“I’m too old for this sh…” – Detective Roger Murtaugh
If I go back 25 years and think about the information available to me compared to now, I realize why my ADD brain swirls like one of the cheap pinwheels my husband decorates our deck with.
I was still decades away from caring about headlines that had to do with aging. I just scanned headlines on Cosmo for 3,609 Ways To Please Your Man articles.
Hint: Say yes. That’s really all it takes.
For the record, I just lied. I never scanned for those articles. They annoyed me then. Now, I just find them unworthy of contemplating.
Now? I can read one of a thousand articles on aging ranging from reasons it sucks (no it doesn’t) to age appropriate ways to wear eyeshadow ( you can have my black eyeliner when you can pry it from my cold dead fingers).
I love getting older. I spent a lifetime 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.
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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.
My mind doesn’t understand that I’m 53 years old. It still feels 31. My body, however, it is fully aware of the number of years it’s lived.
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:
- 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.
- Worrying how I look to others – Randy 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 3 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 panhandler and Randy…well, he definitely looked like a panhandler. 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.
- 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 fromSupernatural and Doctor Who. I am currently re-binge watching The Walking Dead. Because Daryl.
- Uncomfortable shoes – Nope, not wearing uncomfortable shoes. I also don’t care if my socks match or not. If they mostly match, that’s good enough.
- 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.
- Accumulating shit 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. Our baby boy is about to finish high school. My goal to relieve ourselves of at least half of everything we own. Maybe more.
- 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.
- 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 any more time than I have to on unpleasant people. People make their choices. If they decide to be insufferable twat monsters, 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.
I’m sure I could make this list much longer, but this is a good start. I find getting older to be liberating and I’m looking forward to finding more things I am ready to let go of.
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About the author, Michelle Combs
Anyway, she worked on the opposite side of the building and we got through our days instant messaging each other. One conversation included her saying that when she went to hell, she was wearing flip flops and I responded “You would wear rubber shoes in hell.”
As soon as I hit send, I knew I was starting a new blog. That was in March of 2013 and I’ve done nothing but fall more in love with this space and the connections I have made.
I adore blogging and I know that writing has had a positive impact on my mental health. I have explored parental narcissism, depression, anxiety and menopause. These excavations are not always pleasant or easy, but have been so very worth it.
I’m digging finding my voice.
I can be found on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Blunt Moms, In The Powder Room, Vibrant Nation, Better After Fifty, Midlife Boulevard, Mock Moms, Sammiches and Psych Meds and Erma Bombecks Writers’ Workshop.