Thursday, March 15, 2018

Forty-four Never Things

Tomorrow’s my birthday. I know, I know. You feel terrible because you didn’t get me anything It’s all good. I sure as heck didn’t get you anything for your birthday.

But as birthdays are wont to do, this one’s got me thinking a little about Big Things. Like what I Am and what I Am Not. The good news is, I’m pretty satisfied with both columns. But I should step back...

A few weeks ago I was walking into my office and out of the blue started thinking about a necklace I had seen on a friend’s Facebook page. (Check it out. She’s very talented!) I thought to myself, “That was a nice necklace. It seems like me. I should buy that.” 

I literally stopped in my tracks.“How could that seem like me? I never, ever, EVER wear jewelry.”

No coworkers having arrived yet, this exceptionally deep conversation with myself was able to continue uninterrupted.

“That’s true. I wonder when I’ll be the kind of person who cares about jewelry?”

“Uh, I’m almost 44 years old. Don’t I think if I was going to care about jewelry I would have done it by now?”

“Well, maybe. I mean I could see myself wearing…”

“Nope. Never. I will NEVER care enough about jewelry to actually wear. Not ever.”

“Whoa. Hold the phone. You mean I’m past the age where I’m going to start becoming and doing and enjoying the things that as a kid I always assumed I would someday just adult my way into becoming, doing, and enjoying?”

Reader, I have to tell you, this was Some News to from Me to Me. 

I’ve been chewing on it ever since. And yes, it’s a little late in the game for a midlife crisis, I’ll admit, but apparently my existential calendar is delayed. I got thinking about my younger-self’s idea of me. So many things I just assumed about Future Phoebe. The prospect of another trip around the sun being complete had me feeling at once wistful for Younger Phoebe’s anticipated life and relieved that Current Phoebe is pretty close to out of F___s to Give. One of the benefits of the 40s is you’re almost invisible to the world and you can really, truly, do what you want. (H/T to SBS and Molly of Another Mother Runner for this insight in a recent podcast.)

So, in honor of my forty-fourth birthday, here’s a completely incomplete and mostly-sincere-but-maybe-snarky-in-places list of Forty Four Things I’ll Never Be.

I will never be a person who cares about...
1. Jewelry
2. Real Housewives

3. The Grammys
4. The VMAs
5. Manicures
6. Pedicures
7. Ironing
8. Purses
9. Shoes (that are not for running)

THESE kicks matter 

10. Cars

Nor will I ever be a person who regularly....
11. Sends thank you notes
12. Remembers birthdays (without Facebook reminders)
13. Says “no, thanks” to dessert
14. Drinks enough water
15. Eats enough leafy greens
16. Insists her children intake enough leafy greens

Not one of my kids. 

17. Can find the scotch tape
18. Buys a birthday present NOT on the way to a child’s party
19. Has the right sized gift bag on-hand
20. Does NOT want a shoulder massage

It’s not technically too late for many of these things, too, but let’s face it, I’ll never be a person who has....
21. Gone skydiving
22. Backpacked through Europe

It would be the lack of showers that would do me in, I think. 

23. Eaten snails
24. Read Game of Thrones
25. Become fluent in a foreign language
26. Grasped Calculus 
27. Had a daughter 
28. Tolerated (non-obfuscated with chocolate) coffee
29. Been the youngest {anything} in history
30. Smoked anything (NERD!) 

Some things you think you’ll possess someday. Lies. I know I will never be a person who has....
31. A good bladder
32. Insightful thoughts about your style choices
33. Calm amidst stressful driving situations
34. Swimming skills above “avoid drowning”
35. Model flossing habits
36. A really, truly, mother-in-law-level clean house
37. Unblemished skin
38. Freshly shaved legs without at least one hairy patch
39. Packed the right amount for any trip
40. Done enough core work 

And, the final four things I will never be are....
41. A consistent blogger with legions of readers
42. Worthy of you reading this far
43. Tired of my own lame jokes
44. Any younger

Because of the not smoking things, I can totally blow these out. 

Whether you are palindromic-ly 11 or 99 or anywhere in between, I hope you feel comfortable with what you are and what you are not. As for me, I’m going to enjoy my Obama year (#44th) because God knows what chaos great energy awaits me when I’m 45!

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