Life – Then and Now
Todd: Hey Meg, so I thought we would talk about then and now, the present and the past.
Meg: Sounds good.
Todd: So, it’s very easy to compare things, compare things now, and sometimes people think things were better in the past, or things were worse in the past, so let’s see what you think. The first one is are you happier now than you were last year?
Meg: Am I happier now? I think I’m about the same happiness level, so last year I was happy with my job and my family and my friends and this year I’m still happy. What about you? Are you happier now than last year?
Todd: I am happier because last year I was still in college in graduate school and I finished.
Todd: Yes, and I have more free time now and because of that, I’m happier this year. Less stressed.
Meg: Less stressed always makes up happier.
Todd: OK, so the next one is do you think you are healthier these days than you were before, say ten years ago?
Meg: Actually no. I think I am not healthier than I was about ten years ago. Lately I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been taking enough time to exercise or cook healthy food, so I would say I was probably healthier ten years ago. What about yourself? Are you healthier now or before?
Todd: I think I’m healthier actually. Even though I’m a little fatter than I was ten years ago, I drink less and I eat more vegetables. I eat less fast food. I think I get more sleep, and I feel less stressed, so I think I am a little bit healthier than I was ten years ago.
Meg: Yeah, that definitely sounds healthier.
Todd: But I’m older so that’s … you know.
Meg: Right, well older and healthier.
Todd: Right. OK, so how about stress? Are you more stressed now than you were five years ago?
Meg: That’s a hard question. Probably I’m about the same, so I wouldn’t say that I’m more stressed now, but five years ago I was finishing my master’s degree, so that was also a stressful time, and lately I’ve been quite busy so I’m probably at the same stress level as five years ago. What about yourself? Are you more stressed now?
Todd:I think I’m less stressed now actually because now I worry less than I did before, so before I was more stressed because I worried about everything, and now I’ve learned to let it go, let things go. I don’t let them bother me.
Meg: That sounds like a good policy.
Meg: So, you think you’re less worried now, but what about your future. Are you more worried about your future than before?
Todd: Ooh, you know what, yeah I do think I’m more worried about my future now because I’m older so I’m more worried about money. I’m more worried about what I’ll be doing in ten years, job security, things like that, so sadly I am a little more worried about that.
Meg: There’s a lot more to think about.
Todd: Yeah, so but I’m less worried about my life day to day. Everything happening around me, so I guess that’s why I feel less worried than I was say five years ago
Todd: How about you? Are you more worried about your future these days?
Meg: I don’t think so. I have a good job and I like where I live so I don’t feel too worried about what I’ll be doing next year or in five years, but probably I should plan ahead a bit more. Maybe I should be a little more worried, but I feel OK about the future.
Todd: Well, that’s a very healthy attitude to have.
Meg: Yeah, it helps with the stress level as well.
Answer these questions about the interview.
1) Who is happier now?
2) Who is healthier now?
3) Who is more worried now?
4) Who is more worried about the future?
5) Who says they have a good job?
Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary
Are you stressed?
When you are stressed, you worry about things such as money, family or work. Notice the following:
- I am stressed about the test.
- She is stressed about her job.
I would say | I wouldn’t say
I wouldn’t say that I’m more stressed now.
We often use the phrase ‘I would say’ and ‘I wouldn’t say’ to introduce an opinion. Notice the following:
- I would say he is a nice guy.
- I wouldn’t say it is the best place to eat.
let it go
I’ve learned to let it go.
When you let something go, you stop worrying about it. Notice the following:
- Don’t worry about it. Let it go.
- Stop worrying. You need to let it go.
So I guess that’s why I feel less worried.
Here, I guess means I think. We use it as a softener before giving a statement. Notice the following:
- I guess I am happier now.
- He is not here. I guess he forgot to come.
I don’t think so
I don’t think so.
We use this phrase, I don’t think so, to show disagreement. Notice the following:
- I am wrong? Huh! I don’t think so.
- You are doing what? I don’t think so.
I worry about job security.
Job security refers to being sure you will have a job. Notice the following:
- Actors do not have job security.
- Teachers usually have job security.
I guess • I don’t think so • job security