A few days ago when the cold snap of Autumn hit us, I went searching through my drawer for a pair of jeans that weren't already in the wash. I thankfully found a pair that I'd forgotten about. When I tried to put them on, I wasn't so thankful anymore. I hate finding clothes from seasons past only to discover that they are too tight. As I jumped and yanked and shimmied them on, I glanced at my bookshelf. The first thing I saw was one of my old college textbooks: "Money, the Financial System, and the Economy". I immediately thought about how much my life has changed. Even though I'd always planned to be a stay-at-home mom, I used to imagine myself as a banker or a corporate executive in one of the jobs my fellow alumni were getting. The ill-fitting jeans also forced me to realize that my body continues to change as age creeps in. I wasn't distressed by these thoughts. I'm happy with the life I have. It's just different than I sometimes thought it would be. After a minute or two, I was glad to finally button the waistband. At least I hadn't gained too much weight since winter.
By 5:00 p.m. I had to admit defeat. The jeans were cutting into my gut and I could pretend to stand it no longer. However, when I changed into pants from my current wardrobe, I was pleased to discover that the jeans are a size 6. I must have been that size two years ago, and I remembered thinking at that time that I needed to gain weight and lose some stress. That size tag gave me some perspective. Even if I'm not a corporate manager somewhere, I am still very tuned in to current political and economical events, and I have a busy and complex household to manage every day. Besides, when I was a kid, I wanted to be an artist or a writer; as an adult I still find ways to be creative, and I've recently written the first chapter of a novel. So I guess I don't have to accept a changed me. I am quite content with the healthier, tweaked-for-improvement version of the me I used to be and pretty much still am.