With Age Comes...Some Wisdom. Or, Why My Pinterest Life is Still Not Happening (blog)
Monday, September 2, 2013 2:10 PM
So it's been a while since I've blogged. I had these big ambitions of knocking a bunch of things off my Pinterest boards, therefore creating a more creative, organized, abundant life.
But in the meantime I turned 40. No, I didn't go into a deep depression and get writer's block. But I did quit my job and take 3 weeks off. While I am still not a Pinterest goddess, I have figured out a few things.
First off, I am not claiming to have figured out ALL things. Even though I am forty, my mind seems to have stopped at 27. I have a stepson who will be heading to college next year, while some of my friends still have toddlers. How could I be this person who sits among other couples at football games and discusses our sons' college plans? I'll find myself among groups of women who are talking about things like dry flower beds, and I feel like an imposter. I struggle to contribute to these conversations. Maybe if someone mentioned the latest episode of Selling New York I'd be all over that, but so far that has not happened among the ladies on my tennis team. (And it's the "Forty and Over" tennis team. Don't get me started on that one. I'd like to think I can still hang with some of the twenty-somethings on the tennis court. Unless they kick my butt; then I will milk the age thing for all it's worth.)
So what have I figured out? God knows it can't be my hair. Right now I'm in an "It's too hot and my hair is too thick to dry all the way so I'm just going to wear a ponytail every day" phase.
It can't be my career, since I still haven't figured out what I want to be when I grow up. Is fashion designer/stylist/writer even an option anymore? I find myself envying young people who smugly tell me that they are studying environmental law or some new major they made up themselves which will combine their know-how with some worthy cause. They will undoubtedly make gobs of money while doing something noble, and they also happened to have landed the perfect internship complete with flexible hours, ping pong tables, a fully stocked bar and mandatory Facebook time. I want to slap them, but I mostly want to slap myself.
(By the way, when I went to college I just figured I'd get a job with "something in marketing". I studied international business and Spanish, and now I work in IT. Go figure.)
So back to my Pinterest ambitions. After all, I had all of this time on my hands before starting my new job. I figured that by the time I headed back to work, I would have a completely organized house, my meals would be planned for a month, and I'd be able to brag about all the cool DIY projects I did.
Alas, that did not happen. What did happen was that I went to Los Angeles for a week, where my goals consisted of living vicariously through my favorite reality shows. (Special thanks to MTV for airing all those retro The Hills episodes in the mornings, which really helped me plan my days.) I now know why Jeff Lewis of Bravo's Flipping Out was so crazy about El Pollo Loco; that chicken is GOOD.
But here's what else I did: I purged all the closets and most of the drawers so that we could have an impromptu rummage sale. I changed up the color scheme in the living room with some new accessories. I visited my parents and out-of-town relatives. I read. I played golf in the middle of the day on a Tuesday. I worked out at 9 a.m. instead of 5:15 a.m. I walked around Ripon with my stepdaughter, taking some great black and whites that I'll frame and place around my home. I did 40-year-old mom things like taking my stepson to get his football cleats and mouth guard. I went to matinees with my stepdaughter. I went to noon Rotary and didn't feel rushed knowing I had to go back to work. It felt fantastic.
Oh, and I may have gotten addicted to Breaking Bad marathons. I average about five "Holy Sh*ts!" per episode.
I thought that maybe I would have regretted the way I spent my precious time off. After all, I headed back to work on September 5th and I still did not have that cool laundry center done that is pinned to my "Laundry and Mud Rooms" board. I had not made up a refrigerator-full of healthy lunches to take to work, even though I had pinned plenty of ideas. And I still (sadly) did not even finish the last season of Desperate Housewives on Netflix, even though the series has long been over. (Full disclaimer: I have not done the math to figure out how long it would take me to watch everything in my Netflix queue. It's too depressing. But I'm guessing years. Whenever someone asks me if I've seen a particular show, my usual answer is, "No, but it's in my Netflix queue!")
So maybe I didn't check anything off my official Pinterest to-do list, but I was happy with how I spent my time. Time is too precious to be complaining about what I didn't get done, even when I knew my expectations were too high. Because other things happen when you are forty. Your parents' friends start to die, or a former classmate suddenly has a series of mini strokes...and she is gone.
I don't think my greatest regrets will be that I never got around to those elaborate handmade Christmas gifts, or that I never learned how to make my own green juice. It will be the time that I spent with my friends and family (says the old wise forty-year-old).
But I still need to find out how Desperate Housewives ends.