Despite my constant complaints, I must confess that there are some good things about getting older. (I love that euphemism, by the way: “getting older.” Older than what?) Here’s ten things that have made rounding the bend into my fourth decade a little less painful:
1. I have a laser printer. After decades of anguish and tears, the days of waging war with my piece ’o crap inkjet are officially over. The Hub and I have been discussing this grand investment for a decade but never felt we were in a financial position to live so extravagantly. Then last week out of the clear blue sky, he brought one home. I could have kissed him, but I didn’t–I told him to open the box and hook that thing up now. Sometimes I print things out just for fun. (Do you need any recipes?)
2. I no longer worry about my crow’s feet. Because now the wrinkles around my mouth and forehead have gotten so deep, my crow’s feet look like beauty marks. The same thing is happening with my tush, which has always been sized a bit too large for my liking. Lately, my tummy has taken precedence as an Area of Concern, which is really quite wonderful for my tush, which seems smaller the bigger my tummy gets. I suppose my next order of business will be to find some “older” (than old) friends. Then my tummy and tush will look young, if not small. It’s all about perspective, people.
3. I get pedicures. This is a luxury that was unimaginable in my “younger” days. But over the last few years I’ve allowed myself to occasionally indulge in them, and over the last year they’ve emerged as a shiny new necessity. (I’m big on New Necessities, like Charmin toilet paper and paying someone to wash my windows.) The best part is that my toenails have yet to wrinkle with age, so I can observe the pedicure with some measure of pride–which is more than I can say about the mammograms that I’m now, as an “older person” being subjected to.
4. I can no longer generate much interest in fashion. Wait. I think this may be a bad thing. But it can’t be helped; malls are torture and online shopping takes saps my blog time. The result? I’ve been wearing my “cool” BKE jeans (yes, the store brand is as far as I got) around town with a rather large hole in the back upper thigh. (Oh alright fine…it’s kindasorta in the crotch area. All the easier to keep hidden, I say.) Replacing said jeans sounds like too much work and too much mall. There’s a reason I’m a blogger and not a public speaker, and my gray flannel sweatpants have a lot to do with it.
5. I’ve quit reading books about Getting Organized. A stack of such books has been collecting dust under my bed for years, and I’m finally mature (read: old) enough to let the dream die. I’ve read the books, I’ve attended the classes, I’ve made the charts and graphs and lists and the hard truth is that I’m never, ever going to Get Organized!–at least not at the level these books tell me to. The happy truth is that I’m plenty organized to manage the affairs of my own day, which include taking a shower, feeding my dog, and writing an embarrassingly inane blog post. Hey, routine is important. (The books told me so.)
6. I’ve kinda quit reading books altogether. Let me clarify: I love reading, I believe in reading, I dream of reading, every day. But I’m spinning in a season of life wherein reading–like I used to read, anyway–is a virtual impossibility. I’m managing a teen, tween, nine year old, crazybusy hubby, home, hearth, church and school stuff, and gazillion and one errands every day–probably just like you are. And it’s good; it’s my life as a mom and it’s exactly what I want to be doing right now–even more than I want to be reading. The pile of books will be ready when their time is ripe, and they’ll be all the juicier for the waiting. (Not that I read anything that juicy. Shoot, that came out wrong.)
7. My feet are shrinking. No joke. I used to wear an 8, now I’m buying a 7 ½. The other day a 7 even fit. It’s probably the early stages of osteoporosis, but who cares? I feel skinny!
8. My age has become a legitimate excuse for laziness. When I’m on the couch and don’t want to get up, I’ll often ask my kids to get stuff for me. The conversation usually goes something like this:
“Ethan, will you go get me my phone?”
“Yeah, but mom…um, how come you can’t do it?” (The guarded manner in which he asks this does nothing to hide his impertinence.)
“Because I’m old and fat, and you’re young and skinny.” This is the point at which, a few years ago, he would say, “Mom, you’re not old! You’re not fat!” Now, however, he simply replies:
It’s nice not to be argued with.
9. Nobody expects me to look that good or be that nice anymore. This is a relief. Although: did they ever expect me to look that good or be that nice? I may have been flattering myself, which is something people in their thirties are good at and people in there forties should stop doing altogether. Forty’s foolin’ nobody, baby.
10. I can cut my hair short. Without too much thought. Cutting my hair used to be a anguished life decision–would it flatter or foil me?–but now, thanks to #9, I just don’t really care anymore. Nor, thanks to #9, does anyone else. I think I’ll cut my hair short tomorrow, in fact. See how quick I did that? Oh, the liberation that comes with the increasing homeliness of getting “older!” (Older than what, I’m still not sure. You? Probably. Dang it.)