As noted in my last post, A Promise To My 40 Year Old Self Part 1, 40 is creeping up on me fast. Still not anxious about it. Still just happy to be invited to the party. Still just a bit concerned about how I got to 39 so fast and what I am going to do to enter 40 like a diva.
So here I am. I have been reflecting a lot. Mostly on how I have lost myself and have been drifting along in survival mode for too long. I am guilty of pushing myself to the side and saying, “Maybe tomorrow Copper” too many times. Years have gone by where my goals never change and my to do list never gets checked off. I am making a stand and taking me back. It may not all happen before December 29th and that is okay. Some of it will be a continuous effort on my part. Some of it is deep stuff. Really personal stuff that I struggle with. Some of that I won’t be making public. And some of it is superficial and I make no excuses for that. That superficial stuff that I have allowed to pile up weighs a ton on my shoulders and I am ready to be done with that. Some of it will change. As I go along, things may be replaced by others. Perspective is ever-changing, as is our circumstances, and my priorities shift day-to-day.
The Original 40’s Bucket List
- One of my biggest goals for this year is this blog. I really want for this to become something. What that is, I don’t know but I really want it. It is an outlet for me. And I want it to grow. It is a lot to take in and will be a long process though. I have to learn to be more open. I have to learn how to navigate the blog world. I have to learn to be more diligent with my writing. I have taken some big leaps in the last few months and will continue to do so in order to feed this part of myself and maybe even make it into something that benefits my family.
- My physical health. I do not focus too much on this number but I am currently at the heaviest weight I have ever been and it is starting to affect me in multiple ways. I lost track of my healthier lifestyle, moved to a different state, and went off a tough medication all within a 2 month period and it has really hurt me. I do not like the way I feel and I do not like the way I look. I don’t have a number in mind but I would love to see myself healthier. I will not be starving myself, cheese and beer are my best friends, but I am open to healthier life choices. I am looking forward to finding my groove again with physical activity. I know what I love, it will just be a matter of making time for me.
- My mental health. Full disclosure. I suffer from a wee bit of depression and a shit ton of soul sucking anxiety. The medication I was on for it was effective but a little too much for my liking. I don’t want the anxiety but at the same time, I want to care about things. I didn’t have that on my meds so I went off them. Cold turkey. Not my best decision but not my worst. It has been a rollercoaster and I need to get it in check. I don’t know what the answer to this is but trust me, I will find it.
- Parenting. I want to be better. This is tricky. It is about someone else, three little people, but being their mother is my job and I want to be able to say that I did the best I could. I do all right now. My kids are pretty cool. Not giant a-holes. They wear clothing like 75% of the time. They eat veggies and fruits. 1 1/2 of them can wipe their own butt (okay we are working on improving that number). They know they are loved. But we are headed into some interesting times. School. Friends that aren’t siblings. THE PRE-TWEEN YEARS. It is about to get hard and I want to be ready for it.
- Being a wife. Again, it involves someone else but it falls within my realm of self-care. Did you know that Moose and I have been married almost 20 years? Marriage isn’t always a fun ride but we have stuck it out and I feel like we are in a good place. But there is always room for improvement and I want that. Two of our biggest downfalls is a)communication (duh) and b) we do not make time for ourselves, like ever. I feel like we are finally falling into a place where life is less of a struggle to survive and we can start to focus on these.
- Saying no. This has been my biggest improvement so far. Learning to say no. I am guilty of overwhelming myself to please others and I am not doing it anymore. The past year, I have really made an effort to not say yes to every little thing. Not to Moose and the kids. Not to work. Not to volunteering. Not to friends and family. It has made a big difference on my stress level and I have really noticed that I can give more to everything that I do say yes to because I am not so overbooked. If I have said yes to you, know that I really want to. But also know that if I say no, it isn’t personal. It is just a case of I can’t right now.
- Coming up with a serious life plan. This just doesn’t any explanation. I need some direction. Period.
- This one is very superficial but so important. I need more me. I am so guilty of putting everything ahead of myself and I am ragged, inside and out. I want to do things I want to do. I want to write. I want to paint. I want to buy books. I want to decorate my house. I want to take vacations. I want to grow. I want all of this and I WANT NEW UNDERWEAR. Seriously this one right here. Before I turn 40, I want a grip on this. Everything I own is old, stained, ripped, doesn’t fit right, not from the last decade. Nobody has done this to me. I do it to myself. I do not treat myself and it shows. I will own new clothes. I will get more pedicures. I will pluck my eyebrows more and moisturizeÂ religiously. I will stop treating myself like someone who doesn’t deserve to feel good about herself. In the words of Donna Meagle, it is time to…
Okay, there ya go. We will see where this goes and I will touch on this subject often. Please feel free to let me know what you think. I would love to know if you think about what you want to change or if you have any “Before I turn ____, I want to ___” revelations.
Now I have to go deal with the repercussions of locking myself in the office for an hour during Spring Break. It sounds like Lord of the Flies out there and I don’t want to but before Red gets hog tied and roasted above a campfire in the living room, I am going to make some sammies and pirate booty.
I turn 40 this year. In 10 month and 4 days to be exact. We often kid, it is the obligatory thing to do, about the horrors of it. Truth be told though, I am not upset. At all. In the least bit. Come December 29, 2016, I will get up and have what I am sure will be a normal day. There will be no wailing, hair pulling (well, no more than usual), sobbing in an empty tub surrounded by wine bottles. At the most it has made me more reflective on how I have lost myself a little bit. Okay, a lot. Like Grand Canyon size a lot. But alas, I am more of a “Let’s fix this shit.”kinda gal and not a “My life has been wasted, I might as well pick out a grave plot and call it a day.” lady. I do have a list of what I want to accomplish. Some of it is trivial. And some it is huge. And some of it is private and not appropriate to share. Boundaries people, believe it or not I do have them. But first, a pros and con list of turning forty. Because I love lists.
- Random hairs that only seem to show up when I am nowhere near a pair of tweezers. Seriously, WTF.
- My cute little grey hairs have literally over night turned into a streak that would make Sooki’s character in X-Men look tame.
- The lack of bladder control has reached an all time high. I fear sneezes, coughing, laughing, and shopping in the far back of Target.
- Mammograms and colonoscopies have become more of a reality and less something your mom had to do.
- Metabolism. I can’t even with that lazy bitch.
- An increased awareness of important adulty stuff, like retirement plans and something kids these days call a credit score. Neither of which I have.
- Everything hurts in the morning. I have a sneaky suspicion that I look like Danny Devito’s Penguin as I try to move around before my joints are loosen up.
- I have to dig my ID out less and less. Which is a good thing, I kinda don’t even know where it is right now.
- I literally do not give two shits what people think of me anymore. You either like me or you don’t. My dance card is full. I am happy to write your name on the back but really, I am not going to chase you. I don’t have the desire, time, or energy to win people over.
- Bathing Suits. You would think this would be in the con section, you know with saggy 40 year old boobs and all but nope. I officially have joined the “It is okay to not look great in a suit” club so there is way less stress. While y’all are worrying about your ass in that two piece, I am having a blast swimming with my kiddos and sneaking alcohol in coffee mugs into the community pool.
- People assume you have your act together. Naturally, how does a person get to 40 without getting it together. I mean, I totally don’t. I walked into Kroger’s the other day with no bra on and bedhead to buy cheese and a chocolate milk. But it is nice to know that people think I do.
- My car insurance rate isn’t too bad.
- I am sure there is more, but I am a little hungover right now so I can’t think too hard. My brain cells hate me.
So there ya go. This is going to be a two part blog. It would be terribly long otherwise. So I have chopped it in half and saved the other half for this weekend. I can only assume most of you read this while using the bathroom and I have read that it isn’t good for you to sit on the toilet for too long. You will get the ‘roids (ooh maybe that should be in the con section). So I am doing this for your own good. But please feel free to comment and let me know if you have any pros or cons to add. I would love to hear where others stand on this age thang.
Last Friday, I got so pissed at Blondie that I yelled. Yelling happens a lot in our house. I am not super proud of that but it is our go to form of communication. I am a work in progress, what can I say. She didn’t even do anything terribly wrong. I didn’t catch her breaking into homes or making meth in her room. Simply I caught her with something outside that I had told her multiple times, including the day before, that she needed to leave in her room. She got me on a bad day and I laid into her as she sat on her bed and cried. After several times of asking/yelling why she took it when she knew I didn’t want her to, she broke down sobbing and said those dreaded words….”I just want them to think I am cool.” This is the point where you could hear my heart shatter into a million pieces.
Blondie, to my knowledge, makes friends very easily. She is adored by the neighborhood kids (the very ones she was trying to impress), younger and older. She has not reported to me any difficulties at school, minus one little girl last year who tried to tell her that it was super weird that she wasn’t more girly. She shrugged that off easily enough or so I thought. I have raised her to be kind to all, a trait that fits her sweet nature and helps her fit in wherever she goes. And yet, she worries about being liked. She worries about being cool. She worries about fitting in. I feel like I am entering into a whole new territory. I struggled at her age with self esteem and fitting in. I struggled until I was in my twenties. I really don’t want her to do that too. I don’t want her to lose who she is in order to fit the norm. because she is different, she is amazing.
Back to last Friday, those words hung in the air for awhile. I took five deep breaths and sat down. “You are so awesome kiddo. And so loved. Why do you feel you need to impress someone? Did something happen?”
“No. I just worry a lot. I know I am a little weird and I think they might realize that one day.”
“Everybody is weird. Weird is good. Otherwise. life would be very boring. I promise you baby, you are impressive in your own right and do not need to go out of your way to impress people to like you. If you have to do that, they are not worth knowing.”
We talked a little longer but somehow my anger dissipated and was replaced with sadness. I am not ready for her to carry these weights on her heart. I don’t know what to do for her when she hurts like this. I don’t want her to change one bit. Not for others. Saturday morning, we went out and got supplies for her Doctor Who themed Valentines box and cards and grabbed some lunch. She seemed to be back to herself but my worry lingers. We haven’t talked again on the subject but we will. Instead at lunch, I put my phone away and let her control the conversation as we slowly ate our fries and sipped our “beers’ (mine was of hops, hers of root). She designed a new superhero and we made up his powers. She spoke briefly of a little crush at school. And then proceeded to go into great detail about Benjamin Franklin and his involvement in the Revolutionary War. I dare say, I may have learned a thing or two. But mostly I just sat there and thought about how cool she was already.
A week ago, I was doing the typical “Holy shit, Moose is on his way home. Let’s try to make it look like we are atleast a bit productive and not huge pigs when he is gone.” straightening of the house. In the kids bathroom I was wiping a week’s worth of toothpaste off the counter (how flipping hard is it to get it on the toothbrush?) when I noticed a brown thumbprint on the cold water controller thingy. “Oh….please be chocolate..” I said to myself. And it hit me. That’s the name. The name I have been looking for. I have been sitting on the idea of doing this, writing, for a long time. The thing that kept me from it, or atleast what I tell myself, is I didn’t have a name that properly described my life, my thoughts, my moods, my kids, the unexplained stains on my furniture.
Back to last Saturday, me standing in the bathroom staring at the sink. The reality is the stain on the cold water thingy could have been chocolate or it could have been poop. The Dude had been in there recently to wash his hands after I snuck him a chocolate covered pretzel. But then again, both boys are in the learning to wipe their own butts phase and quite frankly, it doesn’t always go well. It could have been poop. There was a high probability that it was poop. Can we just celebrate that they are atleast washing their hands? It is gone now, sprayed with a crap ton of bleach cleaner and replaced with toothpaste fingerprints. Seriously, what the hell is with the toothpaste abuse?
Please be chocolate is something I mutter to myself no less than twenty times a day. It isn’t always about actual chocolate vs poop, atleast not as much as when the kids were younger. It is about good vs bad. There is a lot of both in life and I try my best to not pretend otherwise. I promise to share both as I have always done.
With that maybe chocolate (but most likely poop) fingerprint, a concept has become clearer to me. And I am going to run with it. Hopefully you will join me. Hopefully you will share this so it will grow. It won’t always be about the kids, it won’t always be about me. It will be about life viewed through my eyes. It won’t always be perfect so be kind and forgiving. Or atleast respectful.
I will be referring to the family by their nicknames for their own privacy. Many of you know them but still, I would prefer to leave it at Moose, Blondie, The Dude, and Red. Especially in case this gets bigger for which I have no expectations of but still….just in case it turns out to be chocolate.