being present

Random Thoughts on What a Difference 10 Years Makes

what a difference 10 years makes

Elizabeth Weintraub in 2007 Cabo San Lucas.

You know what a difference 10 years makes when you look at photo galleries that continually shove photos from years ago in front of your face. Like when you’re on Facebook, for example, and suddenly it shows you a picture from a long time ago and you can’t believe your eyes. Or, if you’re like me, you click off the website and silently wish they would stop doing that. In my case so many of the old photos are of pets and people who have since died. It takes me a long time to get over losing a pet. I seem to adjust to deaths of people easier. It’s not a matter of value.

In this particular photograph, I just arrived in Cabo San Lucas at a recently opened newer hotel with very few guests. You can tell the year is 2007 because I’m wearing a watch. Unless it’s an Apple Watch or a Rolex, nobody wears a watch anymore. I’m also wearing my wedding ring on my chubby little fingers, and while I am still married to the most wonderful man in the world, I don’t wear my ring anymore. I don’t wear any rings because I intensely dislike wearing rings. My rings cause an irritation on my crepe paper skin, too, and one day I decided: why am I doing this? Because it’s expected that I wear a ring? Forget that. Doesn’t make me any less married, and I’m far more comfortable not dealing with it.

But my face looks so confident, not a care in the world, so young. It was just the beginning of short sales in Sacramento, and I wasn’t yet shredded to pieces. What a full head of hair, too. My hairdresser suggested this week that I try using Nioxin Booster to make my hair “the best that it could be.” That sounded like a line of BS until I googled the product. While they don’t want to come right out and say that Nioxin will grow more hair, that’s the basics of it. She told me something about it opening up blocked hair follicles, sounds goofy. But it seems to work for a lot of people, if you can believe Amazon reviews.

Yet, what a difference 10 years makes. Everything looks different when you look back in time. When you’re a little kid, the stuff around you seems so huge, your home, your school, your community, and when you look at photos years later, you’re often amazed at how small everything actually is in retrospect. This is why sometimes you’re better off with your own illusions of what life is like. Who says you have to stare at reality in the face all the time. Oprah?

At my age now, I try to be more in the present than anything. I don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to have fun. To stay happy, optimistic. I don’t want to think a lot about the future because it will come without my thoughts. I’ve prepared for it. I don’t need to spend more time on it than necessary. I also don’t need to look into the past and ponder what would have happened if I had taken a different road. The fact is I chose the road I’m on right now. It’s a good place to be. When I say what a difference 10 years makes, I can take comfort in the fact I have not become jaded by success. I still keep a positive outlook.

Just more confidently, that’s all.


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