Taking Stock

May 21st, 2010

There are moments in life that cause us to stop. To think. To reflect. It can be a life altering event like a birth, a death, or a divorce. Or it can be something simpler, but in many ways just as profound: a meeting with old friends. A peek back at life the way it used to be.

This afternoon, I’ll leave my husband and two munchkins behind  – (hope he’s remembering my Stay at Home Spouse Survival Tips!) – to attend my 25th college reunion at Lehigh University.

It’s hard to admit that the years have gone by so quickly, but it’s true. I still remember, as a young child, hearing the “old folks” around me say, “Life goes by quickly.” It didn’t seem possible then, but like so many things in life, only now do I know the elders were right.

Twenty five years ago, I was a scholarship kid, scared to death that I would lose my scholarship if I flunked Statistics or Advanced Calculus. (I never worked so hard for a D+ in my life!)  I was worried about paying back my student loans – (I did so early) – and I wondered if I would ever meet the right guy.   (It took 18 years of dating experience and a Strategic Plan to Meet a Man, but I finally did!)

I was so busy serving on a million class committees that sometimes it was hard to get my class work done (kind of like how this blog and my online activism with @GreenMoms interferes with biz dev work for my business).  Some things never change!

I wanted to explore the world (22 countries down, 180 or so to go!), make some money (Nasdaq 5000, easy come, easy go), and live an interesting life.

I didn’t expect my life to now be so consumed by environmental concerns.

Online, my friends’ beliefs are well known. It’s easy to complain about the evils of bottled water with bloggy friends like Beth of Fake Plastic Fish or Diane of Big Green Purse.

In real life, it’s far trickier. Those big chemical companies fighting full reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act? They recruit from colleges like Lehigh, and from MBA programs like Georgetown’s. (Hoya Saxa!)

In “real life,” many of my oldest and dearest friends aren’t working for NGOs, showing up for Capitol Hill testimony, or demonstrating in the streets.

Instead, they’re working hard for those same companies we like to challenge in the green blogosphere.  I know what it’s like. I’ve worked in marketing and PR for Fortune 500 firms.

They don’t want to question. They want to believe.

But I know from experience that face-to-face, those differences will melt away. I’ll smile with a skeptical twinkle in my eye, refer them to the EWG’s Skin Deep  Database, and agree to provide some questions they can forward to their colleagues. I don’t want to put my friends on the spot. They’re my friends after all, and it’s a party.

And then I’ll think, and reflect, on all that’s changed in 25 years.

What about you?

— Lynn

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