49 Left of 49

by gillis

With 49 days to go until I am no longer 49, I’m feeling reflective. I know I’m no longer middle aged. If my genes bear out I’m about 5/8 aged and if I’m lucky I have 20-25 more years of relative good health and activity. This doesn’t scare me or make me want to create a bucket list. It does make me think about a f*ck it list however. There are some things I’d like to jettison from my life.

I’d like to truly not care about what other people think of me. This doesn’t mean I would not care about other people, just that I would live the idea that what other people think of me is none of my business – allow them to have their thoughts which I don’t get involved in trying to change or influence even if they are about me.

Being less cautious about telling the truth when it is difficult to do so would be a step in the right direction. This is an inconsistent skill set for me. I’ve lost both jobs and friends due to my mouthy truthiness, and I need to ignore that tape in my head at times when speaking the truth, from my perspective, is an important thing to do.

Rather than being anxious about what is to come, I want to spend my time in the present moment feeling whatever feelings I’m going to feel about what is happening now. It’s a little scary how much of my time is spent thinking about something other than what I am actually doing. Except when I’m cleaning the toilets, I can’t make that a Zen moment no matter how hard I try.

If I could stop comparing my life to the lives of others, that might be a healthy thing. I have everything that I need and knowing that I don’t have the luxuries and lifestyles that others have is okay. My lie is rich and beautiful as evidenced by the piles of Star Wars drawings, sports hair ties, and goldfish crumbs lining the bottom of my purse.

Making excuses about why my house is messy, why my work isn’t finished, and why I’m still overweight can all be things I leave in this decade when I move onto the next. The truth is, everyone has their own battle going on, no one cares why I’m a chubby slob, they are concerned that no one sees them as a chubby slob. Maybe they should join me in not caring about what others think of me. We would have some fun club meetings.

Putting the tablet down and making more time for the things that bring me joy, like listening to music, watching dance performances, dancing myself, hiking, spending time at the ocean and in the city, hosting gatherings, thrift shopping, hitting up tag sales, and reading would be a welcome shift.

This is a partial list, not much of a manifesto I suppose, but it’s a start. If I can keep these ideas in the forefront, in a low-key, non-anxiety producing way (I am supposed to be having more fun dammit!! Why am I not having fun????) than I think the new decade will be just fine. And that’s all it needs to be.

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