grown up. I sense the wrinkles I'm wearing across my forehead read: "Been there, done that".
But, change is inevitable and so is letting go. It's not a pretty sight to sit and wallow in the past and life continues to move along at its own pace whether we feel ready for it or not.
The other day, I guess I was ready.
As my son drove and I assumed the white-knuckled Mom position, we talked about potential colleges. I decided to have him swing by the donation box and I tossed a piece of history into it. With that simple act, came the realization that I am now the one paying property taxes, worrying about appliances and battling gray hair.
I have officially earned MY maturity badge.
The 1980's size 7, bright kelly green, straight leg jeans may be gone, but I'm strong, I can handle it. Plus, life has more balance now that I'm truly a 'grown-up'.
I recently purchased some killer boots AND got groceries to feed my son something more substantial than 39 cent soup.
The past was good, the present is good and the future looks good.
LIFE is good.
However, I'm just praying I don't see those jeans on some skinny 22 year old, at the next 80's themed party.
That, my friends, could get ugly.
Columns Article 6903
Business-woman by day, confessed boot addict by night and 'wanna-be' writer, music lover and proud Mom of an awesome guitar playing, teen son.
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