Monday, October 12, 2015

Aging - in the Best of Ways - and Wisdom from Maxine -

This month I'm working on being at ease with my age, my body, my stage of life; October is a tough month, and I'm wanting to leave this month having grown rather than stewed (not parallel, I know). When seasons change I get the urge to change - to run go do something new something challenging something that will push me higher harder more.

And although I am finding peace in my journey - restlessness still resides in my soul. I have this list of things I want to do - get full-time employment so I can have health insurance, take a Sunday afternoon nap, drink Diet Pepsi without the guilt that comes with knowing the ingredients, travel to Cuba, find a really cute pair of shoes - that are comfortable, be surprised, laugh out-loud, stop pressuring myself to be more do more ("have more" left a long long time ago).

Some things I'm good at - never looking back, never saying "If only," not judging, accepting others for themselves (now if I could learn to do that for myself), partaking in political discussions, turning down the road less traveled, making decisions, changing my mind, being as spontaneous as my schedule will allow, following my dreams, growing strong nails, rocking short hair, being honest, speaking honestly.

I have made a list of things I am not interested in ever doing - again. I have checked them off my refrigerator list. This includes - float the Provo River, drive the back side of Squaw Peak to Hobble Creek, run, build a home, move to another home, wear low-riding jeans, talk bad about others, list my strengths and weaknesses, job hunt, think I'm less than, feeling obligated, worrying, having dinner with ex's, holding on, stewing about church and church callings, micro-managing.

And that list of things I hope I never do - guilt my children into spending time with me, feel sorry for myself in front of others, say "I wish," "If only," "I can't." Cling. And mostly, I hope I never make "busyness" my life - ever ever ever. I may be busy, but I do have time for the things I want to do. - which includes having an adventure.

Back to what I don't want to do - I found this awesome article by Michelle Combs, in Huffington Post a few days ago. She affirmed my thoughts - hurray - and her words are more humorous than mine.

Today? I can read one of thousands of articles on aging ranging from reasons it sucks (no it doesn't) to age appropriate ways to wear eye shadow (you can have my black eyeliner when you can pry it from my cold dead fingers).

I love getting older. I spent a life time filled with self loathing. I gave that up. I gave up feeling stupid, because I'm not. I gave up beating myself up over being awkward. I'm socially anxious. That's who I am. There are a lot of us. We're a tribe. Well, a tribe whose members prefer to keep to themselves. I have replayed times when I've said or done something embarrassing literally decades after it happened. I'm done with that. I'm done worrying about how I look. I spent decades worrying about every gray hair and every bulge.
I stopped dying my hair over a year ago. I won't lie though, I still worry about the bulges. But see? That's the other thing, I'm cool with that as well. I accept me for who I am. Who I am right now is someone who would like to be a little less squishy. I am all about self-acceptance. And that is very nearly true.
There are things I am too old for. Time does change a person and I am finding that it is easier to accept these changes than to fight them.
These are things for which the ship has sailed:
1. Shutting up -- I no longer want to keep my mouth shut when I see an injustice. Or feel one. It's not that I never spoke out, there were times when I did, but it was usually on behalf of someone else. Not for myself. I'm done with that. I don't know how much good it will do, but if I get treated like shit, I'm going to shout about it.
2. Worrying how I look to others -- My husband and I had breakfast at an upscale cafe this morning, well, upscale compared to Waffle House. We were going grocery shopping afterward. My hair would have looked okay if I hadn't run out of dry shampoo, Also, it's possible I was wearing jeans that should have been washed three wearings ago. But really ... jeans don't ever get dirty, do they? There were four women sitting at the table next to us and every one of them was wearing an infinity scarf. I had a brief moment of panic. I kind of looked like a pan handler and my husband ... well, he definitely looked like a pan handler. What would the infinity women think of me? Then I decided that their opinion of me wouldn't change how my bacon and avocado omelet tasted. For the record, Waffle House has better coffee.
3. Guilty Pleasures -- I no longer have any guilty pleasures. I just have regular pleasures. I don't feel guilty about liking Lady Gaga. I don't feel guilty about reading every Stephanie Plum book and I certainly don't feel guilty about getting obsessive about a TV show and watching it over and over. I have moved on from Supernatural and Doctor Who. I am currently re-binge watching The Walking Dead. Because Daryl.
4. Uncomfortable shoes -- Screw wearing uncomfortable shoes. I also don't care if my socks match or not. If they mostly match, that's good enough.
5. Making excuses for my messy house -- You know why my house is messy? Because I don't feel like cleaning right now. Also, it's messy because I'm unorganized and a bit of a slob.
6. Accumulating stuff I don't need -- I cannot convey how much I am done with this. Nearly everything we have isn't necessary or entertaining or comforting. We have less than two years before our youngest graduates and starts college. During that time, it is my goal to relieve ourselves of at least half of everything we own. Maybe more.
7. Spending unnecessary time with people I don't like -- I actually started this one a few years ago. I used to go to lunch a few days a week with a group of coworkers. I don't like them. They are mean, petty, and we don't share the same interests. One day, I looked at them while they squabbled over sports or politics or a work project and thought what am I doing here? And then I stopped having lunch with them. Life is too short to spend unnecessary time with douche twizzles.
8. Finding the good in every person I know -- Sometimes, people are assholes. I'm sure, even with the biggest asshole, if you do enough digging, you'll find something good about that person. But why would I do that? Why have I done that? I don't want to waste anymore time than I have to on unpleasant people. People make their choices. If they decide to be insufferable, then so be it. I no longer feel compelled to find something attractive about people like that. I just want move on from them as quickly and painlessly as possible.

What is on your "I am too old for" list? 

Philippians 4:11-13: 
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, 
therewith to be content.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

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