If You Don’t Have It, Wait for It

posted by Momo Fali on September 1, 2011

After I dropped the kids off at school this morning, I drove to the library to return some books.

Next to the library there is a long path which runs for miles to the north and south, mostly used by runners and bikers and one loose dog who once darted up the riverbank, through the trees and sent a biker flying over her handlebars onto the asphalt. I don’t know who that dog belonged to, but I have seen her sleeping in my daughter’s bed.

I digress.

Because it was so early when I returned the books, the path was mostly empty, save for a lone, young mother with a jogging stroller. My initial reaction was that she didn’t seem much different than I used to be; which, after some thought, wasn’t really true at all.

Of course, I don’t know the woman so it’s quite possible that we are a lot alike…though, when I say that, I mean her young-self and my middle-aged self, because I could tell by looking at her that she had her act together far more than I did at her age.

First of all, it was 8:00 AM. And, she was jogging. With a baby.

Second, she was color-coordinated and wearing nice workout gear.

Third, see the first thing again.

I was SO not that mother. As a matter of fact, I can recall feeling very disheveled inside and out. I can remember not wanting to leave my house because of the way I looked and I canceled plans all the time. I was overweight, my hair was completely unstyled and my clothes were outdated. Inside, I was a mess because I thought all of that mattered. I felt like a hag at the age of 27.

Now? I’m MORE overweight, my hair is a disaster and I’m currently wearing a shirt with a coffee stain and my husband’s running shorts from 1990. The ones that I fished out of the Goodwill bag because, hello? Perfectly good running shorts! Even though the stripe down the left leg has detached itself and hangs loosely.

But, inside I’m not disheveled anymore, no matter what I look like on the outside when I show myself in public. I don’t stay home and make excuses. I am living my life, enjoying my family, friends, work and the confidence that comes with age. Well, in my case anyway. After seeing that young mother and knowing that I would have never done what she was doing, I realized that 40 isn’t such a bad place for me to be. Either that, or it’s my Zoloft.

All I can say is that it feels good.

And, I didn’t even have to go jogging.


  • Lisa

    You go girl! I have periods like that where I feel like hiding because I look like crap, feel like crap etc. Then I buck up and say who gives a CRAP what anyone else thinks and go on with my life!
    And my shirt has a big grease stain on it from cooking! (As do most of mine, seriously, what get’s that out?)

  • Momo Fali

    I have no idea. I don’t do much laundry. 😉

  • Heather

    I think it’s normal for us all to go through periods like that where we are not really “ourselves”. It reminds me of the phrase ‘This Too Shall Pass’. Seems to work that way for me. I’m glad that you’re feeling more like yourself again & embracing all that you are; which i find, by the way, awesome & lovely & incredible.

  • tracey - justanothermommy

    Jogging at any time of the day is so unappealing to me. Walking is my style. With a cup of coffee.

  • Miss Britt

    “But, inside I’m not disheveled anymore, no matter what I look like on the outside when I show myself in public.”

    So. Much. This.

  • Lana

    Love this! I wouldn’t trade places with my younger self for all the world, especially if my younger self was jogging!

  • A Morning Grouch

    LOVE THIS. I just started a resolution to make sure to talk with other women/girls about their attributes OTHER than hair, makeup, weight. For some reason I didn’t think of applying the resolution to myself. Huh.

  • Melisa



  • Janice

    I’m a regular reader [not much of a commenter] but this post really hit home. Having been raised in a “What will the neighbors think?” household, it’s taken many years to realize that the real question for me has become – will anyone really REMEMBER the wrinkly shirt or the oh-so-outdated Crocs that I’m about to wear into Wal-Mart? No. Initially, they might be shocked but a few seconds or minutes later their own life will surely take precedence. Leaving me mentally free to walk around in comfort.:)
    PS try shampoo [the more generic, the better] on those cooking stains. I’ve had plenty of experience with that particular laundry challenge!

  • LauraL

    I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to re-do my 20’s… ever. I’m good right where I am.. in my 40’s! and just getting better!

  • carol

    Your story sounds familiar. It took years for me to figure out that how pulled together I looked made a difference in how pulled together I felt. Also, during some of my frazzled years, I would wind up at 3:00 AM washing diapers at the laundromat. No one cared. My outside and my inside matched. Finally, I got over it, quit trying to be superwoman, pulled up my big girl pants, tied my shoes and took charge.

  • Jamie

    I remember thinking as a child in the year 2000 I’d be 37. That seemed like a magicial number. At 37 surely I would have my act together. Life would be magical. Well, guess I don’t need to do the math but I’m a few years passed that perfect age. I felt a bumbling mess at 37. I have moments during the day I still feel that way, but age is kind on the mind if we let it work it’s healing.

  • Molly

    you have no idea how much I needed to read this. thanks from one coffee stained momma to another

  • mrsmouthy

    I am so feeling like the younger you lately. I only have five years to get my act together, and I’m afraid I’m just not going to have the same revelations.

  • BEAN

    Love. Can’t say anything more now. But I absolutely must later. Somehow, I got all my years backwards. /( <===Aw. See? Even my sad-face is off key!

  • Monica

    How did you get from there to here? I’m over forty and still need to get there. 🙂

  • Deb

    Oh yeah I am with you! I’m a hitter! My family and friends all know if they scare me, accidently or on purpose, they’re getting smacked at least twice before I breathe once. I got scared by some guy on Halloween once who was laying in a coffin! He popped up as my daughter and I walked by, and I smacked him on the head like twice before he got out of the way! I just kept saying “Sorry, but you shouldn’t scare people!” He seemed pretty scared himself ; ))

  • meleah rebeccah

    “But, inside I’m not disheveled anymore, no matter what I look like on the outside when I show myself in public.””

    I am so happy you have found inner peace!

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