Do you ever discover that people have an impression of you that is not what you think of yourself. OK, so that happens all the time. I mean a drastically different impression. Just recently it has been brought to my attention that I am considered something of a health nut among some of my acquaintances. Oh, they haven't actually said anything of the sort. But, I have noticed that I will say or do something that seems perfectly normal to me, and they will respond in some way that tells me that what I said or did is completely alien to what they consider normal.
I think I first noticed hints of it among some other Moms of preschoolers when I mentioned that I was avoiding caffeine while pregnant or trying to get pregnant (I don't have it much anyway since I don't want to get addicted and then try to wean myself off again should I decide to get pregnant in the future). They couldn't imagine going without their coffee. Then I noticed similar reactions when I would mention to people that I tried to walk several times a week with the kids (In fact I didn't do this until I had kids. They like the outings and it keeps me from feeling too cooped up). Now that I'm getting fairly late in my current pregnancy, the walks don't happen as often and I count a trip to the grocery store as exercise. My family went on an outing to a community event recently with friends and had the choice of standing in a long line to ride a shuttle bus or walk close to a mile. Our friends were puzzled that I, the pregnant woman, chose to walk. They kept asking me if I was OK or if I needed a rest. This so astonished me that I began to realize that I really must be different.
I have never considered myself to be any kind of health nut. I walk because I enjoy it and it helps in my kids routine. I avoid caffeine because it is recommended when pregnant. I have never dieted or followed food fads. I use the good old four food groups to teach my kids healthful eating and think the food pyramid should be trashed as way too complicated. I don't care if my food is organic or has anti-oxidants. I buy my food based on what is easy to prepare and relatively inexpensive. I eat large portions and add bacon fat to my vegetables. I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm not (that applies when I'm pregnant, too). I do try to keep myself to the same rules that I give my children and eat a variety of foods at each meal (3 of the 4 food groups before any dessert). If I didn't, they would call me on it. I don't exercise excessively (unless taking care of a preschooler and toddler can be called excessive exercise).
So, when did my normal behavior (in my eyes) turn into weird behavior to so many people I encounter? I do admit that I have always been a little abnormal. But, growing up, it always seemed to me that I had the surface appearance of normal, which became dispelled once people got to know me. Now, somehow the surface appearance of normal is starting to dissipate. It makes me wonder, am I really changing much? Or is it that the world is changing around me? I suppose that it is possible that both are happening. It is just a little startling when you realize that you don't fit the categories anymore that you thought you did. Hopefully the changes are for the better.