Lately I’ve been wondering if I’m turning into my mother, well, maybe that’s a stretch, how about I dial it back and say that I’ve been feeling like I’m turning into some of my girlfriends. Not my girlfriends who are the same age as me, or even younger, but those who are now mid-late 50’s and love, love, LOVE being home before the sun sets. I remember back in the day, those exact girlfriends and I would get up to all sorts of mischief, especially Barbie in California. We thought nothing of driving from Malibu into West Hollywood, or Los Feliz to go somewhere hip and delicious for a sexy girlfriend date night. Now, these days, you’re hard pressed to get me out of my house once I’ve landed back in it after a day of meetings, or running around out in the world. There is very little on this planet that can bring out the same level of joy in me, that the days when I arrive home and know that when I walk through my front door I get to take my bra off, and keep it off.
But it’s like a double edged sword, because the more joy I find in being home by 4pm stomping around my house in cozy clothes, the more I have been quietly asking myself: “Am I getting OLD????” I don’t want to “actively embrace oldness” you know what I mean?! So imagine my surprise, and joy, when in conversation today with a young, (he’s 37) fit, (he’s a personal trainer and instructor) I learned that I’m not the only person who prefers, actually flat out LIVES FOR getting home early whipping my bra off, and batten down the hatches by 4pm. (Well he doesn’t have a bra to take off, obviously, but if he had his druthers he would never teach or train somebody past 3pm.) He GOT ME. He didn’t think I was weird, or old. He thinks it sounds like heaven to be able to be home and cozy before the street lights come on. I was SOOOOO RELIEVED to hear this from somebody more than ten years younger than me.
I mean really, I’ve earned it haven’t I? Gone are the days of me having to pick kids up from after school activities only to rush home, get them fed and then back out the door to another activity. For any of you who have more than one kid, you know just how busy after school life is. I swear I thought it was only moms, or women who had completed multiple years of mom duties who feel blessed to be home before the rush hour traffic strikes, and the winter darkness falls. But apparently it isn’t, some men wish for the very same thing. Which got me thinking; I wonder if this is why there are so many cars on the road as early as 3pm. I swear, 3pm is a mini rush hour in and of itself, or at least it is in Toronto. It used to be that the roads would start getting congested around 4:30 in TO, but now, our Don Valley Parkway, which is our main North South artery from the downtown core is backed up as early as 2pm.
Where are people going? Are they all heading home to whip their bras off like I am? What is going on out there. Do people no longer work 9-5? Am I dating myself by even thinking that? Yannick is always gobsmacked when he decides to get on the DVP on the weekends anytime after 4pm and it is as backed up as it is any other day of the week. I then take the opportunity to remind him that stores are now open seven days a week which means people are out and about either working or going shopping, heading to brunch, or visiting family, just living their lives.
We live in, what seems to be becoming, more and more, a twenty four hour world. I was driving Dominique to the airport at 6:15am last week, as we watched the flow of traffic into Toronto get heavier and heavier with each passing minute she asked me: “Where are these people going, it’s not even 7am?” My assumption was that they were going to work. But at 7am? Is that a thing? I’m guessing for some people it is. But, I also have many friends who live in the suburbs and drive into the city for work, who say that they have gym memberships near their downtown offices and would rather drive in two hours early, work out, and start their day calm, and centered rather than stress inducing bumper to bumper anxiety inducing traffic. Combine these factors along with the fact that we’re all connected via our technology these days, and you can literally work from anywhere, unless you’re a trades person, that I think people make their own hours. And I suppose all that matters to an employer is that the job they’re paying you to do gets done by the time they need it to, so hooray if you’re an early riser, at your desk by 7am, and home with your bra off by 4pm. Next time I’m slipping into cozy clothes before 4pm and settling in for the evening I’ll be thinking of all of you who are doing the exact same thing.